Earlier this year, we had an elusive day put in our diaries at work. When that day rolled around in July, we discovered we were having a whole day with Gavin from Mindspan. Mindspan is a training and coaching performance programme, so obviously everyone at first was like, so what does this mean in English? Basically the day was centered around a number of different theories & exercises, such as how our thoughts can effect our emotions and actions, how to be more grateful and, hardly groundbreaking, but reminding us that you actually have a choice in *everything* you do! Anyway, the point was to talk about the one that really resonated with me which is the gratitude journal.
A gratitude journal pretty much what it says on the tin – a notebook or diary where you keep a list of things that make you happy and are grateful for in life. To start one, just complete the following steps:
- Buy a notepad (or join the 21st century and use an app – but I’m a sucker for new stationery)
- Write stuff that makes you do this >>> :)
It can be anything from something that made you crack a slight smile on the inside (one time, I sneezed in the street and a strange man said “bless you”, and for some reason that made me really happy) right through to something that really is taken for granted by a lot of us every day (like access to clean water).
The reason I thought this important for me is I am so bad at comparing my life to others, people I went to school with, friends of friends and even complete strangers. It’s so easy to forget when scrolling through snapshots of peoples fantastic lives on social media that yours is actually pretty great too.
I also having this bad habit of wishing my life away, waiting for the next milestone, famous examples include:
- I’ll be happier when I’ve finished my dissertation
- I’ll be happier when I go on holiday
- I’ll be happier when the weekend gets here
Yes, those events were fantastic achievements and certainly a cause for celebration & happiness, but you end up not living in the moment and wishing your life away. Of course, it’s great to have goals and things to look forward to (hi every Friday), but it’s also important to appreciate all the things you have currently in life and taking the time to write them down really helped me do this.
Don’t get me wrong, I am seriously lucky that I have a lovely house, a tolerate boyfriend, supportive family, great friends and a naughty cat, but because that’s the ‘norm’ for me now, it’s so so SO easy to take it all for granted. This is why, when I’m having a particularly ridiculous spoilt brat day, I take a read through my journal and realise that things ain’t so bad :)