Tuesday, March 19, 2019

March Slice of Life Challenge Day 19: Daily Gratitude

For the month of March, each day I am writing and posting a slice of my life, hosted by Two Writing Teachers



March Slice of Life Challenge Day 19: 
Daily Gratitude


It's easy for me to get discouraged by challenges I face. Sometimes these challenges turn into disconnection, withdrawal, fear, and pain. Then I find myself in a not-so-healthy space, and I do not show up how I want to. In an effort to be a more mentally healthy person, I make room for daily gratitude.

Each night before I fall asleep, I write at least three things I am grateful for from that day. For example, on Sunday night here are a few things that I wrote about:

  1. My thirteen-year-old son had a great weekend at camp with his Boy Scout troop. He got to spend the weekend outside with friends and exploring -unstructured play. He came back exhausted but excited to tell me all about his adventures. I am thankful he experiences weekends like this, and it makes me happy that he still shares this with me.
  2. In church this morning my wonderful friend Bonnie reminded me of the positive connections I have in our congregation. As a seasoned grandma and great-grandma, I appreciate the wisdom and care Bonnie shares with me. This morning I felt anxious and feeling unsettles, but being at church for just an hour helped ease that. 
  3. We found our missing library book. For the past month, even time I have received an overdue notice in my email or have walked into the library, I have felt full of guilt. I am not sure where this book has been, but I am glad that it finally showed up and we only have a fine instead of paying to replace the whole book.
  4. I have some generous, kind friends who I was able to spend time with over the weekend. I appreciate how my friends show me unconditional love and make me laugh.  
Gratitude, unfortunately, doesn't just happen. It needs to be an intentional, daily act. Some days I will write one or two full pages on what I am grateful for that day, and it gives me a sense of peace before I sleep. 

For the past three years I have been in a daily habit of recording daily gratitude. If I am going through a particularly rough spot, I also begin my day with expressing gratitude. Sometimes I share out loud what I am grateful for with my dog on an early morning walk. Other times I have a conversation with one of my children on the way to school or over breakfast about what I am thankful for that day. If I have time, I take out my writer's notebook and write more gratitude. Noticing and sharing gratitude (through writing or conversation) makes a huge difference for me. 

I believe that noticing gratitude brings more joy, and I want to lead a life filled with more joy. 

7 comments:

  1. Hooray for that missing library book! I think you're very right that gratitude brings more joy. I have finally gotten into the habit of thinking about what I'm grateful for whenever I'm having a cranky day. It really does change my attitude.

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  2. "Gratitude creates abundance" - is a phrase I once saw and thought it summed the power of gratitude so well. I practice gratitude but I also have learned that sometimes it is absolutely fine to write off all the irritations, pains, fears, and self-pity in a journal. I have taught to children that when everything goes wrong and they can't think of anything to be thankful for, they can always be thankful for their belly button being warm.

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  3. Nice post. I also review in the evening the things that have gone well. It is to easy to get caught in the negative.

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  4. Gratitude journals are one of the healthiest practices. Good for you for keeping one for years now. That's amazing!

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  5. I'm impressed that you keep a gratitude journal. It's not anything I've every done with regularity, although I know it's powerful. Kudos to you for doing this daily. I'm going to remember your words: "...noticing gratitude brings more joy."

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  6. Joy is my one little word for the year, so I especially love the last line. There's so much to have gratitude for-- if we spend our time looking for it. I would REALLY have gratitude for found library books! I SO relate to that one!

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  7. I love the idea of writing down gratitude(s) in order to remember and to acknowledge! I know that gratitude is a mindset that not only brings peace but also supports happiness. Great idea.

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