Lately I have been thinking about gratitude quite a bit, about how I can live a more grateful life. Of the things I am grateful for, of how I can express my gratitude, and how I can increase thankfulness in my life. Here are my thoughts.
I think one thing that helps me to be grateful, is to make time at the end of every day to write down three things I was grateful for that day. It is easier for me to take a look back at the end of the day to reflect on those good happenings. After doing this for a while, I have found it's easier during my day to notice the little blessings throughout my day. What about those hard days when everything seems to have fallen apart and didn't meet my expectations? I admit that it's hard at first to think of anything good. Those are the days when I focus on the fact that my husband did the dinner dishes and both my girls still love to snuggle before bedtime. And really, aren't those the things I should be grateful for everyday?
I've posted before about how I like to make journals (see here and here). Having a gratitude journal is a way to write more in depth about those people, life experiences, and items that you are thankful for in your life. At a later date you can look back at those journal entries and realize how much love and how many blessings you have in your life.
To get started in a gratitude journal, it's a good idea to write down a list of what you are grateful for so later on you can write more fully about them. I sat down and wrote a list of things I was grateful for in my life. At first it was the basics: my husband, girls, family. As I continued, I wrote items that weren't as easily apparent but I was equally thankful for, such as my grandma letting me play in the mud when I was little, my good friends who are like sisters to me, the beauty of the world around me, knowing how to make homemade gravy because my grandma took the time to show me, and my high school art teacher who helped inspire my love of creativity.
Expressing your gratitude and thankfulness everyday can help your thankfulness grow. This can also strengthen relationships as you express your gratitude to a family member or friend for what that they do to help brighten your day or ease the burdens in life.
Shift of Perspective
Sometimes it's easier to focus on the not-so-great instances in our life. If we work on thinking about the positive, then our outlook will change. A few weeks ago I wrote a review of the book Instant Happy Journal which contains journal prompts to help you focus on happiness, joy and gratitude. While I was looking through the book I saw this:
Visual Reminders of Thankfulness and Gratitude
I love having a quote, a decorative item, or a craft item to look at that helps me remember to have thankfulness in my heart daily.
One thing I would like to do over the next few weeks is make a Thankful Tree. Everyone in our family could add a leaves where they have written what they are thankful for.
30 Days of Gratitude
I decided that this year I want to document visually what I am grateful for during the month of November. I am going to be posting throughout the month of November on my Instagram account (follow here) those things I am thankful for each day. I will be using the hashtag #30daysofgratitude_2015 and would love for you to join with me! Post what you are grateful for and use the hashtag or tag me @homecraftsbyali I will re-gram some of your posts too.