About two months ago I started keeping a gratitude journal and it’s had a big impact on me. Every morning I take a moment to write out three things I’m grateful for. In the beginning it felt unnatural. I felt like I was just forcing myself not to think about how tired I was feeling or how much I had to do that day. Overtime it’s gotten easier. I’ve noticed that my attention has shifted a bit, I notice good things throughout my day that I may not have noticed before. It’s not always easy to fill out my three things all the time. There are some mornings when I wake up on the wrong foot and just BS my gratitude list with things like “going back to bed tonight” and “not being on fire”, but it’s okay to get days like that. Maintaining the habit of building gratitude is more important than the daily content of the list.
I know it’s far too early for Christmas music, but the song was relevant. I first heard it when I watched the movie with my family on Christmas Eve. It didn’t really impact me much the first time I heard it. It was nice and all, but I didn’t give it much thought. It wasn’t until much later that I heard it again and payed attention to the lyrics.
I like the idea of using gratitude to counter thoughts of anxiety. In fact I’m pretty sure I read about that being a method of cognitive therapy in one of my Psychology classes.
Speaking of therapy, the Ponder Point on page 47 of Active Hope struck me. The fact that we’ve consumed so much stuff and are emotionally worse off for it shows how misguided we’ve been. It seems like we’re finally questioning what really makes us happy instead of just assuming that it’s all about having more stuff. It’s kind of crazy and ironic to think that we’re using advertisements to intentionally make our society unhappy so we’ll go out and buy more stuff to make us happy. We’re creating problems and capitalizing on poor solutions. It’s so unnecessary.