Earlier this year I was feeling very down. I’m not sure if it was depression, but I was unhappy. The worst part was that the logical side of me knew I had nothing to be unhappy about. I have everything a person could want in life but, at the time, nothing seemed good enough.
I have heard the term ‘practicing gratitude’ many times before, but it always sounded silly and definitely not for me. It was just for the negative, cynical types. For people who complained a lot. For bad attitudes. For those people.
Only when I was deep in a rut did I realize I was wrong and that I was one of those people. I recalled Zig Ziglar saying “you will never find a happy, ungrateful person,” so I thought I should give it a try.
For a little more than a month I have been keeping a gratitude journal. It has become a habit and I love it. It has changed my life for the better and it can do the same for you.
Here are five suggestions to help make the experience more effective:
- Do it daily: it doesn’t matter what time of day, just find a time that works for you and stick to it
- Committ to at least a month: 30 days is long enough to see results and to form a habit
- Handwrite it: writing things down helps embed them deeper in your brain
- Start with five items: there is no magic to five, but it’s best to start small and grow from there
- Act on at least one: action is what makes the feeling stick
I plan on keeping this as part of my routine before I go to sleep at night. I feel great when my head hits the pillow and I seem to wake up in a better mood.
I am living proof of what Zig said often:
Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions.
- Article: The 31 Benefits of Gratitude You Didn’t Know About: How Gratitude Can Change Your Life
- Article: Why Gratitude Is Good
- Article: 10 Ways to Become More Grateful
- Article: 10 Practices For Gratitude
- Article: The Grateful Brain
- Podcast: Get Happy With The Executive Happiness Coach
- Podcast: Life’s A Speech
- Video: Attitude Makes All The Difference (The Lady From Birmingham)
- Video: Zig Ziglar’s Wall of Gratitude
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