How a Gratitude Journal Changed My Outlook On Life

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How a Gratitude Journal Changed My Outlook On Life

Photo by Sisyphus Sosorakis on Unsplash

Thankfulness is not just for Thanksgiving

In 1998, I separated and moved with my two young children back to my hometown. Unable to afford a house on my own, we moved into my older brother’s home. Looking for a job proved to be challenging, especially with kids aged one and three.

In one year, I hit three of the five top stressors in life…divorce, moving, and job loss.

I also turned 30.

Knowing my struggles, my girlfriend gave me a journal as a birthday gift. She encouraged me to write three things every day for which I felt grateful. Then she took it up a notch and challenged me to find three different things to be thankful for each day.

At first, I guffawed at her suggestion. However, not one to turn down a challenge, I took up my pen and wrote three things every day.

Some days felt so dismal that I had to search for something to be grateful for. I wrote about the spider web in the ceiling corner that reflected the sunlight. I wrote about chalk drawings that washed away in the rain.

Every day, I found myself looking for something to be thankful for. My mood improved, my feelings of stress lifted, and I felt more positive and happy. My entire outlook on life lightened.

Years later, I decided to share the benefits of gratitude journaling with my family.

I purchased small journals (with cute pictures of dogs on the cover) for each of my children and my hubby.

My hubby’s journal is on the left and my own is on the right

After supper, we adjourned to the living room and took five minutes to write five things we were grateful for that day. Then we each shared our lists.

The exercise opened up opportunities for us to talk as a family. We were able to share in more detail each thing that we felt thankful for.

At a time when my children were growing and getting quieter about their day, this exercise helped to keep the conversation flowing.

I will forever be grateful to my girlfriend for giving me the best gift on my birthday — the gift of thankfulness.

You may also like How Do We Change Our Thoughts

If you like books that help you to find the good in every day, then you’ll love this journal that focuses on life’s blessings. Buy ABCs of Gratitude: giving thanks through the alphabet for your blessings to foster a spirit of thankfulness today!

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