The Gratitude List Project
You may forget the little things that you’re grateful for in your life. However, if you have them listed in your journal or in a special diary, those reminders may help reinforce your emotions of gratitude.
When negative feelings or self-doubt overwhelm you, refer to your written gratitude list. Push through the negative emotions with a few positive thoughts.
How to Start Your Gratitude List
A gratitude list can begin with something simple like to list 20 things each day that stir your gratitude. Even a few gratitude items each day can serve as an emotional re-set during challenging times. Think of things you are grateful for and start writing them out.
If you get stuck, think about the people in your life. Who makes you happy? List out the aspects of what those people do to make you happy. It can be something simple, such as having music in your car during commute time, or having flowers on your desk when working at home.
The point is, no item is too small to add to the list. Perhaps, you love the jokes that the barista tells you when you get your cup of coffee and your muffin. That qualifies for the list, too. Your list should never be complete as you will find new experiences and people to add to it,
Build on the Foundation
Each day, there is potential for people to make a small difference in your life. But, remember that you make differences in other peoples’ lives as well. Try to make those experiences more positive than negative. If there are people around you, who bring you down try to help them to be more positive. If you are the one bringing people down, you need to try and reverse this.
The list will be a big factor in helping you. Negative and bitter feelings stem from not appreciating your life and all the things in it. That’s why keeping a list is so important.
It's Your Turn
You can choose to write your gratitude list on a piece of paper, or you can capture your thoughts on an electronic device. It doesn’t matter how you store it, but you want your list to be accessible.
Commit to reading your own gratitude list and update it regularly with new ideas.
Stretch yourself with more complex gratitude challenges – like having a daily list of 26 items following the letters of the alphabet.
For example, my alphabet gratitude list includes the alphabet item and a short note about why I'm grateful for that item.
A – Apples – healthy snacks
B – Brainpower – a decent recovery from a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
C – Crocheting – relaxation and creativity at my fingertips
D- Devotionals – a calming way to start each morning
You get the idea. The list can be whatever you want it to be and can be zen or zany – you choose!
Add to your gratitude list as you find more things that you are grateful for in your life. Maintaining this list could be the basis for a book that you write about appreciating your life. By publishing your list, you may help others do the same. The book “A Gift of Gratitude” is a collection of short essays about how gratitude changes lives. I participated in this book project last year and have learned so much from reading the other stories.
My essay is titled The Healing Power of Crochet and I wrote about a difficult time in my life when I crocheted my way from pain to healing after a sudden brain injury.
When you share your ideas, others may get inspired to be more grateful. Their list will not likely be the same as yours, but people are different so it’s only natural that each list would be different.
Sharing is caring and a gratitude list is an excellent way to improve your life and the lives of those around you.
Are you ready? Begin today! What is one thing that you are grateful for today? Leave a comment below…