I started keeping a gratitude diary in February 2001. My first entry expresses my thanks to my friend M, who told me about the concept of writing down five things you are thankful for, every day.
Since then I have filled a number of notebooks. Sometimes weeks pass without a single entry and there have been times when the world looked somewhat bleak, so dredging up some gratitude from the depths was difficult. However the amazing thing about the concept is that you can always find something to be glad about no matter how dark things become.
This year instead of a nondescript notebook I have a purpose produced Thank You Book. The Irish Hospice Foundation sell the book pictured above to raise much-needed funds.
Keeping a gratitude journal has shifted my thinking to a more positive plane. Clinical psychologist Marie Murray says in her introduction to the Hospice’s Thank You Book that: “The psychological benefits of gratitude are enormous. The process of recognising, recounting, appreciating and articulating that for which we are grateful has been validated within the disciplines of psychology and psychotherapy. The transformative power of positive affirmation, the neuro-psychological benefits of ‘mindfulness’ and the healing potential of optimism have each been recognised.”
Do you keep a gratitude diary?