We all have ups and downs in life, don’t we? We all have moments that put the biggest smiles on our faces, butterflies in our stomachs, and moments that make us feel so much pain. We all get through it, the good times and the bad times, with the help of friends and family. That’s the ebb and flow and life.
In the past, when things were really good, I didn’t always take a moment to savour those moments, and I didn’t always have a think on how lucky I was to be alive and thriving. But when things were really bad, all I did was think about how hard I was getting it, and I quickly forgot the moments that came before it. Truth be told, I have thrived most of the time: More often than not things have trucked along, in a secure way, and I have had a lot to be thankful for. But, when trouble hits, it’s hard to think of anything but trouble. These days, I do things differently.
Some people say that the more you notice the little and big things that you have to be thankful for the more (and the longer) they stick around, and the more new things to be grateful for come around. And you know what? I am one of those people. I have found that the more thankful I am for little and big things the more joy and peace I’m filled with, and the more things to be grateful for come into my life. I honestly feel that a little bit of gratitude can really change your life.
My personal gratitude practice consists of waking up and writing down seven “thank you’s,” two “affirmations,” and one “joyful” thing that happened on the previous day.
Thank you’s, for me, are the things that I am grateful to have now. For you, that could be anything from being grateful to have certain relationships in your life, to know certain people, being grateful to have a job and a home, being grateful for friends and family, and even being grateful for the clothes on your back and the money to meet your needs (pro tip: if you’re reading this on your own laptop/shared laptop/at home then you have a lot to be thankful for!).
Affirmations, for me, are things that I am invested in bringing into my life. For you, that could be anything from having a special relationship, a relationship repair, more money (be specific about the amount!), a job, a new home…whatever it is that you want.
My joyful thing is anything that made me smile on the previous day or something that made me happy in some big or small way. One day I might be happy with a new pair of jeans, or seeing a friend that I haven’t seen in a while, or going to see a movie that I really loved. It really depends on you and your life.
I bought my journal from a seller on Etsy called christinemarieford. The actual journal comes with 200 sheets, it’s small enough for me to take with me when I travel, and its sturdy enough that I can be thrown into my bag without me worrying about the binding falling apart. And it’s just plain beautiful. Seriously, Christine (the Etsy seller) is fast, she makes beautiful journals, and she offers tons of colour options. Also, as I mentioned last month, I bought stickers from some Etsy shops, and I used them to date my gratitude journal. I used my day of the week and month planner stickers from LethbridgeCards, which is out of Milton Keynes, England, and my day of the week stickers from BellaCreationzCo which came from Jupiter, Florida, United States. All of the shops that I mentioned are amazing and I highly recommend them.
Here’s what my gratitude journal looks like all stickered up:
For Christmas, my sister bought me a journal from ForestNine (featured in my planning essentials post) and a weekly agenda from Indigo called ban.do. I use my ban.do agenda to write down personal events that happened that day and more things that made me smile:
One housekeeper/disclaimer-y thing: I want to let you know that this post is not sponsored, I just shop on Etsy quite a bit, and I have an easy time finding exactly what I’m looking for. Everything I bought myself (aside from the aforementioned Christmas gifts).
I hope this encourages you to start your own practice (where you think about, or even write down like I do, what you’re grateful for or happy about). It doesn’t have to be a journal as nice as mine, a ruled school notebook will do. Life is really short, and I just think that it’s so important to focus on what brings you joy and what meets your needs, rather than what makes you miserable or what you don’t have. When we stay positive, it can turn our whole life around.