“The discipline of gratitude is the explicit effort to acknowledge that all I am and have is given to me as a gift of love, a gift to be celebrated with joy.”
— Henri J. M. Nouwen
Thanksgiving is, without question, my very favorite holiday. Somehow it has escaped the over-commercialization that so many holidays have fallen victim to. It remains a time to enjoy family and friends while pausing to reflect on and appreciate what we have to be thankful for.
Coming up to it has been particularly fun for me this year. For some reason, in this past month or so the subject of keeping a gratitude journal has come up in several different areas of my life. I’ve had the opportunity to discuss my experience of keeping a gratitude journal and what it has done to impact my quality of life with a number of people.
Since I like to keep things simple, I have chosen to use a small spiral notebook that I keep handy. I used to make entries every night before going to sleep, although I’m not quite as consistent as I used to be. But, with all this discussion the daily habit may return!
What I have noticed as a result of keeping a gratitude journal:
- I always go to sleep with happy thoughts.
- I began noticing more and more things to be grateful for.
- I could refer to my notebook when I was having a difficult day and it changed my attitude very quickly.
- It was fun to see who showed up in it regularly and share that with them.
- After a while, I found that I was just naturally feeling grateful and I didn’t have to look for things to put on my list.
So, I invite you to give it a try. It’s a wonderful practice that will impact you more than you imagine.
And, I realize you may not want to commit to a regular journal. If not, how about committing to writing down 10 or 20 things to recognize on Thanksgiving Day? Take some time to reflect and, if you want it to take on even more value, share those things with others.
Wishing you many things to be thankful for and a joyful holiday–
Small Business Coach