Woman holding onto her gratitude list with a heart shape behind her

Why Did I Wait on Starting a Gratitude List?

There has been a lot of buzz about gratitude lists and journals. I heard great testimonials for their benefits. I read articles on how much they actually could improve health. Heck, I even recommended them to my clients and saw the positive impact they had on each of them.

Not another to-do

When it came to my personal life however, I couldn’t get the habit to stick. I had an existing morning and evening routine that I liked, so I guess I just saw this as another thing I needed to add in. I treasure that personal time at the beginning and end of each day. I didn’t want it now to have a to-do list.

Then I decided to put my excuses aside and give it a try. Even if I tried it just for a week, what could it hurt? Although would one week really be enough to make a difference?

Starting simple

I made it as easy as possible. At the end of my typical one page of daily journaling, I wrote a list of five things for which I was grateful. It had to be something new each day.

What I quickly found is that I started looking for moments of gratitude throughout my day.

I had a moment one day when I realized that I was retraining my brain to see all the good things in my life. What I loved most was that it wasn’t doing it in a way that it suppressed feelings that were anything but positive (because I don’t believe that to be realistic or healthy), it instead it actually helped me to recognize even small moments of gratitude in situations that would otherwise overwhelm and consume me.

Some of the things on my gratitude list:

  • Finding a parking space – especially when I’m short on time
  • Having the money to pay the bills (instead of getting frustrated over the things that I can’t afford!)
  • Waking up without a migraine
  • My amazing friends that have supported me so well in my wedding planning – especially the times when the absence of my late mother was deeply felt.
  • Having a good hair day :)
  • Remembering to take my vitamins – morning and night – for an entire week

The moments don’t have to be big, in fact I found relief in finding so many moments of joy in the average day. It helped to get me out of the mindset that life happens in those big milestone moments. Those are certainly exciting moments to celebrate in life, but they are likely few and far between.

There is so much joy to be discovered in our day in the average moments. They’re there and what I have found is a gratitude list is an easy way to start training your mind to see them more clearly.

Let’s start now!

What is one thing that happened today that you’re grateful for?

I’m grateful that despite the fact that I currently have a very sparse refrigerator, I was able to make a salad for lunch. I saved money for not going out and I fueled my body with good food. Win-win. Oh and I just thought of one more (see how this works, more moments of gratitude start to just pop in your head like popcorn!), a morning meeting got moved up and because I decided to fill up on gas last night, I didn’t get in the car this morning to the gas light shining bright. I felt like such an adult in that moment!

Okay, now your turn...share your list in the comments below.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Migraine.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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