For years, I intended to keep a gratitude journal. I would often hear about the benefits of this daily practice, but somehow it didn’t stick. I know in my heart what I’m thankful for. My health. My family. My friends. The list goes on.
Earlier this year, as I was facing some of life’s challenges, I decided to give it a try. At the moment that we wake each morning, we face a choice of how we will greet the day. My choice to think about the three things that I’m most thankful for in that moment helps to frame what I notice with the rest of my day. Some days, I am thankful for simple things like the smell of coffee brewing, the sun shining through my window, and the morning greeting from my dogs. Other days I am thankful for the larger meaningful things like feeling a genuine connection with a friend, the health of my children and my parents, and general creature comforts that my life has afforded me.
So often, when we wake to check our phone and let the outside in, we let other people determine what we will think about and what we need to focus on during the remainder of the day. Our thoughts and plans get hijacked. Instead, when we start with gratitude, we are in charge of our day. Not only do we reflect on what we are grateful for, but we indeed find more things to be grateful for. We can then cultivate an attitude of gratitude.