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If you feel stuck in pain or bogged down by life, or just generally fragmented or disconnected, practices that help you take a pause and gain some perspective may be incredibly helpful for you. Examples of these practices include: prayer, meditation, and acupuncture. Acupuncture rebalances your energy and gives you space to really connect to yourself and to how you feel.
A gratitude journal is also incredibly useful, though I find that there are a few specific tips, which I will share with you below, that make a gratitude journal really work for you in allowing you to shift your perspective and reconnect with yourself and your health.
Why a Gratitude Journal Can Help You
One of the practices I often “prescribe” to people struggling with a long-term health issue, or even for people who just feel stuck in a bad work situation or a similar life crisis that’s causing them to lose ground or feel frustrated, is a gratitude journal. It may sound cheesy, but it’s a simple practice that can take you out of the pain and frustration and into right relationship with what’s going right.
Even in our darkest days, there are little streams of sunlight. It’s easy to miss them, or to have them be a passing and soon-forgotten little refuge in this midst of an overwhelmingly busy day, or a day where it seems like we are just suffering more often than not.
The practice of a gratitude journal is simple. Either throughout the day or at the end of the day, write down (yes, physically write them down or use your smartphone if writing on paper is going to hold you back from actually noting it) three things that you are grateful for.
If you find your pen flowing and you record more than three, then great!, keep the mojo going and write as many as you want. But just try for three; let’s keep it sane and simple, especially if you already feel like there’s too much to do.
At the end of the week, you will have 21 wonderful things to help you find contentment and to reflect on what’s working for you and what you want to invest more time in.
How to Make a Gratitude Journal Work for You
An important tip for a gratitude journal is to keep is SUPER specific. So instead of writing “my partner” write “my partner mopped the floor.” If you keep it really general, it won’t be attached to particular memories or emotions and you will end up with a bland list of “my partner,” “my partner,” “my partner,” which won’t remind you what you really love about your partner to begin with.
Lucky me, my partner loves to mop, which makes me happy, though he has a funny habit of wanting to run the vacuum as soon as I pick up the phone to make a call.
Keeping it specific will remind you what you really love about your life and what matters for you. For me, having a clean floor and a comfortable place to live makes my house a refuge and a resting place in the midst of a sometimes busy life.
It’s the little things that count!
If you try this, let me know how it goes. And if you miss a day, you can go back in time or just skip it and keep moving forward. Don’t be discouraged, just get back in alignment with your gratitude when you can.
I’m wishing you lots of love this month. I feel real gratitude for your connection to me through this email list. Stay grounded as we wait for the ground to thaw and Spring to come. It’s coming soon! Nurture your dreams in these last dark days of Winter until then.