Gratitude Lists

I am grateful...

I am grateful…

I am grateful…

I am grateful…

I am grateful…

I started making gratitude lists in November 2016. I was at a point in my life when I felt very unlucky. Any counselor or person I ever talked to always told me to start journaling. They said it was important to document how I was feeling so I could look back and remember it one day. But, I was never very good at journaling. I was that kid that would go out, buy a sparkly pink journal, write a couple of ‘dear diary’ entries and then forget about it. (I can’t be the only one guilty of this, right????)

Anyways here I was incredibly lost and, not gonna lie, I was pretty ungrateful as well. So one day, I decided to make a list of 5 things I was grateful for. It was a random decision and was definitely hard at the beginning but something told me to keep trying. Everyday I made a list of 5 things I am grateful for. Big things, small things, something that happened the previous night, a stranger that smiled at me, or sometimes it was simply the meal I’d eaten the night before. I did it everyday, often, first thing in morning. It became a habit. Some days it made me feel great gave me all warm and fuzzy feelings (:. Other days it honestly made no difference. I tried to get through it as fast as possible so I could just be done with it and say I made my list for the day!

The other day I was writing my list when I was like, ‘Damn girl, you’ve been doing this for nearly two years!’ (Yes, I sometimes/always talk to myself. My sister says  I’m weird) The last couple of months my lists have started to mean so much to me. They have , in small ways changed how I approach situations. Now when something goes wrong, or does not go the way I want it to, I find myself writing that I am still grateful it happened. This mindset is a million miles away from how I felt a couple of years ago. Then when small things happen throughout the day I tuck them away in my mind to write them down later. I’m so much more aware. I‘m able to recognize the small acts of kindness from a stranger with gratitude.

Most importantly these lists were the beginning of journaling practice. I write a lot more that a gratitude list in my journal now and I don’t think I could have got to this point without having them as a constant. Looking back on my lists I can see growth, love, hope, and I can see how lucky I have been and still am in my life. Most  of the time I’m grateful for the same things everyday, and that's fine. I think you have to be lucky to have something that is constantly making you feel grateful!

So try it! It might just take you 3 to 5 minutes a day. Hell, some days I can finish it in a minute if I’m in a rush. ( No, this is not a competition (; ) It’s great way to start a journaling practice. It’s also a wonderful way to form a habit of checking in with yourself daily. The key is not to give up. Keep coming back to it, one day you will be glad you did.

IDEAS OF STUFF TO BE GRATEFUL FOR

  • Do have a place to sleep?

  • Have you listened to a song you like lately?

  • Did you have food in your belly when you went to be bed last night?

  • Is the sun shining outside?

  • Did you take a second to just breathe today?

  • That time you spent under a warm shower.

  • Family, always be grateful for family.

  • The painful experiences that made you stronger.

  • That friend that hurt you but also taught you to let go.

  • The smell of pancakes in the morning.

  • Or the new book you’ve started reading.

It’s a good life, we just need to notice it, and be grateful for it.

I’d love to hear about your gratitude list, if you feel like sharing, and any journaling practice you do on instagram. @nessa_seymour

Lots of love,

Vanessa