In addition to reflecting on gratitude for World Gratitude Day, making gratitude a daily practice can be a positive psychological and spiritual exercise. I was first inspired to start a daily gratitude journal in 2000 from the book Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach. It started out as a few line short paragraph, and has evolved into 5 short bullet points that take just 1-2 minutes to write.
If you can’t think of anything to write, then remember the simple things we take for granted: a warm bed, food to eat, a good friend, a bright sky, beautiful snowflakes.
After the initial feeling of gratitude, I didn’t feel anything dramatic about the practice. Then if I didn’t keep it, I noticed I was less at peace. In the beginning I would notice things and say to myself “I need to remember that for my journal.” Then it didn’t matter if I remembered things since I notice more and more to be grateful for throughout the day, and always have something for my journal. Keeping a gratitude journal is what has kept me grounded during my most trying times.
I began my gratitude journal on May 28, 2000 and see upon reviewing my journal that I wrote a nighttime prayer that same day that begins with gratitude: “I am grateful for all of the blessings in my life and notice them more each day, even in difficult times…..”