Hello Everyday Gratituders!
Are you one of those people who finds it hard to practise what you preach? Yup, that’s me too.
I’ve been finding that when life gets really busy (as it is for me at the moment), one of the first things that slips is taking the time to think about what I’m thankful for. I’m too busy doing things – I don’t have time to think about anything else!
The problem with that is that I have a very subtle tipping point from ‘happy busy’ to ‘crazy busy’ and once I get into the latter state it’s not long before I’m grumbling about minor things, getting upset out of all proportion and resenting rather than thanking.
I had a shocker of a day earlier this week. As I headed home I was getting stressed by being in the city at rush hour, being unfamiliar with public transport, just feeling overwhelmed by everything. I found myself on the train getting all anxious and upset. But somehow I remembered to think – what about this situation can I be grateful for? I was on an express train and I had a seat. Such a small thing, really, but such a wondrous thing at that moment. I was comfortable. I was going to get home sooner. The realisation calmed me down enough to get me home in one piece (I allowed myself a little meltdown once I got home, but it diffused reasonably quickly).
I can’t wait for 2016 to start so I can start using my diary! (I love hearing this from many of you too!) But maybe in the meantime I need to just start using one of my many half-filled notebooks to deliberately write down what I’m grateful for instead of just thinking about it.
Emmons [a gratitude researcher] points to research showing that translating thoughts into concrete language—whether oral or written—has advantages over just thinking the thoughts: It makes us more aware of them, deepening their emotional impact.
“Writing helps to organize thoughts, facilitate integration, and helps you accept your own experiences and put them in context,” he says. “In essence, it allows you to see the meaning of events going on around you and create meaning in your own life.”
You can do it in any notebook of course, but I think making pleasant rituals is a good thing, which is why I developed the Everyday Gratitude Diary. I wanted to have a lovely book to record good things in. You can grab your own copy, or buy one for a friend here.