Recently, my 2 officemates and I started writing down 3 gratitudes a day on a whiteboard we share in our file-room. There is research out there that says doing this is helpful for your mood, & I was curious about that. So as I started to write things down every day, big and small, I waited to notice the overall big picture effect it might have.
One day, a couple of weeks into this experiment, I was driving home and I pulled up to a left turn on a busy street, just as the green arrow turned on, and I thought, “there’s a little candidate for tomorrow’s list.” Then traffic was super light on the way home, and I considered that, too. The next day, I got home to a meal cooked by my fiancee, and noted that as a potential list maker, and later as I was cuddling with my super sweet cat, it hit me. I realized, then, that this habit was causing me to consciously recognize even just the smallest things that I have to be grateful for everyday. I also began to notice the difference this started to make in my mood, as I was hunting for gratitudes throughout the day.
I noticed stuff like cooler weather, fun conversations with my dad, people letting me into tight spots as I maneuvered through traffic, & even how tasty my French-Press coffee is every morning.
And every time I noticed something, I would feel it bump my mood up.
I plan to keep this habit going now, and hope that some of you try it out as well. If you do, I would love to hear the effect is has on you.
Rebekka Ouer, LCSW
@LGBT_Counselor on Twitter