I have heard about the importance of gratitude most of my life. On my journey to heal after unimaginable loss I was desperate to try anything to pull me from the dark place I dwelled for years. Gratitude lists played a role in overcoming my negative thoughts.
My first gratitude list was general. It was so helpful and made me feel so good, I made six more. It’s difficult for your mind to think about numerous things at once but when your mind looks at a gratitude list, it has a way of generating great joy.
My next list was prioritized loving relationships. Not only was I grateful for each person on it, but I also used the list to move from taking loved ones for granted as I focused on making bad relationships work, to only allowing loving relationships in my life. I made sure I was nurturing all these relationships ongoing, starting at the top. I have so much love in my life, I can’t imagine spending one unnecessary second with someone who isn’t kind. When anybody is mean to me, I reach out to people on this list, talk about something happy, and hurtful feelings disappear.
I then made a list of all the reasons I love my husband. When we have a disagreement, and I’m dwelling on it, looking at this list helps me put my frustration into perspective. It also helps me to be in a confident loving place to think about the list before I talk to my husband about a difficult topic.
One day on a long driving trip, my husband and I made a list of everything we are thankful for in our marriage. We quickly noted many blessings and felt excited as we thought about so much we appreciate.
During a counseling visit where I said I am doing a good job not wasting energy trying to figure out life’s mysteries, I mentioned sometimes I still wonder why I had to experience so much loss in my life. The counselor endearingly looked at me and told me to write down all my accomplishments. I struggled at first to think of anything, but once I started writing the page was flooded with achievements. I realized I was letting the negative cast a shadow over the wonderful.
A vision board is a tool used to help clarify, concentrate, and maintain focus on life goals but didn’t think they were for me. I have a small wall in my office and decided on a vision board, more for decoration than function. What a surprise when that visual depiction of what I want in days to come gave me the same rush of joy I had looking at any other gratitude list. I was feeling my future.
I have heard you can attract what you want in the future by thinking about it and making yourself feel like you already have it. I made a list of what I’m grateful for when I reduce sugar. It turned out to be the longest list! It’s a great deterrent when I have a sugar craving.
My gratitude lists are in my smart phone for quick access and updating. I look at them when needed and periodically for a boost of happiness. You may be surprised how much you are grateful for, so write everything you are thankful for now. I would love to see a copy of your list! Examples of all my gratitude lists are below.
Book to Help People
No Work Politics
Love my Hair and Nails
Motorcycle Riding Fun
Loves His Child Unconditionally
Loving to People
Loved Me Through Loss of Child
Supported Me When Thought About Adopting
Smart and Common Sense
Works Hard at Job Success
Supported Me Retiring From Business Career
Supports Me Helping Others With Loss
Helps With Home
Learn Travel and Politics From Him
Loves Travel and Adventure
Dances With Me
Help Each Other Grow
Work on Health
Sense of Adventure
Make our House a Home
Love to Laugh
Have Fun Together
Proactive About Challenges
Don’t Try Hard to Change Each Other
Raised a Wonderful Child as a Single Parent
Obtained Help for Child When Needed
Loving Relationship with Stepson
Increased Circle of Loving Friends
Published a Book
Social Media to Help People
Loving Retirement With Husband
More of What Makes Me Happy
Read and Learn
Counseling When Needed
Go to Australia
More Attention to Loved Ones
Feel Better in Clothes
Thinner and Flat Stomach
Lower blood pressure
Strong Heart, Liver, Kidneys
Reduce Surgery Risk
Good Dr Visits and Labs
Easier to Relax
Easier to be Loving
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