During these tough times, something new I started doing was keeping a gratitude journal. I read an article that said doing a gratitude journal for 21 days will completely change your perspective on life, so I decided to give it a try. Why not?? During these new and unprecedented times, anything that brings a little extra joy is welcome.
The article said to write three things you are grateful for either in the morning when you first wake up, or at night, right before bed. I started to do it at night so that I could use my daily experiences to find examples of gratitude. The first four to five days were the basics: “I am grateful for my family, my friends, my house, etc.” These were the days where I was the most skeptical of this idea. Of course I’m grateful for these big things, everyone has gratitude for the blessings they have.
Days 5-10 got a little bit harder. Suddenly, the superficial, entry-level blessings dried up. I had to start to look at deeper and smaller things that I was grateful for. This included “someone smiled at me today” or “mom made my favorite meal for dinner.” I had to dig a little bit to find things that I could list.
Suddenly, after day 10, I started to notice how simple it was to make my lists. I could think of 5 things instead of three, and the ‘small’ things no longer felt small. I began to feel grateful in the moment in addition to feeling grateful as I reflected back on my day.
I can say with complete certainty that the article I read was right. Doing a gratitude journal has been so beneficial for me mentally. I have learned to see and appreciate the small things. It has shown me that there is so much good within every single day. As I have said before, life is hard for everyone right now, and starting a gratitude journal may be exactly what you need to bring a little sunshine into your day!