Happiness is a Gratitude Journal

We could all afford to be a little bit happier in this day and age.  The stresses of our economy, job instability, relationships, and the daily grind tax us physically and mentally.  Charles Schulz may have gotten it right when he wrote that, “Happiness is a warm blanket.”  Sometimes it is the simple things that can make us the happiest.  To reconnect with that “happy” feeling, incorporating a gratitude journal into your daily routine can help to transform your daily outlook.Susan_Karim

Each morning upon waking, write down three things that you have to look forward to in your day.  In the beginning, this may seem like a daunting task.  To make it easier on yourself, start with some of the simplest things that you look forward to every day.  Do you enjoy having a cup of coffee or tea before starting your day?  How about taking your dog for a walk?  Perhaps it is taking a walk with a friend, reading a chapter in a book, meditating, feeling the warmth of the sun on your face, or working out.  These are the simple things that start our day and make us feel good.  Write them down and revel in the joy that they bring you.

Each evening before you go to sleep, write down three things that were good or you are grateful for today. They might be things like your health, a friend, the sunset, a flower or even a meal. Perhaps you might think of highlights in your day. Perhaps something wonderful happened or you received a compliment.

The technique of utilizing a gratitude journal may seem too simple to work, but it is perfect for helping you to change your focus. While you are thinking of good things in your life, it crowds out the thoughts that are making you depressed or sad. By choosing things to look forward to in your day, you will notice and appreciate each and every thing that comes your way. Happiness does not lie in circumstances as much as it does in our thoughts. There are wealthy people who are terribly depressed, and poor people who are extremely happy. There are those who feel lonely even though they are surrounded by loving family, and others who live alone who feel blessed by the love in their lives. Some people have lost so much in their lives, and yet live each day overflowing with joy, because they focus not on what they have lost or don’t have, but rather on what they do have.

It won’t take long for you to see that using a gratitude journal will improve your moods and happiness. Once you get in the habit of writing three things in your journal every morning and evening, you will find yourself wanting to increase your gratitude list to include more items.  It is easier to start small and work your way up to longer lists.  Once these gratitude entries become a habit, expand your lists.  You will be amazed at how many things make your day and, in turn, make you happy.

Susan Karim

Time Management and Personal Effectiveness Coach

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