September 21st is World Gratitude Day. Individuals, communities and organizations will come together and celebrate gratitude in their lives, together or desperately in all different sort of ways.
To me, gratitude was simply finding appreciation and giving thanks, but I’ve come to realize it’s so much more – it allows me to live in the present and find happiness in all situations. Gratitude is humbling and can steal us from any self pity-party we may be tempted to throw.
Over time, my gratitude list can feel monotonous, like a habit; I’m always thankful for my husband, my family, my job, and my health. In order to break this habit and redirect my gratitude, I use a gratitude journal to reflect on the overlooked aspects of my life.
- What is something you’re looking forward to?
- What’s physical attribute do you love most about yourself?
- What accomplishment are you most proud of?
- What’s the last thing you were gifted? Who gifted it to you? Write about them.
- How do you help others?
- Who is your mentor?
- What character trait do you love most about yourself?
- What tradition are you grateful for?
- What mistakes/fails are you grateful for?
- What is something you have now, which you didn’t have a year ago?
- What creative work or creator are you grateful for?
- What technology are you grateful for?
- What specific thing, pertaining to your health, are you grateful for?
- What challenge are you grateful for?
- What is a lesson you’ve recently learned?
- What is a fear you’re grateful to have overcome?
- What is a risk that you’re grateful you took?
By physically writing out my reflections I am able to express more than a few thoughts, which helps me uncover the magnitude of my gratitude. However, there’s no right or wrong way! The purpose is to recognize the good in our lives, the good that goes deeper than family, friends, and health. I sincerely believe we can cultivate our own happiness if we only live with grateful hearts.