In these seemingly ‘dark times’, we need a little bit of light in our days. And sometimes that’s hard to find. The news is mostly covering one topic and related issues. Other news (especially the good news) is buried under ‘breaking news’, newfound facts, and other anxiety-inducing articles.
I try to stay away from it and even muted words on my social media so I won’t be confronted with it all the time. But sometimes it’s not enough. Sometimes you have to actively seek out the good, news or otherwise.
Keeping a gratitude journal is one way of redirecting your brain from all the doom and gloom to happier thoughts.
The Gratitude Journal
This works best if you keep a dedicated journal or notebook just for this purpose. Write three (or more) things that you’re grateful for that day. It can be anything. A well-brewed cup of coffee, the sunshine through the windows, or your cat curling up on your lap. They can also be big things, like finding out your pregnant, or your sister’s engagement. Maybe seeing the pollution clear up in the absence of the usual traffic.
Those are all things to be grateful for. It’s okay to repeat certain things too, but it’s an exercise to see the beauty in small things too. Flowers blooming, a bee humming along, or your favourite song on the radio.
Keeping all of this together makes it easy to refer back to when you need it. The whole journal is filled with positivity and you’ll eventually feel better when you open it up. You might scan the pages of the days or months before and you’re reminded of the good things in the past instead of the bad things that seem to take over our minds when we least want them.
A Positive Effect
When you’re feeling down you can look back through your journal and see the things that made you happy. See if you can find those moments now. Maybe it’ll make your day a little less dark. Maybe it’ll even put a smile on your face.
Keeping a gratitude journal has an overall positive effect on you and I know therapists are using this to help clients as well. Knowing how to brighten up your day or just feeling grateful for what you have will make a difference in your life. Maybe not short term, and if you’re having trouble with finding three things, that’s okay. Just keep going. Skip a day if you have to. But do try to think about it. It’s just like any other muscle you have.
What about you? Do you keep a gratitude journal? How has it helped you?