It’s wicked Wednesday. Hump Day. The week is half over. Time for a wicked indulgence. Comfort for a bad day or celebration for a good day. You earned it.
Today’s wicked indulgence: Start a Gratitude Journal. If you are feeling unhappy or stressed out, a gratitude journal can change your outlook and improve your health. It is a wicked good tool for turning sadness into happiness.
It is so easy. Just start by writing three things that you appreciate today: The sunshine, a good cup of coffee, a smile or courtesy from a friend or coworker, a good hair day, hearing a favorite song on the radio, anything that pleases you. Minimally on a bad day, I will say “ I am fed. I am warm. I am comfortable. I am loved.
Expand your gratitude to actual incidents and describe them. Think about the stuff that bothers you and try to find something good about it – in other words -look for the silver lining. Flip it from a bad thing to a good thing.
Negativity, envy, and jealousy are emotions that we all experience from time to time and it is human nature to want what you do not have. Life is less stressful if you are immersed in gratitude for what you have rather than worrying about what you think you should have.
Thinking positive and appreciative thoughts makes you feel good. Gratitude triggers the release of oxytocin which calms the nervous system and decreases the release of the stress hormone cortisol.
Studies show that keeping a gratitude journal is good for your health. It can lower blood pressure, improve immunity, decrease heart inflammation, reduce the consumption of dietary fat, and encourage better sleep.
People who keep a gratitude journal or who regularly express gratitude are likely to have strong feelings of well being. They exercise more, eat less, and sleep better. They are kind and compassionate and are able to honestly express happiness and satisfaction with life.
Anxiety, fear, and worry can consume your life. Taking charge of your life by choosing to feel gratitude helps you let go of these feelings. You will feel more relaxed and comfortable. Happier.
Gratitude must be recognized, acknowledged, and appreciated. It requires some practice. Record at least three things a day that trigger your gratitude in a journal, notebook, or sticky note so you can reflect back. Try to think about those incidents or feelings that disturb you and look for one thing that is good about them. Recently, I had dinner with my crabby, old, hateful mother who had absolutely nothing good to say. That night I wrote: “ I am glad that my mother is alive, self-sufficient, and healthy.” It took some of the sting out of her aggravating visit.
Write, draw, or speak of your gratitude. Share the best part of your day with your family at dinner and ask about their day. Buy a pretty journal or scrapbook and some pretty pens or markers and write, draw, or embellish your journal or scrapbook. Be as creative as you want to be. Download a Gratefulness app or visit a website to make your list. Practice looking for the good side in a bad situation. Be observant. Block out those negative emotions with real gratefulness. Focus on the good things. Life is too short to worry about stupid things.