Being Happy – Gratitude

This post is the seventh part of a series on Being Happy. Links to the other posts in this series are at the end of the post.

Gratitude.  Dictionary.com defines it as “the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful.”  At the low time in my life that we’ve been talking about I could have easily listed only a few items that I was grateful or thankful for.  Things like my husband, my family, and a nice home.  I’m still thankful for those things.  What I tended to overlook was the little things, the everyday occurrences.  Things like the mischievous smile in a nine year old or a bright sunny day.  I might quickly notice the joy I felt in those briefly and then quickly move on.

Gratitude or being thankful is the opposite of complaining, something I was doing a whole heck of a lot of in this period of time.  So, it’s completely natural that I wouldn’t be finding a whole lot of things to be grateful for.

So, when you’re in that place I was in, how do you start to find more things to be grateful for?  I have two suggestions:

  1. Gratitude Journal – This is simply a notebook that each night you write things you’re grateful for in.  Each night set aside about five minutes before you go to bed to list at least three things that you’re thankful for.  They can be big or small things, no one sees the journal but you!
  2. Top Three Things List – This is a list that you update throughout your day.  It can be in a notebook or on a piece of paper, but it should be on something that you can carry around with you.  At the beginning of your day write down the top three things that have happened to so far you today.  Throughout your day update it as good things happen and cross off  the item it is replacing.  When you start you might forget to update your list.  Schedule a couple times into your day to update this list.  At the end of the day your list might look like this:
    • Warm bed
    • Yummy oatmeal
    • Hot shower
    • Sunny day
    • Nice conversation with co-worker
    • Difficult problem at work quickly and nicely resolved
    • Enjoyed the drive home in the sun with great music playing

Try one, even for a week.  Both ideas will help you to look for the small joys or happy parts of your day.

Other posts in this series:
Being Happy – The Start
Being Happy – Saying No
Being Happy – Stop Complaining
Being Happy – Change Your Negative Self Talk
Being Happy – Have Fun
Being Happy – Decluttering
Being Happy – Gratitude
Being Happy – The Conclusion

6 thoughts on “Being Happy – Gratitude

  1. Hi Evie,

    I like the top three things list.
    I am going to adapt that to my smile blog later.
    Thank you for sharing your insights and helping us all move closer to what we want in life.

    Jodi

  2. This is such a good way to look at your day! Of course we all have things we don’t like about our day, but your post gives priority and attention to things we DO like. Absolutely fabulous way to frame your day! Thanks!

  3. Hi Evie,

    I keep a journal and in there I also write my gratitude. I am not consistent and have to find a way to do it regularly. I love the Top 3 list because I enjoy crossing out things 🙂 Another technique I use is a gratitude stone. It can be a stone you pick up from the beach but I was given some stones from a friend and I keep them in several places in my wallet and near my bedside so when I see them, I remind myself what I am grateful for 🙂

    There are so many things to be grateful for but I also needed to take the time to stop and remind myself to be grateful!

  4. It feels so good when I express gratitude in EVERYTHING. Every morning and evening and anytime during the day! I believe when we do, more good comes into our lives. I have to admit, I’m not dedicated to writing each day, but I do express gratitude often and it keeps me in a happy, peaceful state of mind. Thanks Evie!

  5. I love your purpose. I’m very much like you are and always counting my blessings and also looking for the positive and good in everyone. Your Top 3 Things is a concept I haven’t heard of before. What a great idea to help people focus on the good to eliminate the bad.

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