Smile – Day 8 – Get more specific to feel deeper gratitude
Welcome to week 2 of our SMILE journey!
One person asked about what to write about in the gratitude journal…should it be new things each day or the same things?
They said “at the moment I can only seem to think of my children, husband, mum, health and home.”
Here’s some clarification:
It can be anything at all you feel grateful for right then as you are writing.
The idea is to focus on anything and everything you are thankful for and feel good while focusing on it!
The more specific the better!
For example, in your home there are probably hundreds of things to be grateful for:
Your comfortable bed, your appliances that make things so convenient, the sturdy walls, the heating/cooling system, the pictures on your wall, just to name five.
ANYTHING you see that you are grateful is in your life is fair game!
As you get more specific, and start to pay attention to the abundance of little things that you are surrounded by, you will feel better and better.
Problems will become much less annoying as you appreciate how abundantly fortunate you are.
You are shifting the momentum in your mind away the negative and toward the positive.
Your mind is kind of like a big spinning flywheel with lots of momentum.
Sometimes it’s spinning fast in the positive direction, other times negative.
Sometimes it’s kind of in limbo in between…but usually doesn’t stay there for long.
When it’s spinning everything negatively it’s hard to stop it because the momentum is so great.
Writing down specifically what you are grateful for slows down the flywheel by putting some pressure the other direction.
Eventually, with enough gratitude, you get your mind spinning in the positive direction.
And then you have positive momentum, you feel great, and everything appears a lot more pleasant.
And once you’re spinning positively, it takes less work to keep on thinking positively.
So write many little specific things you’re grateful for
I gave you just one example for getting specific, using your home, but what about your relationships?
What specifically did the people in your life do that you’re grateful for today?
What attributes of theirs do you feel particularly grateful for right now?
If you’re having a hard time feeling grateful for anything about a person because you are bothered or offended by something, try this.
At the top of your journal page write: POSITIVE ASPECTS OF __(insert person’s name)__
(And you can do this about any situation you want to feel better about by the way, not just people)
Then just start listing positive aspects about the person.
Anything at all you can think of.
Maybe you can think of 50 negative things and only one tiny little positive thing.
Write the positive thing down.
Then think of more positive things and write down as many as you can.
When you’re at a loss, stop and review the list.
Read through it expressing gratitude for each of the positive aspects.
Now assess how you feel.
I would bet money your feelings about the person have improved and you feel happier in general.
The point is, as you are writing in your gratitude journal, GET SPECIFIC.
“I’m grateful for my health” is really general. What about your health specifically are you grateful for?
When you get specific you will connect to your emotions and you will see there are easily dozens of new things you could notice to be grateful for each day.
It’s fine to repeat things some days…
But to get maximum value from your gratitude journaling, make some effort to search your mind, your surroundings, and your memories of the day for specific details you’re grateful for.
And to finish today I’ll leave you with a thought from Wallace D. Wattles:
“The whole process of mental adjustment and atonement can be summed up in one word, gratitude.”
Through gratitude we are adjusting our mind…
…From negative to positive
…From sadness or lethargy to happiness
…From annoyance to acceptance
And that word atonement? It signifies reconciliation or ‘making whole’ or ‘making one’…and gratitude tends to makes us feel whole and happy.
So keep it up! When you open your eyes in the morning think of 4-5 things you’re grateful for. Throughout the day practice smiling on purpose. And write your gratitude in your journal to end the day.
Make Today Amazing!