In general, I am a positive, upbeat person. However, we all have those periods when things get to us or drag us down.
I went through one of those seasons recently and decided to take some “positive” action against my “negative” attitude. I started a Thankful Journal. I don’t journal, I didn’t keep a secret diary when I was a teen or tween. I tried once, but quickly abandoned it when I couldn’t think of anything interesting to write about. Of course, now I blog weekly about all kinds of things….hmmm.
I started my Thankful Journal with a purpose, rules and a deadline. I was determined to get out of the doldrums, this was my main purpose. My rules were simple and straight forward, I had to write down 5 things I was thankful for every day (I couldn’t miss a day), they couldn’t repeat and I could not use my family in the list. The reason for the last rule was that I already know I am thankful for my family, I was trying to stretch my gratitude muscle. My self-imposed duration for the exercise in thankfulness was 30 days. I figured that I should be able to do it for 30 days.
I found a cute notebook (duh) and began my journey. It was not as easy as it sounds. Some days I was in bed and realized I did not make my thankful list for the day. I wasn’t even sure where I left the notebook. I learned to keep it close and take it to bed with me, so I wasn’t stomping down the stairs at night looking for it. I challenged myself to take it seriously and look carefully at my life to acknowledge the small, wonderful blessings that I have. The first few days were kind of dry and rote. But as I kept at it and searched for interesting things I was thankful for, it became easier.
I found that I was grateful for things like a warm breeze blowing on my face instead of an icy winter blast or that a ceiling fan was finally installed in my bedroom and I can sleep better at night. I realized I am grateful for living in the modern world with indoor bathrooms, air conditioning and hot water running out of my kitchen tap. Things we can easily take for granted. The list goes on and grows as your imagination embraces thankfulness.
The 30 day exercise did help me shake my gloomy state. And yes, I did all 30 days, I didn’t miss any (I did come close though). I also began having more of a grateful awareness in my every day journey.
I encourage you to do your own Thankful Journal – use your rules – then see what you discover about yourself.
I’m just thankful for everything, all the blessings in my life, trying to stay that way. I think that’s the best way to start your day and finish your day. It keeps everything in perspective
— Tim Tebow
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