Rediscovering Gratitude Just in Time for Thanksgiving

gratitude journalI frequently wrap up my Zen Under Ten talks with a quick review of what I think of as some of the low-hanging fruit practices – meaning those practices that require minimal time or effort on our part that can have a big impact on our moods, our resiliency, our overall happiness. Without question, to me the number one item on that hit list is gratitude journalling, and I have been a devoted gratitude practitioner for many years.

But not this year. About three weeks ago, just in time for the Thanksgiving season, I realized that it had been nearly a year since I wrote an entry in my gratitude journal or talked about gratitude in a consistent way with my family. I’m not sure whether I ever consciously decided to take a break or if it was just a case of  “maybe I’ll take a pass tonight because I’m too tired” turning into a 12-month lapse without my even noticing it. But it’s probably the latter. And it’s probably not a coincidence that looking back on what has been a very difficult year for me, I have been feeling depleted, overwhelmed and far from my best.

So, I decided to take some of my own advice:

Step One: Compassion! No use wasting time regretting the lapses of the past year. Just let it go and get to work.

Step Two: Get My Gratitude On! I pulled my gratitude journal out of the drawer, grabbed a pen and wrote down three good things.

And let me say for the record, gratitude journalling is just as transformational the second time around. It’s been three weeks now, and I am amazed by the difference in my energy and moods. I’m more patient with my kids, more focused at work and feeling better about myself generally. Talk about low-hanging, high-impact fruit!

So this Thanksgiving when I make the list of all the things I am grateful for – I think gratitude journalling might be at the top of the list because, as I discovered this holiday season, it’s never too late to rediscover gratitude.

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If you liked this, you might also like:

Gratitude Journaling with your Kids

A Gratitude Practice in the Palm of your Hand

 

 

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