An Attitude of Gratitude
Early in October, the month of Thanksgiving, I listened to a program on CBC about keeping a Gratitude Journal. It suggested that, after three weeks of writing three daily gratitude items, your brain would be rewired, and you would be naturally more grateful. I thought I could use some brain rewiring, so I launched my Gratitude Journal.
There's an App for That!
The program recommended that you keep the journal on your phone--everybody is so attached to their phones, one would remember to update a digital Gratitude Journal. And there are free Gratitude Journal apps to download. Well, free certainly appealed to me, and, yes, I am always on my phone playing Words with Friends, so this would just be another daily routine. Easy. And a rewired brain to look forward to.
The Gratitude Journal theory advocates that you look for simple things to be grateful for, such as spotting a red cardinal in your lilac bush when you look out the window in the morning. Once you are attuned to doing that, you’ll find Gratitude Nuggets all over the place, all day long.
Red Cardinal in a Lilac Bush
At least on Thanksgiving Day, many of us pause and give thanks for the big things in our lives—our families, our health, our friends, that we live in Canada, but how often do we acknowledge the little things in our day? They might be sliding by without notice. For example, the first thing I wrote in my Gratitude Journal was that I made it to the bathroom in time. I’m sure you would agree that that is something to be grateful for!
The second day into my Gratitude Journal, the cryptoquote in The Daily Gleaner serendipitously spoke to my gratitude project with this quote by Tecumseh. And, by the way, I am always grateful for The Gleaner! Daily.
Tecumseh's Gratitude Journal
On day three, I received an alert saying my online Gratitude Journal would only be free for 15 entries, after which I would have to pay $5.99. Instead of being annoyed at the sneaky charge, my partly rewired brain thought, “Well, I am grateful that it was free for a while.” See, it was working!
Just in case you want to get started on your own GJ, here are some examples from mine that might give you some ideas:
- I didn’t back into the car behind me.
- My flu shot was free.
- I got across Smythe Street without having to wait.
- I received six bags of rescue yarn from my cousin.
- Stars in the skylight.
- Burgundy leaves.
- June brought me a coffee.
- View from the 6th floor.
- My heel stopped hurting.
Stars in the Skylight
This exercise in gratitude made me think of how easy it would be to keep a Complaint Journal. Finding three things per day to complain about is not difficult--perhaps our brains are wired that way! It might take some work to undo that!
Which Is It?