Thursday, 10 January 2013

Thanks, thrice.

Right now I'm running two daily diaries. One is my regular journal whose pages I fill each morning with a summary of what happened the previous day. The latest volume is the seventeenth in a series which began back in 1996, and somewhat obsessively I haven't missed a single day in what will soon be seventeen years.

Right now, however, I'm more interested in telling you about the other smaller diary in which (at the suggestion of a friend) I jot down two or three things each day for which I feel grateful. The way it's turned out, these too tend to revolve around things that happened the previous day - and they can range from a delicious meal or a rewarding conversation to some kind of significant development on the Moodscope project.

There's a lot to be said for this sort of 'gratitude journaling'. In fact it's pretty widely believed that positive emotion is a strength we can build by actually experiencing it: think positively and you'll end up thinking (even more) positively.

Although I'm collecting my things-to-be-grateful-for in the morning, you may find it makes even more sense to do so last thing at night. This way you can head for bed with positive thoughts whispering to your mind.

Some suggest aiming for a fixed number of items: three seems to work well. You can simply summarise them in your head, or (as I prefer) write them down. To me, doing so seems to formalise and crystallise them.

Whether, whenever and however you decide to experiment with recognising the things you can be grateful for, there's no time like the present to have at least a little play with it. So, what three things can you be thankful for right now?

1.

2.

3.

Now, how did that feel?