If you are a human you should try this

A few months back I was talking to a friend about the holidays coming up and how even though it is a time of excitement and anticipation, we both agreed there’s a certain amount of stress that goes along with it. Often before shopping, baking, or gift wrapping has even started I told her I feel anxious just thinking about getting it all done. She pointed out that since I am human (a condition I’m currently stuck with… dang it!) it’s natural for my mind to gravitate toward negative thinking. I asked her what I could do to change that and she told me about gratitude journaling.

Before you roll your eyes and click the x at the top, hear me out! I’m guessing your phone is within .3 feet of your person. Pick it up and go to the app store. Search: gratitude journal. I started out with a free version before making the executive decision to upgrade to gratitude365 that cost 99 cents (guess we won’t be putting anything away in savings this month, sorry honey.) I would say I take less than a minute at night to review my day and think about things I can be grateful for. Some days it’s really easy to think of hundreds of things; some days I struggle to think of 5. That’s ok.

I would say about 2 weeks after starting this journal I began to notice something. My days were more joyful! I smiled more and really started taking in little things that happened that I appreciated. I consciously went through my day looking for things to be grateful for, knowing I would write it down later that night. Imagine this: After cleaning my entire house I come into the kitchen and Noah has pulled everything off the bottom shelf of the pantry and dumped quinoa (tiny little beads FYI) all over the pantry floor. Although I immediately felt myself getting angry, the next thought that came into my mind was, “I’m grateful for this opportunity to practice patience.” Wait. Is this real life? Did I really just have that thought?

Now I’m no saintly parent or anything (stop laughing, Joe) but that was a pretty neat experience! And there is a zoo of research out there about how being mindful and conscious with your actions actually changes the structure of your brain. I got really excited at the beginning of November when people started posting their daily gratitudes on Facebook! Go get ‘em brain changers.

You can be grateful for me, mom!
I am eternally grateful for you, Noah.

So, if there’s something I can do for 99 cents (next month hon, I promise) that brings more joy into my daily life… sign me up :-)

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5 thoughts on “If you are a human you should try this

  1. Made me laugh even though I am proctoring a test and have to be quiet! So I am searching for the reasons to be grateful today that I gave blood samples got a tb test and a flu shot….will have to get back to you on this… My testee is finishing up.

    • You get to volunteer at St. Luke’s now. And you won’t get the flu. And you can’t give the flu to anyone else. And you know for sure you don’t have TB. Just getting you started. I’m a pro now ;-)

  2. I am thankful for my lovely wife, my beautiful son, and our fruitful marriage. Thank you for being a positive light for everyone who reads your blog babe!

  3. Love your blog, Elizabeth! Your family is so cute. How have I never heard of this app??! Just downloaded it and can’t wait to start using it. I usually lay in bed at night thinking about all of the things I didn’t get done for the day..maybe this will help turn my thought process around! Keep up the blogging…I’ll be following along :)

    Mandy Russell