Interestingly, a number of my favourite online writers have recently touched on the subject of being thankful.
If you happen to be reading this at the end of one of those horribly long drudge-like days, please don't navigate away thinking "this isn't worth reading right now". In actual fact, the best thing you could do is read on. I know, because the exact same thing happened to me the first time I read one of the blog posts that I'm about to refer to!
The aim of each of the ideas below is to stop us focusing on all the negative stuff that happens (because it does and will continue to do so). Instead, we're encouraged to realise that, even on the worst of days, there is always something - even something tiny - to be grateful for. I repeat, if you're feeling a bit "bah humbug" about this, please stick with me!
The first article I read on the subject (when I was in a really bad mood) was written by Amanda Alexander of Coaching Mums. The post title caught my eye as it was entitled 'The 3 ½ Point Emergency Action Plan for When Life Sucks'. Amanda suggests in point two of her article that you keep a daily gratitude journal, writing down a list of at least 20 things that you are thankful for at the end of each day. Now that's quite a lot, so you're really going to have to think hard but - hey - how much better will you feel after listing them all?
If you know within yourself that you just won't have the time or energy to make a list as long as that, why not try Elaine Colliar's pared down version of the same type of approach? In her refreshingly honest blog post 'Keeping Your Chin Up', Elaine confesses that the idea of a gratitude journal is too much like homework for her. Instead she uses her general-purpose trusty notebook, marking out just one line per day to make a quick note of something positive that has happened.
|Simple notebook = quick fix gratitude journal|
If you'd like to do something a little more visual - or you want to involve the rest of the family - another twist on thankfulness exists in the form of the gratitude jar. This is something that many households do on an annual basis. It is an idea that is simple yet effective. The basic premise is that you take a jar, pop it somewhere nice and accessible, and fill it throughout the year with short notes outlining the good things that have happened. Some people save opening it up until the year end, however I'm certain that taking a sneaky peek during any rough patches would provide a great spur to keep on going.
For me, the one-liner in a notebook is the method that works best. Even then, I confess that I lapse occasionally and fail to write things down. I do believe, however, that the daily discipline of being grateful for all the nice little things that happen (and there really are quite a lot of them) has helped to change my mindset for the better. The "woe is me" moments are less frequent - and that's something that the rest of my household is grateful for too!