Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Gratitude: The Way to True Joy

You have probably heard that one of the best ways to improve your outlook and experience life satisfaction is to count your blessings. We would probably all agree, and most of us are thankful. However, we quickly begin to take things for granted or we simply do not think about being thankful throughout our day. A great way to keep our focus on what we have, the good, the beautiful, the positivie side of things is to keep a Gratitude Journal. I got away from doing this for some time, and a couple of months ago I decided to get back to it. Every night before bed, I think about my day and write down at least three things that I am thankful for. It amazes me that I do not think about being thankful for the simple things at the time they are happening or I quickly forget about them; but when I take time to reflect, I am truly grateful. For example, I found a home remedy for my cat's eye infection that worked. And once after running errands all day, I just made it to the last store ten minutes before they closed.

When I first began my journal, I recorded three things I was grateful for each day. Now I sometimes have a list of seven or more. Another thing that is interesting is that reflecting on the day sometimes reminds me of some unpleasant or frustrating things. Even when thinking about them, I seem to always find at least something I can be thankful for. In doing this, I am practicing gratitude. I am focusing on the positive instead of the negative. There was a time when I spent a great deal of energy focusing on what what wrong instead of what was right, what I did not have rather than what I did have, and what I could not do instead of what I could do. It comes down to perspective. If we think about what we are grateful for, we will spend much more time thinking about the good in our lives. That is one of the best ways to practice happiness. I encourage you to start a Gratitude Journal. It is simple and with practice you can expect to have a happier attitude and outlook.

For more on Gratitude, go to You will find some more exercises and encouragement to practice gratitude and develop a thankful heart.

One of my favorite sections is on Perspective. Check it out here:

My gratitude for my son is best expressed in this video. I wrote the words shortly after he was born. I originally wrote it with his name in the title. This version is altered so everyone can relate and appreciate it.

With a heart of gratitude, Krystal

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