What Practising Daily Gratitude Has Taught Me

Thursday, February 08, 2018

Recently, I published a post about how I've organised my life with a bullet journal for the past six months and, while getting organised has been ah-may-zing, one of my favourite bullet journal elements is my 'daily gratitude' section. Back in August when I set up my first bullet journal spread, I decided to start reflecting on my days by taking some time each evening to think about something I'm grateful for and I've been doing it ever since! Practising daily gratitude isn't a big thing, it only takes up a line for each day of my journal and it definitely doesn't take me much time, but practising an attitude of gratitude for the past few months has really taught me a lot, so here are some of the things I've learned along the way.

There's always something to smile about. I'd never describe myself as a negative person but actively thinking about the things that I'm grateful for has definitely given me a more positive outlook. Whether it's university stress, the weather or long work hours, it can be easy to pick out the parts of your day that weren't ideal, and hey, I'm not saying that life is perfect, but making myself sit down to think about the fab parts of my day has reminded me that there's always a silver lining. Ending my days on a positive note makes great days even better and has the power to bring some brightness to those days that aren't so great which has taught me that perspective really is everything, simply looking at my days with a positive perspective has totally transformed my outlook.

The little things are important. When it comes to reflecting on a month or year, it's usually the big things; the birthdays, holidays and special events, that come to mind while the little things that make up your day to day life tend to just melt away. But, looking back at my bullet journal, I've noticed that the things that make me smile each day aren't anything spectacular, expensive or extravagant, it's usually some great food, a catch up over coffee or a sunny day that I feel grateful for at the end of the day. Noticing that it's usually the little things that make a difference has really helped to remind me that you don't need anything extravagant to be truly happy.

Reflection is grounding. Something I've noticed throughout my university experience is the tendency people have to wish time away, I'm always looking forward to the reading week or semester break and, now that I'm in my final year, it feels like time really has flown! While wanting to progress is never a bad thing, I think it's also important to enjoy the here and now. So, where before, days and weeks flew by, my daily reflections have been a great way to ground myself in the present. Reflecting on my days and really thinking about everything I do each day has done more than simply make me happier, it's also made me think about how busy I can be and has prompted me to try and enjoy my schedule a little more. I'm currently at a point in my life where I'm simultaneously studying, working, exercising and blogging, that's a lot of stuff and realising that has helped me to try and enjoy the variety of my life a little more instead of rushing through my days.

I am so lucky. Some days, I come to write my daily gratitude in my bullet journal with, what seems like, a million things I'm grateful for. Other days, I have to think a little harder about what I've been grateful for that day but in over six months of practising daily gratitude, I've never been stumped, there's always something, big or small, that I can be grateful for. Recognising this has given me a new found appreciation for my life because, in my books, having a life happy and fulfilling enough that I'm always filled with gratitude is pretty brilliant and practising daily gratitude really opened my eyes to the lucky position I'm in.

Consciously practising daily gratitude has been one of the simplest yet most effective ways to inject some positivity into my everyday life and it's a mindful practise that I plan to keep utilising.

Have you tried adopting an attitude of gratitude?

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  1. I have been trying to do this daily but honestly it's every few days because I keep forgetting. I need to prioritise it over watching YouTube videos and procrastinating. I always find my day that bit better if coffee is involved haha xx

    1. It can be hard to remember to prioritise it! You could try setting an alarm each evening until it becomes a habit. I'd definitely recommend trying it as it's really helped me to feel way more positive!