Posted by: Chelsea Novak | January 5, 2011

Gratitude

I’m doing this new thing where I note three good things that happened each day. It’s an exercise that’s intended to show me that good and bad aren’t absolutes.

Good and bad things happen all the time. We give these things different weights and levels of focus depending on our state of mind. A negative incident may not ruffle feathers when one is in a relatively good mood, but the same thing on a bad day could be easily construed as “the worst thing ever.”

Like it or not, I’m in a place that makes putting a negative spin on things very easy. I don’t feel like I can always trust my emotional perspective. So this idea of documenting the good things will hopefully help counterbalance my negative perceptions, helping me internalize that, in fact, it’s not all bad.

Admittedly when the exercise was first suggested to me, I had stomach-churning visions of Gratitude journals, saccharine bookmarks and wall plaques with floral designs on them. It’s thankfully not like that (and really, who am I to scoff at people who are into emotive things – if it works for them, then aces). Cynical as I am, there actually seems to be merit in it. I’m actively changing my thought patterns about the state of the world. An empowering thought in chaos.

For example, today’s note went something like this:

1) Had a quick, but nice, walk with a dear friend that I’ve missed
2) Husband sent me links to websites/stories that made me belly laugh
3) Made it to Pilates and did well in class

Does it mean that everything is sunshine and puppies? Nope. It’s not even overcast and hamsters. Crummy stuff happened today too, but it wasn’t all bad. I could have listed 100 good things that happened today. Which means there’s hope, a good thing I’d like to note every day.

Today’s sing-a-long song: “My Favourite Things” from The Sound of Music

HRH

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