Originally published on 12-21-10
Do you feel like a Negative Nancy? Do people gravitate away from you? Do you look at life through “woe is me” glasses instead of “rose colored” glasses? Do you want to feel happier, be happier? I have the answer and no, I won’t charge you for it. (It is Christmas after all).
Start a thankful journal. A what? You heard me. A thankful journal. I am not claiming credit for this concept, but I promise it works.
I am convinced that the world and all its goodness will be held back until you appreciate what you already have. This is a discipline, like taking bath and brushing your teeth (I hope you brush your teeth).
You HAVE to acknowledge things you are thankful for: on the day you feel so crumby that all the energy you can muster is allotted to wiping the snot from your face because you’ve been crying so hard, on days that are not particularly exciting, and even on days you accompany good friends to an Elton John concert. Rain or shine, it’s got to get done. You must be thankful for it all.
You don’t have to note all these points of gratitude in a fancy journal, a regular notepad will do.
After a few weeks, you will notice patterns and determine what it is in your life that you value and what brings you joy. You will begin to focus on the positive and flush all the other junk out.
I have been writing 5 things I’m thankful for everyday since April 2009.
April 12th, 2009 (Laying in bed, wiping snot off my face day. Too personal? Maybe.)
1) My Mom and Dad’s support
2) Beau’s love and smile
3) Vanilla cupcakes
4) Kisses from cousins
5) Finding my Cindy Crawford workout VHS!
February 9th, 2010 (Uneventful Day)
1) Being able to be there for friends
2) My new leather jacket
3) The doorbell being fixed at my house
4) Having a flexible job
5) Red nail polish
Monday November 8th, 2010
1) The Saenz’ generosity
2) Living with Carlos
3) Elton John playing one of my favorite songs
4) Being able to share my life with my Dad
5) Being joyful
Nothing I listed is overtly profound, but these bits are what fill my day -- and consequently my life with joy.
My Christmas gift to you is reminding you that, “You already posses all you need to be genuinely happy.” Sarah Ban Breathnach