Last night my computer charger bit the dust. It was the last thing that happened before I started winding down for the night and it threatened to bring me down completely after a day dealing with anxiety medicine withdrawal. It was a small thing that felt like a big inconvenience when amplified by an already rough day.
After a couple minutes of being frustrated and pouting over the situation I decided I wasn’t going to let it ruin my mood. Instead of letting the annoyance of a broken charger ruin my day I was going to end my day writing in my gratitude journal so I’d remember all the great things about the day.
The Gratitude Journal
Beside my bed I keep a little journal and pen to use as a gratitude journal. It’s nothing special, just a cute journal I picked up at Target.
I don’t have many guidelines for my gratitude journal – I simply list things from the day I was grateful for each night. It helps me dwell on the positive and focus on what went right and what I’m thankful for.
Last night I grabbed it and listed all the things I was grateful for from that day:
- lessening medicine withdrawal symptoms
- friends to share with and talk to
- the ability to walk for 30 minutes
- a long hot shower
- a refreshing facial mask
- cuddles with my JuJu
- the ability to take care of myself
There were so many things from the day that just thinking about all the positive highlights put me into an instantly better mood.
It worked. This morning I woke up feeling grateful for a sunny day, a clearer mind, a functioning body, and another day on earth. I texted several friends and shared my excitement because I was just bursting at the seams with happiness.
This is something I will have to do often.
Mental course corrections are essential since anxiety will take small things and twist them into huge deals. Rumination solves nothing and dwelling on negatives gets me nowhere. If I am to keep moving forward I must stop myself, recognize what’s happening, and take a new action to move forward. Last night that action was expressing gratitude.
Keeping a gratitude journal is something I plan to do for the rest of my life. I can’t imagine a day where I’m not grateful for at least one thing because I’ve learned even in the worst situations there is always a bright side.