Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Different Way of Giving Thanks

If you've read some of my past posts here, you might know that I'm a pretty big believer in gratitude journals.

Even the littlest things that fill your heart with thankfulness can have huge power over your state of mind.

So I was excited to learn about a different spin on the gratitude journal when I caught a rebroadcasted episode of the Oprah show featuring Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert. After walking Oprah through the sheer amazingness of her adventures throughout Italy, India, and Indonesia, Liz shared what I think could become a pretty transformative daily practice.

Each night before bed, Liz grabs her journal and documents the happiest moment from her day.

Not only does this send her off to slumberland with a pleasant thought in her head, it causes her to be present throughout each day—making note of the moments that bring a smile to her face.

The other benefit of this lovely exercise is that, as Liz noted, it can help you piece together the common threads of happiness, and give you a clearer picture of what really brings you joy. 

All those little moments have the potential to add up to big realizations (like, Holy Mackerel, I love combing DIY and design websites so much I might want to start one of my own).

The patterns can also help you identify activities you might want to mindfully incorporate into your life more often. I know for me, something as simple as feeling the breeze on my face when I'm reading in the backyard can shift me to a state of happiness. If I got myself outside more often to try to feel that breeze, it could have a huge impact on my day-to-day attitude!

Recognizing these happy moments is its own form of gratitude. And I, for one, believe that is the space we should be in if we want to live life at its best.

Happy Thanksgiving, readers!

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