Being Grateful

November seems like the perfect time to share with you about the thankfulness journal that I started a while ago.  The concept of writing down the things you are thankful for each day is not new by any means, so I’m not proposing this is something I came up with entirely on my own, but nonetheless it is a wonderful practice and makes a huge difference in ones frame of mind, attitude, and sense of well being.

I have always been an optimistic type of person, as I’m sure I’ve mentioned a time or two before, and it usually comes quite easily for me to see the good in things.  I am often delighted and find joy in the very simplest of things, and I believe this has helped me tremendously as I’ve went through various things in my life, some of which have been very difficult.  You know how life is…

During times of trouble it’s sometimes a bit harder to find the joy, and what I’ve found is that as I force a shift in my way of thinking, the feelings seem to follow suit.  And one of the great ways of doing this is simply to look for things to be grateful for.  No matter what the circumstances are or the situation is, there is always something to be thankful for.

For me, just appreciating my five senses gets me every time.  All those “simplest” of things I mentioned that I find joy in are usually directly related to something I can see, hear, touch, smell, or taste.  Our five senses are so easily taken for granted, but if even one of them were to be absent it would make a huge impact in our lives.

One day when I was in a very dark place, I was sitting on my couch, ruminating on all of the horrible things that were going on in my life at that time.  Going over the list in my mind and spiraling further into a pit of despair.  Completely out of character for me, but it was a difficult time like I said.  Anyway, as I was sinking deeper and becoming even more distressed, I happened to notice a candle that was burning nearby, and as I continued to stare at it, very quietly other thoughts started creeping into my mind.  I thought of how much I like candles, how warm and comforting they are, how pleasant the aroma of the wax is, as I watched the flame flickering I thought about the nice ambiance lighting candles give off.  And slowly a shift, I began feeling thankful.  Thankful for the light, the warmth, and the aroma of that candle, and then for the eyes to see, the nose to smell, and on it went.  Before long, I was feeling better, more positive thoughts and things I was grateful for came to mind, and with them little flickers of hope like the flickering of the candle’s flame.   Slowly I began to realize that what I was going through was only temporary, that it won’t always be that way, that “this too shall pass.”  No idea where that quote is from, it’s just something my dad used to say.

And so it goes… shifting your way of thinking, and being grateful even for the simplest thing, like a candle, can lift your spirits and help put the things in your life into a better perspective.

I don’t usually have a problem finding things to be grateful for, it’s quite often the exact opposite for me, so in my case with my thankfulness journal I wanted to slow it down and really focus on just one thing each day, to take the time to give that one thing enough attention to allow it to fully sink in.  And to write about it in detail in a special journal reserved only for that type of contemplation gives it, gives me even a deeper sense of appreciation.

So today amidst the regular mundane, the chaos, or the pain, I encourage you to find something to be grateful for.  Just one thing.  Write it down, ruminate over it, and see how much better you feel…

~

“Gratitude is one of the sweet shortcuts to finding peace of mind and happiness inside.  No matter what is going on outside of us, there is always something we could be grateful for.”

~  Barry Neil Kaufman

~

What are you grateful for?

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14 responses to “Being Grateful

  1. I love this post Jewels, a thankfulness journal is a great way to show your appreciation of things and make it remembered rather than having just a passing thought. I completely agree with you regarding the five senses as well, just to be able to see the sky when your feeling down or listen to your favourite piece of music to change your mood, it’s sometimes easy to forget how lucky we are. Thanks for the lift Jewels.x

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    • Right, I think I forgot to mention that oops! … Writing it down helps “make it remembered rather than having just a passing thought” and gives us something to reflect back on from time to time. Yes, being able to see the beautiful sky is definitely something I feel a deep sense of appreciation and gratitude for, I love it so much! And ears to hear too, music is such a wonderful thing for lifting the spirits. I’m so glad you liked this post Chris, and that it was a lift for you.x

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  2. It is interesting that we humans can somewhat choose whether we feel positive or negative about something. It’s harder sometimes than others, but being happy is always so much better than being sad. I’m grateful you wrote this post so I could think about good things.

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    • It really is interesting, my sis always says “it’s just a decision away.” I’m glad this got you thinking about good things Judy, and may many good things come your way! 🙂

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  3. My dear friend, you know I am always thankful for you. You have a wonderful way of finding the Light even in the Darkest of places. Thank you for sharing your way of finding that oft times dim but still there Light. Thankfulness is a gift in itself and for that I am thankful and blessed.

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    • I am thankful for you too! ♥ You saying I have a wonderful way of finding light even in the darkest of places reminds me of a quote from Albus Dumbledore. Thanks to Rachael, I have been watching way too much Harry Potter lately, but I really do love this quote… “Happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” 🙂

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  4. I love this! I have one called my Gratitude Journal. Once in awhile if I’m having a rough day, the best I can come up with is “I’m grateful for my two middle fingers.” 🙂 Great post as usual!

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    • Haha you and your two middle fingers! It really is such a great thing to do. I mean having a Gratitude Journal, not giving people the finger, although I suppose that works too. 😉 I’m grateful for you Lisa, you always make me laugh, and laughing is my favorite! Thanks for stopping by and giving me a laugh today, I hope all is well with you. ♥

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  5. I’m finding I’m grateful sitting here at 1:40am watching the pets sleeping by my side as I sit at my computer, knowing they are happy and comfortable and listening to one snore a bit…lol. The new rescue dog, Crystal, has an ear infection and I’m treating that and know that she’s on her way to feeling so much better.
    I love your idea to write these positive thoughts in a journal. You’d be able to go back and reflect on how many good things you do have in your life and some of the good you’ve done or that has been done for you. Thanks for sharing 😀

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    • There is something so comforting and peaceful about sleeping pets, much like sleeping babies. 😉 In just the past few days I have found myself snapping all sorts of random photos of my kitties while they’re sleeping because they are just sooo darn cute! I will have to stop over sometime soon and meet these new pets of yours, maybe on another whim like with our coffee visit we had the other day. 🙂

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  6. Great advice here, Julie. Sometimes those old cliches like “stop and smell the roses” and “this too shall pass” have the best wisdom. I’m going to try to remember to find the candles in life around me and give them a little more attention next time 🙂

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    • Thanks Simon. 🙂 Stopping to smell the roses is one of my favorites and I try to remember to do that on a regular basis. Many times, paying attention to the littlest things sometimes makes the biggest difference.

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  7. Pingback: Ugh Tests | Ramblings From Jewels

  8. Reblogged this on Ramblings From Jewels and commented:

    Today I’m beginning a little Thirty Days of Thanks challenge and happened to remember this post I wrote last year around this same time. Thought I’d reblog it to share it again. 😀
    Finding something to be grateful for every day is such a powerful practice and can really shift your perspective and way of thinking. Especially when you’re going through something particularly difficult.
    Today I am thankful for so many things, but if I have to pick just one ~ I’m thankful that the heart palpitations I was having have gone away. It’s been a few days now since I’ve felt any, and although I’m not feeling 100%, I am feeling better, and I’m very grateful for that.
    What are you grateful for today…?

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