Since 2011, I have been practicing gratitude by writing a daily gratitude list.
It has been transformative.
Each day, I list ten things I am grateful for. I then list ten things I’m excited for. And (hardest of all,) three brags.
I post it to a Yahoo group started by a mentor/friend.
Each day, I get emails containing the posted “grat” lists of others.
It is amazing to have the daily reminders of appreciation for the small and big things in life. It helps keep my focus on the positive.
The way I am wired, for some reason, I have the tendency to focus on the negative: what isn’t working, what’s not going right, what I did wrong, what I do not have/is missing in my life.
The grat list keeps me looking for what is going right, what I do have, what I can appreciate right now.
One of the great parts of the grat list community is how it has become a virtual safe space where we can share whatever we need to and receive support or whatever we may need. It is a “no guilt, no judgement zone,” a place to be totally honest. It is not about being cheerful and positive, it is about being real.
I may go through dark times, but I can always find some things to be grateful for. That my limbs function. Sunshine. Clean water. That I woke up.
And, through our grat list group, I am never alone. Sometimes, the others’ lists keep me from falling into isolated despair. I may be down and another’s good day holds hope for the inevitable upswing that will come if I hang in there, a fact that is easy to forget when left to my own devices.
I am truly grateful for the grat list group, and all that the practice of gratitude has given my life. It is a powerful muscle that I plan on keeping supple.