The simplest way to form a positive connection with the people and things around you is to ignite your sense of gratitude. When trouble is bring you down, you have lost your sense of connection, and life seem to not be flowing in your favor reverse the current by getting into a state of gratitude for all the blessings that are surrounding you.
“Journaling is an effective way to record the conscious and to draw out the subconscious happenings of your mind.”
A gratitude journal is a journal that records all the good happening in your life. When life may be getting you down or you are feeling disconnected or isolated reading back through a gratitude journal provides the evidence of your connection and value in the world by showing you the good happening around you and through you and the good others bring to you.
Many encourage daily use of a gratitude journal although science reports a weekly gratitude practice is more beneficial and will significantly increase the level of sustained happiness in life. If used 1-7 days per week, the important thing is to use it at least once per week and incorporate a few of the following tips at each use:
- Use the gratitude journal to record reminders of gifts, graces, benefits, and good received.
- Record moments of ordinary events, personal attributes, and valued people.
- At each entry include 1-3 things you are grateful for; be specific. Note who was involved; these are the people who support you and care for you. Are they people you know or kind strangers? Is there a new relationship there ready to be developed?
- Go through the emotions of gratitude, not just the motions of gratitude. Consciously decide to use this practice to be happier in life as well as grateful.
- Go for depth over breadth; elaborate with detail.
- Get personal; focus on people and connection over things.
- What would life be like without certain blessings?
- Savor the surprises and the unexpected.
Many coaches encourage the use of a gratitude journal on a daily basis to help clients increase their daily awareness of how good life is. Some of the results clients report from a daily use of a gratitude journal are:
- Increased awareness of the things going well in their lives.
- Increased appreciation of life overall.
- Desire to share the experience of gratitude with others by blessing others with kind comments, gifts, and kind acts.
- Increased desire to pass along the positives of life.
- Focus on the positives of life, de-emphasis on the negatives of life.
- Created space for the pleasurable experience of gratitude.
- Noticed the small things that make it easy to “fall in love” with your life.
- Feeling of more blessings, security, happiness, faith and courage.
- Recognition of resources available which leads to increased courage and faith.
Today’s Simple Smile Igniter is to start your Gratitude Journal. In a notebook, on your computer, or on your phone start a place to capture all you are grateful for. For those who receive the weekly Unlocking the Fullness of Life E-Mail, each week I share a .pdf of a Gratitude Journal Page that can be printed or saved to a computer and used. Each page includes:
- Space for an Intention Statement, I share how to create a Gratitude Intention Statement in the Welcome E-Mail of the Series.
- A Journal Prompt to perhaps present another perspective or aspect of life to be grateful for.
- Plenty of free form space to write, sketch, or mind map other gratitude experiences.
Check out the series by sending a blank e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org