Editor’s note: The following article is written by a Skinny Mom Resident Mom. The Resident Mom program gives a voice to our readers, allowing moms across the world to contribute content to Skinny Mom. If you’re interested in becoming a Resident Mom, click here to apply.
After a few rough weeks where life had seemed to be working against me, I soon realized a very important missing element that was helping to contribute to my strife: gratitude. More importantly, the act of purposefully being grateful. It seemed that with all the recent hustle and bustle of my life – moving, beginning a new job, finding childcare, dealing with my mother’s health concerns and all the other “stuff” that comes with living and breathing – I had become too busy, too tired and too distracted to write in my gratitude journal. This was evident by my grouchy moods and negative thinking.
I quickly pulled out my pink journal and began my entry.
“I am grateful for the bouquet of flowers my daughter picked from the flowerbed and handed to me. May I be reminded how fleeting these days are.”
“I am grateful for laughs with a friend.”
“I am grateful that I am able to live close to my mom and help her during this time.”
As women, we go through a myriad of emotions throughout the day. Sometimes it proves difficult at the close of the day to calm our thoughts. All too often, we replay the events of the day or worry about the to-do lists of tomorrow.
I have found in my own life, taking the last few moments before sleeping to document 3-5 things for which I am grateful has had a substantial positive impact on my mental and physical wellbeing. It’s not only anecdotal, but science has proven it. Researchers have discovered the purposeful act of gratitude not only improves attitude, but also improves physical health and self-esteem. Gratitude reduces aggression, improves sleep and strengthens immunity.
>> Read more: 12 Reasons to Keep a Journal
Personally, I’ve found it often allows me to see situations in a different light and causes me to look beyond myself and my own limitations. For me, it becomes part of my spiritual journey as well. If you’re ready to begin and purchase your own gratitude journal, here are some tips for getting started.
1. Be purposeful: Keeping a gratitude journal must become a habit. It must be something you commit to doing for at least a month, not just on especially good or bad days. Allow this to be your “me” time. Turn off the TV and the phones and find a spot where you can just sit for as little as five minutes to reflect on your day and give thanks.
2. Be creative: When first beginning to write in a gratitude journal, it’s easy. Of course, we can always find something to be grateful for: our family, our health or our friends; dig deeper. Look for the small occurrences that you normally would have overlooked had you not been searching.
3. Be reflective: Keeping a gratitude journal is a great tool to reflect back on when you’re having especially rough days.
Some days, it’s so easy to vent and unwind by complaining. Instead, when you find yourself going down that path, stop and give thanks. After some consistency, you will reap the benefits and enjoy a newfound outlook and peace that comes in finding and appreciating the goodness in your life.
>> Read more: Journals: There’s One for Everyone Out There