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Starting a Gratitude Journal

One of my favorite sayings is, “Start Each Day with a Grateful Heart” so I decided to start a Gratitude Journal. There is always something to be Thankful For. So often we (me) look at all the things that are going wrong, could be going wrong or have gone wrong in our lives

that we forget about all the things that actually go right. We forget to just be Grateful for those other moments. Sometimes those moments are small, but they deserve the same attention as the big ones. For 30 days I used a gratitude journal and wrote down things I was grateful for. It helped me to remember all the good in my life and not harp on the negative so much. Practicing gratitude daily for those 30-days helped relieve some stress, which lessened some of my anxiety, which improved my sleep. I felt my happiest after I completed my 30-days, so I continued it. There were days that I did not write but I at least thought about what I was grateful for that day. When I tell you, I got some of the best sleep when I turned my attention on the positive things going on in my life. Now that does not mean that I did not think about the bad things, I just chose not to focus my entire time on them.

The gratitude journal I used had little prompts that I used to start my writing off. I loved that

the prompts gave me something different to be grateful for daily. It also had a page to do

monthly reflection on the things I was grateful for. I got to write down my favorite moments,

things I learned, things I can improve on and goals and intentions. Having this journal, I got to be grateful for small victories, smells, lessons learned, people, good things, connections, things that made me smile and so much more. One of my favorite prompts was, write a small victory you had today. I loved this prompt because I had to look at my day and think about the little things that made my day great. One of those days where the prompt talked about the small victories, I wrote about having courage to stand up to my supervisor about changing my work schedule. All the other secretaries in the office had alternate work schedules except me. I was trying to change my schedule to accommodate picking up my sons from school because the distance from the office and their school was causing me to be late picking them up. Me leaving early everyday would not affect the workflow as there was always another secretary if there was an emergency. Most times I would be angry and fuss but stay quiet at the same time. What I mean is, I would complain about not getting the same treatment but would not stand up for myself. But that day, I stood up for myself. I opened my mouth and asked, and it worked out. My supervisor never even thought to ask me if I wanted an alternate schedule. I was so grateful for myself and standing up for myself, something I need to do more of. Another prompt that I wrote about that touched me was what I learned today. That day I learned so much about myself. I learned that I need to be more open with myself about my feelings. I hold back from myself and expect others to understand and that’s not how things work. 

I learned that I need to voice how I feel to everyone around me if I want to get my needs

met. I learned that I need help with loving myself. Yes, I am aware that I struggled with self-

esteem issues growing up, but I did not realize it still resonated in my adult life. I am grateful

for seeing this and knowing that I need to do something to change for the better. Take the time to just write what you are grateful for every day. I promise it will give you a new look on life. You will remember all the good in your life and leave little room for the negative. Try it for 30-days and see what results you get. If for no other reason you will have a book of ALL the things you are grateful for to look back on when those bad times or negative things come up. Your gratitude book will be your reminder to just smile knowing there is a small or big light at the end of the tunnel.

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