Family Traditions: Start Something Great with a Gratitude Journal
Week 23: Family traditions make a lasting impact. Make sure gratitude is part of your legacy.
Several times a week write down 1-5 things you are grateful for. They can be small or large events. The process shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes.
Get creative with your medium. Write your list for November in a journal, on a pumpkin, or cut out leaves from scrap paper and tape them to your wall for Autumn decorations.
The goal is to enjoy the positive emotional change that comes from focusing on the positive.
Introduce family traditions like this one just a few minutes a few times a week and see how they can dramatically change your perspective.
Studies have shown that a regular gratitude practice can dramatically improve your health through reduced stress, anxiety, and insomnia. A gratitude journal is one of several methods we’ll share this week about how to introduce more gratitude into your life.
Some excellent tips for your journal practice include from Greater Good Magazine:
- Be as specific as possible in your entries. “I’m grateful for the kindness of the attendant at the store today.”
- Depth over breadth. Details about one person or event are more meaningful than a long list of superficial activities.
- Get personal. It’s more impactful to consider people rather than things you’re grateful for.
- Include things you’re grateful to have avoided or prevented.
- See good things as “gifts.”
- Include surprises in your list as the unexpected nature of them will elicit stronger levels of gratitude.
- It’s ok to repeat people or things in your practice but try to distinguish your thoughts through specific details.
- Contribute regularly whether it’s every other day or once a week.
- Be consistent.
- Don’t go overboard. Studies suggest it isn’t necessary to write every day. If we force the practice we become numb to the benefits.
Be sure to check out all our other Family Bonding Challenges!
Somer is the Chief Content Officer at Birth2Work living in Southern California with her husband and four-year-old son. She spent 10 years in the architecture field as a designer and medical planner and now applies her love of integrative thinking and big-picture planning to her family and career. Read full bio >>
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