Finally Friday! Gratitude Journaling and Mindfulness
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TGIF to you, my dear readers! It is FINALLY Friday once again!!! Friday is the day of the week where I really make an effort to reflect on my week and feel grateful. Whether the week was good or bad, there’s always something for which you should express gratitude. Gratitude journaling has been one of the biggest helps in allowing me to find happiness when things aren’t going exactly as planned. It is so easy to get caught up in daily life and forget how fortunate we are.
The best thing about gratitude journaling is that it’s free and easy to get started! You really only need a couple things: a notebook, a pen and a grateful heart. If you’re like me, you probably have half a dozen unused notebooks just hanging around your house. You could also keep a digital journal but I really love putting pen to paper. Seeing my words on the paper really helps me to slow down and consider each thing as I’m writing it. I have always kept a journal but only recently started keeping a gratitude journal.
There is no wrong way to do your journal. If you’re using it, then you’re doing it right! You can do this exercise once a week like I do, or every day for maximum gratitude. There are several different styles of writing you could choose from. Whether you choose to write in prose, diary entry, stream of consciousness, bulleted lists, or keep a one-sentence journal, the choice is yours! I typically write in a prose style but occasionally will do a one sentence journal if I’m pressed for time. If you like the idea of a one sentence journal, check out Gretchen Rubin’s awesome one-line journal!
She also offers this great day-to-day journal aimed at self-improvement that is on my wishlist!
AND even one geared just to mothers!
An Excerpt from My Gratitude Journal
Today is a good day, even though I am feeling a little more stress than normal. The baby is teething, I am missing my husband, we’re having audits at work, and I STILL haven’t gotten that phone call I’ve been waiting to receive. I realize that there are so many beautiful reasons to be happy. I am grateful to be healthy enough today that I can sit at my desk and write this journal entry.
As I write this entry, everyone in my family is in good health. My son, though his teeth are making him angry, is a healthy happy baby. My husband, though I don’t get to see him much, is loving and dedicated to our family. Even though I haven’t gotten the call about my dream job, I still have a job that I enjoy, with co-workers I like, and supervisors that make me feel valued.
We have a home that, though small, is clean, well maintained and decorated in a way that makes me smile. We have plenty to eat and when our cupboards start running low we have the means to go get more food. While so many have so little, we are very lucky to live in a country where food is relatively cheap and easily accessible. Our blessings are so numerous.
Today is a good day. I am happy.
Give it Time
Don’t worry if this exercise feels unusual at first. It often feels like our brains are hardwired to focus only on the negative. Give it time and keep going. After some time passes, you will realize that you are blessed in so many ways that are often taken for granted. I know I always feel better afterwards!
Do you keep a gratitude journal? What are your favorite mindfulness exercises? Let me know by commenting below!