Gratitude Lists

I recently read on a website that writing a gratitude list is a great way to help push through writer’s block. If nothing else, such a list provides a wealth of material on which to write. Even more importantly, it has the ability to move a person through various negative states of mind such as anxiety, complacence, ungratefulness, despair, anger, and at minimum, helps to right-size exaggerated emotions and perspectives when they get out of balance. I’ve found this to be true when I write out a gratitude list.

I’ll often start planning to write 20 things I’m grateful for and usually I just keep writing and writing – it just flows out of me. I’m always amazed at how many good things – blessings – I have in my life for which to be grateful. Doesn’t mean I don’t have problems, sorrows, or unresolved issues…but it does help me not allow those negative circumstances to take over my consciousness. This is a wonderful healing tool and spiritual practice. I encourage you to do the same. Here’s an example of mine today (in no particular order of importance) – a jumping off point for you. You can write it in a journal or type it in a computer file. At some point, print it out and keep it in front of your as a reminder.

  • I have people around me who love me

  • My family members and I are healthy

  • We have gainful employment

  • We own a home that we love

  • We like our neighborhood and surrounding community

  • Summer vacation is coming soon

  • My children’s schools are excellent

  • My children are all thriving in school

  • My family is continuing to learn better forms of communication and problem-solving

  • Our city is out of drought status

  • I’ve found writing to be such a wonderful, creative outlet

  • God’s mercy and blessings in our lives

  • My personal strengths which I often minimize and take for granted

  • The wonder and beauty of nature

  • Delicious food

  • Chocolate

  • A free and democratic country to live in

  • Advanced medicine

  • A society in which women have more rights and freedoms than in centuries past

  • Access to medical care

  • My oldest son’s entry into manhood

  • The hilarious and unique sense of humor of my middle son

  • My youngest son’s “little boy” cuteness

  • A hot cup of coffee with cream in the mornings

  • My comfortable bed

  • Fifteen years with our wonderful dog Chelsea – may she rest in peace

  • Warm baths in the winter

  • Great fiction books to read

  • The soothing, comforting quality of chicken broth

  • Two functioning cars

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