It’s Time to Toss Out the Gratitude Journal
Yup, I said it. Toss the gratitude journal! As a mindfulness teacher and meditation facilitator, I really am saying, “Toss it!”
Because many of us are practicing gratitude and our lives feel still seem unfulfilled, leaving gratitude and the appreciation for things and people fleeting… yet again, it is something that goes into our graveyard of things we tried and have failed or forgotten. See my blogpost on the Self-help Graveyard.
Instead… let’s focus on joy. And the truth is you can practice both because joy and gratitude are actually two different things.
When I think of joy, I think of highlights. Gratitude is an appreciation for the challenges and complexity of our lives, and we focus on those enough.
What I want for you is that when you reflect on your day, you focus on the best parts of your day, your JOY! Take a few moments and think about the things that made you smile, laugh or just made your life easier.
In the crazy world we live in; we are easily lost in our anxiety and constantly problem-solving. We need to take time to celebrate the joys in our lives.
Here are some of my favorite examples of simple joys in life:
My daily cup of coffee or tea
Someone holding a door open for me
Talking to an old friend
A hug from my kids (and that includes the furry ones too😉)
Listening to my favorite song
A glass of wine
Someone saying thank you
Do any of these resonate with you? Reflect on your favorite things. What are some things that bring you joy? These are the joy-filled occurrences that help us let go, even for a moment, of overwhelm, anxiety, tiredness, stress, or heartbreak.
Tip: See our handout on 5 Simple Ways to Reduce Overwhelm
Being mindful of what brings you joy and happiness can be hard to do when you start. It is much easier to focus on the bad, but with skilled effort, your mindset will shift over time, and you will have a healthier relationship with your thoughts.
Remember, this shouldn’t feel like work, but it won’t be easy either. (At first!)
Start with reflecting on what makes you happy and PRIORITIZE IT. Then, take time throughout your day to focus on yourself and what brings you joy.
No, this doesn’t mean procrastinating and throwing your to-do list away. (I wish!)
Maybe it means putting your favorite playlist on while doing a chore you tend to dislike.
Mindset is so important when it comes to our daily lives.
Instead of “I really don’t want to do the dishes and clean the kitchen.”
Try this: “I got to eat a great meal and now I get to listen to my favorite playlist. My kitchen will be tidy and I will be ready to take on tomorrow.”
Granted, doing the dishes while listening to music may not be the highlight of your day. Still, this example just shows how reframing the situation and focusing on the positive changes the whole experience.
Share your Joy with Others
Incorporate sharing your joy with your loved ones. Maybe at dinner time, everyone shares a highlight from their day. Perhaps it is how you end your night with your partner or chat with a friend. We crave human interaction in some form, whether we are introverted or extroverted. Connection is comforting and is an essential part of our overall happiness.
Recording it in your Joy Journal brings everything full circle and gives you time for reflection on the best part of your day.
Remember, your Joy Journal is a collection of the moments that bring you joy. These joys help you forget when you are anxious and tired, stressed and heartbroken. Reflecting on these moments creates a sense of gratitude and inspires hope- which is the foundation of joy!
If you are ready to ditch the gratitude journal (only) and learn more about Joy Journaling, sign up for our upcoming webinar 12 Steps from Crazy: Your Roadmap to Joy, Happiness and Connection.
Until next time…
✨ Light & Love