Since really facing my depression, I realized I wasn't showing much gratitude for my life. It was an easy trap to fall in to. I stopped being thankful for the small things, and the big things followed right along.
I've recently started making a gratitude list at the end of the day. It's a simple reminder to slow down and take stock of the things I'm grateful for each day.
I'm trying to make some new habits to help me appreciate life. Making a gratitude list is one of them. And you know what? It's helping. Really. Gratitude has been a missing key to contentment.
Here's how I'm doing it:
* Find a place for your writing
I wanted a single place for each of my daily lists to keep the habit consistent. I went the geeky route and chose to make it a daily entry in the superb Day One journaling app.
Whatever you pick, choose something nice you'll enjoy using.
* Find a time to write
Again, consistency is going to help build the habit. Find a reliable time each day to write. Try to keep it the same time every day.
I write mine in the evening before bed. I even set a reminder on my phone so my oatmeal brain won't let me down.
* Find a workable way to write
Don't make this a strain on yourself. It needs to be an enjoyable process. I just make a simple three item list each day.
Here's mine from yesterday:
- Enjoying a pumpkin pie latte
- Breaking Bad reruns
- Tucking in my boys
You could write a paragraph each day, or write for five minutes about everything you're grateful for. Changing up the way you write your gratitude list every so often might keep things fresh.
Just keep it simple and consistent.
* Take the time to savor it
Slow down and take your time. Breathe in the gratitude. Relive those moments and memories as you write. Be thankful for them.
I also enjoy reading over past entries, especially when I'm feeling down.
That's it. Simple. Sweet. Straight to the point.
I hope you'll seriously consider making gratitude a habit. Encourage your students and children to do it as well. It might just be the thing you've been missing.