I’ve tried keeping a gratitude journal multiple times. Or perhaps it’s been the same journal, done in multiple fits and starts. I’ve had days that I really connected to the process, and felt warm and happy doing it; and other days that it felt like just another task to complete, dredging up things to be grateful for.
This is one reason that I’ve decided to mix up my happiness exercises day to day. But I wonder now if I haven’t been approaching it wrong in the first place. Previously my technique was just to plunk down with a blank book, start with “I am grateful for…” and list off a bunch of things. My perfectionist brain felt it was important to write at least mostly new things every time, which meant that every day’s entry got harder.
But recently I saw another approach. Instead of listing off multiple things, this suggested that I write down one thing I’m grateful for, followed by five specific reasons I love it. So for example, I might decide that I’m grateful for one of my children – and then look for five specific things that I appreciate about that child.
So far I like this approach. We’ll see how it is going forward.