Gratitude is the best Attitude.

Have you ever noticed how much better you feel when you really take the time to notice and appreciate something?

We might take an old umbrella in the back seat for granted, but when it starts raining, we are super glad it’s there! When we appreciate what we have, things just seem better somehow. The world seems a lot friendlier and things are a lot easier to deal with. One of the best things we can do for ourselves is to stay in gratitude. But how do we get there?

Starting your Journal.

One way to create a sense of gratitude is to use a gratitude journal. It’s a handy way to keep track of things you’re grateful for, and there’s no one right way to do it. Your journal can be a fancy bound journal with a pretty cover and a special pen. Or it can be a basic notebook with a pen you found on a shelf. It can be something you keep on your computer. The journal can be anything you want it to be – it’s just for you!

The list itself can also be as simple or complex as you want. You can be grateful for simple things like clean water, good weather, healthy food. You can list the people who make your life better. You can write specific things that make your heart sing. Any or all of those things can make you feel grateful and really, the sky’s the limit! Well, actually, you can be grateful for the sun, the moon and the stars too…so no limits! It just has to work for you!

Practice Daily Gratitude. 

If you’re just getting started, try using a gratitude list as a daily ritual, starting or ending your day by writing a few things you are grateful for. It doesn’t have to take much time or even many words. You might be surprised at the impact a few minutes of focusing on gratitude can have.

A friend of mine texts her gratitude list to her friends. And they text her back with theirs. Every morning, she types out 10 things she is grateful for and copies that text to her “gratitude group.” In the middle of a hectic workday, she’ll get a text in response: “I am grateful for my cat, my favorite pen and for our friendship.” It can turn her whole day around. Another keeps her gratitude list in a google doc on line. “That way, I can see it and add to it wherever I am,” she says.

Refocus Your Thoughts and Energy. 

A couple of things happen when you make gratitude a part of your daily life. For one, when you focus your thoughts and energy on the things you appreciate, they magically start to outweigh the things that might not be so great. When you’re going through a tough time, you can look at the journal and remember just how much we have to be grateful for. It helps to remember that when you are in gratitude, even when things are tough, you can still find something that makes you smile, helps you feel safe, and is a reminder that you are loved. That’s a lot to be grateful for!

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