I joined the gratitude journal band wagon with Oprah as she shared Sarah Ban Breathnach's book, Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy . It made a huge difference in my life then as I was navigating life with a new baby (whom I loved) and a job (which I didn't). Many years later, I see gratitude making its way into the mainstream again.
There is much research that supports the benefits of a gratitude practice, but I like the non-scientific explanation: we find what we look for.
How can you implement a gratitude practice?
Tip 1: "Act the way you want to feel". This quote is attributed to author Gretchen Rubin. If you find yourself annoyed with your spouse, try something that is in line with how you want to feel. Take him out to lunch or wash her car. If you deal with a challenging person, try focusing on her strengths. While this is easier to say than actually do, the results are surprisingly effective.
Tip 2: Write down 3 things (people or circumstances) that you are grateful for. Do this every day, and it can become your gratitude journal. Gratitude expresses appreciation for what you already have in your life. If you are looking for things you might be grateful for, try two or three of these prompts:
Tip 3: Write down 1 thing that went well today. By focusing on the positive, you begin to train your brain to look for the good in things.
What do you want to try or need to try?