Alternative title: Because writing down things you are happy/grateful for is like giving Anxiety and Depression a good ole kick in the pants … And then laughing at them as they roll around in a heap on the floor.
“I think you should try a gratitude journal” M said as we discussed my latest meltdown at the GP’s office.
“Why? What’s the point” I huffed.
“It may help you see that even when things seem really crappy that positive things have happened … It’ll help you think about those more” M explained “it might help you feel a bit more positive”.
I wanted to explain that the idea of me being positive was laughable and that there was more chance of me playing the banjo at Glastonbury on the main stage but instead, I sighed, huffed a bit more and then agreed to try it out.
It also gave me an excuse to buy new stationery … Anyone who knows me will tell you I can spend hours in Paperchase alone (I even have a loyalty card for there dontcha know!).
The objective of the diary is to write down “3 things I am happy/grateful for” today and “3 things I am excited for tomorrow”. These can be anything from a hot cup of tea after being caught in a downpour to spending time with loved ones to just having a restful sleep. Sometimes the little, often overlooked things, are the best! Sometimes even things that used to cause frustration (i.e. a rainy day) suddenly becomes a source of happiness (we wouldn’t have such lush beautiful greenery where I live without rain) … There is a subtle shift of mindset with each diary entry.
Initially I found it really quite difficult as my negative thoughts have a habit of overriding everything that could be remotely positive but as the days have progressed and I’ve spent every evening reflecting on the day I’ve been finding it easier to bring the positive moments to mind. It is an excellent therapeutic way to end the day as I go to bed with my brain in a happier place.
I think in today’s society we often lose sight of the little moments of gratitude, we’re often too busy to stop and take note of something that has ignited a small spark of true happiness or to fully enjoy moments of joy because we are plagued by things that we have to do/have done that are seen as negative. Having a journal or diary to help focus on those moments without the negativity can lead to a shift in perspective as to what is really important in life which can also result in you becoming more self-aware. You learn more about what makes you happy, who you are happy being around and you can learn to see the positives in the simplest of acts.
How many of you lovely lot keep a gratitude diary/journal? Did you find it help to bring about a bit more of a positive mindset? Or, if you don’t currently have one, would you consider starting one?
Positive vibes all up in this place folks!