A gratitude diary creates a circle of happy
The gratitude diary keeps popping up in my search for ways to be more positive and mindful. I love writing and surely something that combines writing with mindfulness equals lots of happy?
Being grateful helps us to feel more gratitude and triggers positive feelings
What the heck is a gratitude diary?
It’s simply a way of noting positive things you’re grateful for on a regular basis and has been shown to increase your happiness. Keeping a five-minute a day gratitude diary increases well-being by over 10%.
Increased gratitude is a common result of practising mindfulness according to the Mindfulness Project. Focusing on the positive rather than negative things in your life has a beneficial effect on your psychological, social and physical well-being.
So, the more mindful you are, the more grateful you’ll feel. The more grateful you feel, the happier and positive you’ll be. All good in theory then.
Have you tried to start a gratitude diary?
I’ve got lots to be grateful for. I’ve got two healthy children and a nice home for instance. But whenever I start writing things down my mind goes off on a tangent and keeps twisting it all.
One of the keys to getting it going is to be specific so I tried focusing my first day of gratitude on Tiddler, my 3 year old.
Tiddler is a happy little soul who always has a smile on his face and makes us laugh. Easy peasy then to be grateful, but somehow, I kept missing the point. Maybe the sleep deprivation and constant illness is getting to me. We appear to be playing childhood illness bingo this year – so far we’ve had sickness bugs, coughs, colds, chicken pox and now we’re trying on scarlet fever for size.
Being a work at home mum means I have plenty of time to muse about these things. Here’s my first attempt at things I’d like to be grateful for (but somehow just can’t be):
My Tiddler-based gratitude diary
I’m grateful for being able to see the sun rise
Thank you Tiddler for helping me to appreciate the early morning. 5.45am is an amazing time of the day. Without your loud singing and bouncing around first thing, I’d never be able to see the sun rise or appreciate just how noisy those bl**dy birds are during the dawn chorus.
I’m grateful for how energetic you are on so little sleep
I love how you wake so early each day, bright and full of bounce. It really is wonderful how you can be so energetic and cheerful. Especially when you woke up several times in the night screaming about tadpoles, waking the rest of us. Apparently you don’t need sleep.
I love how you share your half-eaten food
It’s so thoughtful of you to share your food with me. I love the way you deposit those biscuit crumbs, raisins and bits of pasta under cushions for me to find days later, it’s like a crazy-fun Hansel and Gretal type treasure hunt. Maybe you’re putting it there in case I feel like a snack while I’m cleaning? So generous.
It’s brilliant that you have a healthy appetite and want to try a bit of everything
I am grateful that you have such a healthy appetite. Not only do you scoff all your own food at dinner time but you want to share mine too. Sharing is caring after all.
I’m grateful that you’re so comfortable with your body
Thank you for being so open about your toilet habits. I love how comfortable you are sharing with me and anyone else in earshot, that you need a poo. Or how much wee you’ve done. Oh, and I really appreciate discussing it at the dinner table too.
I’m grateful you want me to tuck you in at night, it makes me feel great
But I really do love it that you can’t settle each night until you’ve had your bedtime hug and tell me ‘mummy I love you’. That warm fuzzy feeling makes up for all the other stuff a hundred times over.
OK, so I might be getting the hang of this gratitude diary thing after all…
Have you started a diary of your own? How did it work out? Let me know…