A couple of weeks ago I bought a gratitude journal and every night I write down three things that I am grateful for, or three things that went well that day. This process is supposed to make you happy as you start realizing all the things you already have to be thankful for.
The first entry in my gratitude journal is from July 15th so I’ve been writing in my journal for a little over a month. I bought my journal after reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin (read more about this wonderful book here). She started a gratitude journal hoping it would bring her joy and happiness, but unfortunately it didn’t work for her. I thought I’d give it a try, since it certainly can’t hurt to remind yourself of all the things you have to be thankful for. In this post I share five things I’ve written in my gratitude journal that I am thankful for. Perhaps I will inspire you to start your own journal.
1. My health
Health is one of those things many healthy people take for granted. You only miss it when it’s gone and then nothing matters more than getting it back. I’ve seen many people around me get ill and I really feel extremely grateful that I am healthy. Whenever I have to think about what to write in my gratitude journal, the fact that I am healthy is on the top of the list. No matter what went wrong that day, I am going to be around to live another day. My health is definitely my most valuable possession.
2. My strength
The more struggles I go through, the more I realize how strong I actually am. I think this goes for a lot of people who go through hard times. We are all so much tougher than we realize. The problem is, you don’t realize it until you have no other choice but to be strong. Sometimes I think back to some of the bad times I’ve gone through and I just think “how am I still standing?” I’m much stronger than I thought and I also know I’ll be able to handle all the tough times ahead. In a way that’s a comforting thought.
3. My dreams
I really think that the happiest people in life are those who dream and I am thankful that I am one of those people. I can’t imagine what it’s like to feel like you have everything you ever wanted and nothing left to wish for. Because no matter how uncomfortable or how difficult it is to pursue your dreams, it’s much worse to not dream at all. It’s my dreams and goals in life that get me out of bed each morning. It’s the wishes I have in the back of my head that get me through each hard time. If I didn’t have my dreams to hold on to and that fire in my belly, life would be a whole lot less interesting.
4. My freedom
With all the bad stuff happening in the world I realize very well how grateful I am to be free and safe. I can leave my house without looking over my shoulder, or drive to work without being afraid. I am completely free to do anything or be anyone I want. I can wear any kind of clothes I want, I can live anywhere, I can have any job and I can date whomever I choose. I know a lot of people aren’t so lucky and I am very grateful that I have the freedom to do all those things.
5. My siblings
I have two younger sisters and a brother and they are my heroes. We’ve all gone through some hard times, especially lately, which have brought us even closer together. I realize more and more how grateful I am to have them and how lucky I am to not be an only child. Friendships come and go, but the bond we have really is unbreakable. We are so honest with each other, support each other, laugh at each other, make fun of each other and even scream at each other (via WhatsApp more than any other channel – bold, shouty capitals work very well). Whenever something good happens I want to tell them straight away – and the same is true for when I’m having a hard time. I wouldn’t know what I would do without them and I am extremely grateful to have them.
With this post I want to remind everyone, including myself, that we all have so much to be grateful for. Even on the darkest days there’s always a hidden light: there’s always something that went well, or someone by your side. Focus a little less on all your problems and be thankful for what you have. It’s a powerful process and almost guaranteed to make you a happier person.