Create Your Gratitude Diary
About the gratitude page
Many of us get caught up in unhelpful thinking. We get used to berating ourselves, judging ourselves or others or getting caught in anxious or depressive thoughts about the future and past.
Practising gratitude is a wonderful way to interrupt that way of thinking and to help us become more present. It also helps us realise what is good in our lives and what brings us joy. Very often many of us loose touch with those knowings as all our attention focuses on what we don’t want and what we don’t like. This can make our world seem small and painful. Gratitude helps interrupt that way of thinking. It helps us look outward and encourages us to notice the good things in life. In doing so we may start to get a sense that the world is perhaps not as scary or dangerous as we perceived. And that perhaps there are some things in our life that are good and bring us joy. And that there is more than just our problems and pain we have been focusing on for so long for. Gratitude opens up our perspective and the world.
Neuroscience shows us that as we focus on the similar thoughts over and over the more they become hard wired in the mind. So when we practice gratitude we are creating new pathways in our brain. As we do this over and over they eventually become hard wired which means we are more likely to notice and experience what is great in our life.
Practising gratitude is also particularly useful when we are going through challenging times. All the practice now means we are able to access other resources of positivity, safety, beauty etc. In the past we may have just felt lost in the challenging feelings and thoughts, but now where we have exercised that part that notices what we are grateful for, we are able to incorporate that into the moment. We may notice that there is some space and that we are not quite as caught up in the feelings and thoughts as we were previously.
By the way you can get really creative with the gratitude list. You can make things up as if you already have them. For instance ‘I am grateful for my new lovely partner’, ‘I am grateful for my job and the people I work with’… It helps to get really specific with this … It’s like a post-it note to the future.
The mind does not know the difference between what is imagined and real. That’s amazing! So if we imagine something to be true our body behaves as if it is real. And if our body behaves as if it is real then there is a chance of us manifesting this in real life.
I suggest get yourself a lovely journal, something that makes you want to write in it. Preferably that has enough pages for the year.
Print the ‘Gratitude page’ and the ‘about gratitude’ page out (they are both below) and stick it in the front of your journal.
Then every morning and evening answer the questions on each page.
The key is to keep this up. Practice, practice, practice.