Posted on May 7, 2014 by Henry Tarkington
A daily gratitude journal can be surprisingly beneficial. If done daily, the results can be almost magical over time. It is a great supplement to treatment, or a recovery program and to one’s life in general. It will surely be a boost to those in 12-step, or any self-improvement program. A Gratitude Journal can greatly improve most everyone’s life.
It is simple, yet effective. Get a spiral, or other type of notebook and a pen. Though the journal can be done on a computer, tablet, etc. there is possibly a benefit to hand writing in a paper notebook because the Journal becomes a physical entity of its own.
Every day or night, maybe at bed time, but whenever works for you, write down 4 -5 things you are grateful for that day. Every day. Never repeat anything you have already written; everyhttp://www.firststepnc.com/app/wp-admin/edit.phpthing written should be new. Think of something; no matter how bad you feel, how negative, how difficult your day was, how bad your current situation. Even on the worst days, find things you are grateful for and write them down. If you find you are having another grateful experience of something you have already written down, instead of writing it again, find where you wrote it before and read it. Write something new.
A key is to never repeat yourself. Write 3, 4, 5 things that you are thankful for, glad about, happy about, etc. every day at least once a day. Every entry should be about something new. Sometimes if you have a bad day, or a bad period of life; you might write you are grateful that you “have shoes”…”glad to have 2 eyes”. ..”thankful for not being in jail”…”thankful to be breathing.” Most days you will have many meaningful things to be grateful for. The examples above are things most of us have on even our worst days; whatever is true and positive that you are glad you have. Write something new, no matter how insignificant or boring. What you write should be healthy, positive things; things you wouldn’t be ashamed of if your spouse, parents, children, a teacher, pastor, etc. read them. Things that are positive in your life.
If you do this diligently over a period of weeks then months and years, it will eventually become harder and harder to think of new things every day. At this point your brain will automatically be trained to look for things you are grateful for…in the middle of the day, in the shower, driving, at work…wherever, whenever. Your brain will begin searching for things to be grateful for out of habit. Once that begins, don’t stop writing! You’re getting there! You have begun to rewire your brain in a helpful manner. The benefits will likely have already become obvious at this point.
This process, done over time, will cause one to develop “an attitude of gratitude” which will have a positive effect on most, if not all, areas of one’s life. Once this attitude is developed, one’s own negativity will become somewhat more difficult to tolerate. Once you notice your mind automatically searching out things you are grateful for, those will become more noticeable, and more plentiful.
This writer promises if you this every day for 6 months, there will be noticeable improvements in areas your life, some quite unexpected. If you continue it for years, you will be amazed with the positive changes in your life.
“I arrived at First Step with a series of unfortunate events. None the less I couldn’t me more grateful for being able to come here. I do not think I would have ever done this on my own. I was able to see that I’m not alone in this struggle and I learned that I can truly overcome my problems. Treatment really helped me to motivate myself towards a more positive lifestyle. I can now look forward to a sober marriage a sober life, and a sober thought process.” Anonymous