How keeping a gratitude journal is changing my life for the better

Sixty-six days already into 2017, I thought it is best to look back on how am doing with my plans for the year. With this year being as unpredictable as the clearing shower of yesterday afternoon, I can only hope to continue being positive (while practicing deliberate gratitude) about whatever comes my way.

Blogging has come to a standstill, owing to the crisis that kept me off writing, reading to the bare minimum and squirming in anguish through February with a sprained wrist and a very sick child at home.

As things are slowly beginning to look up, I wanted to get back to writing, in my quest to gain some clarity on my life. What better than blogging about it all at first opportunity.

Writing straight after a workout, I am loving the sense of urgency in my typing. The depleted glucose levels might be the prime cause, but the effervescence of the thoughts in my mind, competing like the bubbles in the coffee foam, to find permanence in words is the real reason why I’m here at this hour.

Sticking to the routine of writing the gratitude journal is one of the many things that have been put off in the past month. Some days I have been too tired to scribble more than the date of the day. On others, I had the journal in hand, a blank page staring at me, many thoughts singing of how grateful I was for my life, but I just couldn’t put them in the journal for the sheer lack of will. On any other occasion in life, I would have ruthlessly called it laziness, but today is different.

On more than two occasions, postponing writing in the journal has gifted me with a reason to reflect better and end up with unexpected answers during the walk, the following morning.

The odd benefit of regular journal writing has been, I am back to writing beautifully like I did in my earlier years. This made me realize, that when I had thought that with age and time, I had lost my ability to write beautifully formed letters it was all just a lack of my effort to write regularly.

Another joy I recently discovered from journal writing is the newfound realization of the abundant life (with its due inadequacies) I lead. Gratitude has helped me see problems as possibilities, obstacles as opportunities waiting to be tapped upon. I am now more eager to check out, what more I can do to change the course of events. There is a sudden surge in my curiosity. I have started questioning everything. Something I always wanted to do but had strangely not been able to practice.

writing-in-a-journal-each-day-with-a-structured-strategic-process-allows-you-to-direct-your-focus-to-what-you-did-accomplish-what-youre-grateful-for-and-what-youre-commi

The more I read, the more I want to write. The more I experiment with life, the more grateful I feel. The more I recall positive moments of life that I had missed noting earlier.This is the first time in my life, I have felt that way.

In hindsight, around a decade back, something inside me had suddenly turned on the strong need to read more than I was reading at that time (which was around 3 to 4 books a year). Until recently, I had never thought of that change as anything significant. But today is different.

Today, I see it as my life’s preparation for the future that is now my reality. Come to think of it, maybe, I am heading in the right direction, perhaps I succeeded in deciphering the clues, life kept giving me. The daily reflection in my gratitude journal has given me hope, that maybe, I am not as lost as I sometimes feel about myself. Maybe, one day, I will be at a place in life where I can look back and feel proud of myself of having achieved something worthwhile.

There have been mornings when I felt so quiet inside that I was left wondering, what do I think about in my hour-long walk. That is something outright absurd for an overthinker like me. I am usually never short of things to worry about, but recurrence of such episodes are perhaps a healthy marker of the fact, that my attempts at blocking out unwanted worries, contemplating them all before hitting the sack are beginning to bear fruit. I am beginning to wake up with a clear mind and to look at each day like a clean slate.

A beautiful thought struck my mind this morning;

“As life always makes better sense in hindsight, to gain clarity, we must strive to move on.” ~ My Era

Among the books that I read in February, is Party Time in Mussoorie by Ruskin Bond. The book is a collection of short stories loaded with Bond’s simple yet supple writing that helped me swim through the rather rough patch of life with its wry humor and a generous dose of wit.Party time in Mussoorie

Having read many titles by Ruskin Bond in the past year, I have come to feel as if I know the author personally. This feeling is fuelled by the fact that every book by him has a repetition of a story or anecdote from his earlier works, that warms up my heart with the knowledge of reconnecting where I left before.

Though there are many favorites in this anthology that inspires the reader to see the funny, sunny side of life, I was enchanted by ‘Simple Living’ the most because it comprises of the excerpts from the author’s personal diary. I read this part of the book at a time when I had started doubting the relevance of writing a journal when I already have a personal blog to do so.

And today, am confident that writing a gratitude journal in ink is one of the best decisions I have made in favor of my wellbeing. The other being, stepping out of the confined life I had been leading until December 2016.

I do not claim to be all sorted. I am far from have found answers to all the questions but the practice of constant reflection during morning walks with the firm foundation laid by the immense feeling of abundance and gratitude the gratitude journal has been providing me, I feel calmer, alive and healthier than I have felt in a long time.

The song on my mind: Tum agar saath dene ka wada karo ~ Hamraaz (1967)

25 thoughts on “How keeping a gratitude journal is changing my life for the better

  1. welcome back MyEra! I have missed you, sorry for all that you have been through, physical and mental pains, but glad you are healing. reading does inspire writing and I look for to more enlightening posts from you like before. be blessed!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. oh its me pleasure ME! I have known you for ages and always enjoyed your writing, though life and times change its good to reconnect again, wishing you well and more writing from you! We all need a break to come back stronger than before.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Glad to see you back on WP era. Hope your wrist is fine and ready to type out the beautiful words you convey with flair.
    I completely forgot the promise I made to myself about maintaining a gratitude journal sometime back. Your post was a timely reminder to me. 😊😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m better than before Radhika, the wrist is less painful too 🙂
      You should definitely try writing the gratitude journal, it does change our perspective of life for the better.
      Thank you for the support and warm wishes ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hmmmm writing a journal. Food for my thoughts. Let me see if I can do that.
    I am happy for you ME. I see you ‘evolving ‘. And that is the best compliment that i can give to you 🙂
    Please do continue to share your beautiful journey and continue inspiring me 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you dear IY for that thoughtful compliment ❤
      Making time even if to write just a couple of lines in the gratitude journal, was how I started. Though there are days when I don't write in it, but everyday I do reflect about what all I wound want to write in it.

      Like

  4. I’ve never written down what I am thankful about, just that I feel content with what I have and aspiring to achieve greatness in certain areas.

    Good to see you back, hope the kid is feeling better. Saru was quite ill too last month…all ok now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was quite like you Alok till a few years back. But in my quest to battle out life’s odds I bumped into the idea that the contentment I felt could be transformed into the foundation of greater success by practicing gratitude. That’s how I started practicing gratitude as a daily ritual.
      My daughter is okay now, thank you for checking on us, Alok. Hope Saru too feels healthier soon.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hey! I think having a gratitude journal is very empowering and spread positive energy. It helps us concentrate too. Glad that you choose to question things and it’s something we should all do to make life worth it. Keep being positive every single day, it matters the most. Ruskin Bond! How amazing. I will check the book:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Vishal for re-affirming my faith in the healing powers of the gratitude journal. Having our life written to be read in a journal while focusing primarily on being grateful has been life-changing for me.
      Do check out the book if you’re a Ruskin Bond fan, it’s a treat just like his every book is.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hey! So good to hear from you, after such a long time. I am very happy to know you’re feeling and doing better. The gratitude journal sounds like a good idea too.

    Hope to read much more from you in the coming days. ❤

    Like

    1. Thank you Debo for the warm note 🙂
      It is always a pleasure hearing from people who’ve been with you from the start and throughout. I’m hoping to write more regularly from here on ❤

      Like

  7. Hope your wrist is better and there is no sickness in the family. You are right, taking a break helps in streamlining thoughts. I am a big worrywart and it’s one of my biggest wishes to wake up with a clean mind. May you continue to be in that state.

    Feeling and expressing gratitude is therapeutic.

    A beautiful and calming read on a Monday morning.

    Like

    1. I am doing well, Saru. It is now just a matter of being careful of not lifting anything heavy single handedly. Hope you too find a way to beat the worries just like me 🙂
      Hope you too are doing well. Sending loads of peace and calm your way ❤

      Like

  8. Hi My Era,

    I have never kept a journal but many loose papers could be found in my drawers at home and at my desk in my files. I write whenever inspiration hits…sometimes my muse goes in hibernation and I have shared my feelings more than once about waking it up.

    Gratitude greets me every morning when I look out of my windows at the blessings around me. There is no doubt that a slight indisposition reminds us how being healthy calls for celebration of this life, which we take for granted! I am glad you are feeling fine now. Stay blessed!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Balroop,
      It is always a pleasure reading you. Thank you for sharing a sneak peek into your inspiring routine. I can only imagine the many precious moments captured in the pages in your desk.
      Thank you for being around and your warm wishes, they mean a lot ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I also discovered writing a journal and its many blessings last year. I learnt to feel special and blessed by just writing down all the good things that happened in the day.

    I really enjoyed reading your thoughts on this Era- all the best on this journey!

    Like

  10. Writing after a workout is great, isn’t it? Somedays I get back and head straight for the laptop, sweat and all, and get a good piece of writing done.
    I tried writing a journal but it ended up mostly as rant writing so I gave it up. I think writing every night might not be too bad – to end the day on a peaceful note. Shall give it one more try. Good to have you back and hope to see more of you.

    Like

    1. Totally agree that writing after a workout works wonders. As far writing a journal, I have developed this habit of starting every day with “What am I grateful for today?” It helps me stay focussed to keep my journal entry brief and not be tempted to rant on (for this blog is for that purpose ;))
      I sincerely hope you give journal writing another, serious try and stick to writing it often.
      Thank you for the love, Tulika ♥

      Like

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