Re-discovering my gratitude journal

Re-discovering my gratitude journal - Ever-changing Life of a MumAt the beginning of last year I went out a purchased myself a cute little hardcover book that I intended to use as my gratitude journal.

It was a brand new year and, having read so much about the positives of writing down your thoughts, I was keen to start a gratitude journal of my very own.

It lasted just 26 days. I often saw the book sitting on my shelf, grimaced then scolded myself for not following through on my intentions.

I really dislike setting new year resolutions for this exact reason.

But little did I know that this book would so much back to me more than a year later.

Tidying up my desk and bookshelf the other day, I came across my gratitude journal. At first I sighed because it signalled a disappointment within myself. But then I opened the book and began to read some of the entries I had made and tears began to well in my eyes.

Each day I had written short snippets of gratitude I had felt at that moment in time … for people, small actions, sounds, tastes, smells, thoughts of happiness and contentment.

“For smelling the sea air in the morning while on holidays.”

“For watching Miss 6 so innocent and carefree as she chases butterflies in the backyard.”

“For snuggles and a chat with my girls before bed to talk about the best things that happened that day.”

“For Miss 10’s growing confidence.”

“For Miss 10 being a protective big sister and letting Miss 6 sleep in her bed when she’s scared.”

“For Miss 6 giving me a kiss in the morning and telling me she loves me ‘with all my heart’.”

I may not have even made it through a month, but on just one reading it gave me back so much more and inspired me to write in my journal again.

You see, at the time I didn’t see what I was doing as making any difference but I now realise this journal continues to reward me well after my pen has left the paper.

It’s so easy to forget these little things. Life moves by so fast and these moments can get lost in the whirlwind of life.

My gratitude journal now rests on my bedside table or bed head with a pen waiting on top. Every night before bed I write something. Sometimes it’s just four or five words, other times it’s a paragraph or more as I work out my feelings.

Even on the days when I’m feeling downright exhausted, just by taking a quiet moment to write down a few sentences I can start to work through my feelings and discover the positives. No matter how small or even trivial, it can make a difference and switch my perspective around.

Do you write down your thoughts or have you ever considered starting a gratitude journal?

14 thoughts on “Re-discovering my gratitude journal

  1. Thank you Erika. Reading that made me feel grateful for lots of small things. And as I go off to work on the school holiday program this week with my gorgeous special needs kids, I feel grateful that my own children are healthy and that I am able to help the families that access our service, to make their lives just a bit easier.

  2. I have a journal that I use intermittently. Yesterday I cracked and wrote a couple of sentences when I was feeling particularly frustrated. I didn’t need to write anymore than that, because it did the trick. I could feel the hurt dissipating almost instantly with the thought of writing it down.
    It’s not a gratitude journal but a place I work out my feelings – good and bad. I don’t pressure myself to use it every day or even every week or month. I just use it when I know it will work for me. I will be so interested to read it all back one day.
    I write a happy list on my blog most weeks. I guess that’s my version of a gratitude journal. It really does help me to remember the good times and focus on the positives šŸ™‚
    I say just use that journal how/when it suits you and don’t be hard on yourself if you miss a few days or even a few weeks. Make it work for you xo

    • So very true. Like you, sometimes my gratitude journal is used as a way to work through my feelings as I jot down my emotions, no matter what they are. Through that process I always find something to be grateful about, no matter how small, and I feel so much better afterwards. It’s truly amazing how it can alter my outlook.

  3. I have a gratitude journal via an app on my phone. I must admit to missing quite a few days from time to time (i.e. months!) but recently it has been helping me really look at what is going well rather than dwell on the negative. I also write in another ‘on my phone’ journal and for me, in a difficult life transition, it is proving its worth to look back and see how I have dealt with setbacks as well as success. Glad you found yours again! Denyse

  4. I’ve never stuck at keeping a journal as it has always started to feel like something else on my to do list that I have to get done. I like the idea though of writing things my kids said or did and little things I’m grateful for – be lovely to reread and remember moments.

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