Sure, we have all heard Oprah talk about her gratitude journal. About the power, happiness and well, gratitude, in doing one. I even tried to do one about 20 years ago myself. But, the joy didn’t come, and I didn’t stick with it.
Since then, I had a friend give me a book for Christmas that invited the reader to journal on gratitude every day for 30 days. I saw the effect it had on her and her state of happiness, and even the changes it brought to her life. So I thought, maybe I will give this another try and I began journaling in January.
The magical process
Like you, my days are pretty busy, especially in the morning. But once I started, I was hooked. I was eager to do it. I set my alarm 20 minutes earlier so I could make sure to write 10 things I was grateful for that morning. Some days, writing the gratitude journal was the best thing of the day. I cried – almost every day. When I read the things I was grateful for out loud and said: thank you, thank you, thank you for each of them, the feelings of happiness, or gratitude, and of love overwhelmed me. I found myself smiling for no reason throughout the day.
Had my circumstances and challenges changed? No. But my attitude toward them did. Some of the journaling practices related to relationships or things that weren’t pleasant. Figuring out the parts of them for which I could be grateful was an opening experience in perspective (think, Taxes anyone?) But the feeling of happiness makes me feel hopeful and invested in outcomes that are meaningful.
I did all 30 days. And then started it over again. I’ve never been happier in my life and for such an extended period of time. This practice of writing 10 things daily that I am grateful for has helped me to reframe every moment of my life. And in that process, I’ve also learned to let go of things, to be more present, to see where I anticipate negativity where this is none. Happiness is about gratitude for what you already have.
Passing it on
People around me noticed the change in me. And they began to change because I changed. It even worked on people that I only expressed gratitude to in my journal. I began to set intentions around the kind of relationships I wanted with people after thinking about how I was grateful for them. On example was my goddaughter who is in college and I don’t see as much as I would like. She began calling me. And I explained what I was working on with the gratitude journal
So, my goddaughter started using the book too, and she saw her day-to-day happiness change, as well as her mindsets and
If gratitude is part of your daily routine, and brings you joy, please share your story of happiness with us!