By: Suzana Sjenicic, LMHC
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Gratitude journaling is not something that you can only do or should do at the end of the year, at the beginning of the new one or during major milestones in your life. It’s something that should be practiced daily. I use gratitude journaling to help my clients who are struggling with anxiety, feeling depressed, not in a great mood everyday and finding it difficult to connect with what they do have in life. These are the times when we’re really feeling like we can’t find anything good in our day.
I started practicing gratitude journaling at the beginning of 2018. Why? I accidentally found a planner that was a perfect format for daily journaling. It had a bunch of positive quotes for every day and every week. It was broken down in bullet points and also had some space for notes on its side. I got it as a Christmas gift so I said why not put it to good use as it’s already dated and I already have a planner that I use on a daily basis for work and life purposes.
This planner came in very handy because it allowed me to write one good thing that happened throughout the day. Many people ask me what’s the difference between good things that happen and the things that we should be grateful for. The easiest way to break it down is; one good thing is one specific situation that happened that was the highlight of the day. Gratitude is being grateful for the small things that we take for granted. The point is for those to be as minor as possible. Something that is very very simple, but really helps you be mindful and puts things into perspective for the little things in life.
I’ll give you an idea. Some of the things that I’d write; a great conversation with a client in session today, a great moment with a friend or family member, sharing a beautiful hug with a loved, a good meal that I had, time for myself, reading a book for an hour for fun or doing yoga. Any of these situations that are seemingly small and we take for granted. The truth is that when you reflect back on your day those little things really made your day worthwhile and it showed you have a lot to be grateful for.
Maybe it’s a kind stranger who held the door open for me at the bank this morning or someone who was very sweet on the subway or shared a nice conversation with. Maybe it’s making it home early that night from work and being on time to watch my show or starting to read a book that I’ve been looking forward to reading for a while. Any any of these little situations that many times we don’t give enough gratitude towards. These are the things that we can be grateful for every day. The point is to try to be grateful for something on that particular day, not something that you’re always grateful for, but on that particular day, these are five or six things that made my life a little bit better.
This is a practice I would advise you to do this year. Start tomorrow or even tonight, why not? Focus and tune in on reflecting on how your day went and what were the good things that happened. Write that down in a notebook where you can reflect back at the end of the year and say, “wow, I had a great year!”
That’s a little tip for this year. I look forward to hopefully hearing about how gratitude journaling is going for you. Take care and Happy New Year.
To hear more from Suzana, download sanoMind for iOS and listen to many more helpful techniques like this.