I’ve been working on my gratitude a lot this month. For years now, I’ve been using my 6 Minute Diary, writing in three things I’m thankful for each morning and then another three before bed. I’ve become super consistent and I really feel it if I don’t do this now.
Lately though, it’s not enough. What with the trials and tribulations of the past year, I find myself increasingly prone to negativity, and increasingly disconnected from the people and places in my life.
So… I’ve been jotting down little ‘Gratitude letters,’ whenever I get the chance. I’ve not sent any – yet – but I’ve taken the time to really think about a place, person or situation, listing all the good things that they’ve brought into my life, all that I’m thankful for.
It’s not easy, but it’s helping. Even just the act of trying to write it seems to help, because it forces me into a gratitude mindset, where I’m looking for positives rather than negatives. I feel much more connected, accepting and forgiving, and more easy-going, like I’m letting go of heavy, painful things that I’ve unwittingly been carrying around.
When I’m in a state of gratitude, it’s like an inner-voice of wisdom speaks to me and says, ‘everything will be okay… and even if it’s not, we will be okay. We’ll handle it. We’ll make the best of it.’
I think I’d forgotten just how powerful gratitude really is, how it’s near-impossible it is to hold onto worry, bitterness, anger and self-doubt, when you really put yourself in this place.
Don’t believe me? Try it yourself. Start with someone close, someone who you have really good feelings towards, and list all the ways in which they’ve made your life better. Then try it again, with someone you don’t know as well, but brightens your day/life in some way. And lastly, try it again, with someone who brings up some uncomfortable emotions, a friend or family member that you’ve argued with perhaps, or someone you’d lost touch with.
Of course, it won’t be easy, but if you can find true gratitude towards a person who you feel has wronged you in some way, someone you clashed with, someone who maybe you don’t like very much right now, the rewards will be plentiful.
Who knows, you might even be inspired to write a letter of gratitude to yourself.