Gratitude: noun, the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.
Focusing on the negative is easier than focusing on the foreign feelings of positivity and thankfulness. Personally, I know that most days, gratitude is hard to come by. Whether it is myself, people I know or strangers on the street, it seems that everyone has an issue with this idea of gratitude. Showing gratitude toward others is important, but showing gratitude to oneself is even more valuable. There are many ways to practice this throughout the recovery process, such as writing in a gratitude journal, turning negative thoughts into positives and working to spread gratitude to others once it is found within yourself.
While at the Inner Door Center®, clients are sometimes sponsored through the partial hospitalization program by generous donors when insurance stops paying. Having clients write gratitude letters to these donors not only helps the donor see they are making a difference, but shows the client they are not alone in their journey to find gratitude within themselves.
Buy a fun journal or decorate an old one with inspiring quotes or pictures that make you happy. Then, start with the date at the top and write AT LEAST one thing that happened that day that you are thankful for. Some days will be filled with great things and others you may have to fight to find one. Sometimes the entries will have great examples like, I am grateful for my friend, family and job. Other entries will only have, I am grateful for this pen. Write as little of as much as necessary.
Play around with it, get personal and write! And hey, even Oprah writes in a gratitude journal! 🙂
Negative to Positive
Writing in your gratitude journal will show you that even in the darkest days, there is still a little sunshine. Though turning negative thoughts to positives seems easy in theory, we know that it is a constant struggle to keep the negativity away. But turning that one small positive thought can change the outlook of the rest of the day.
Take it one thought at a time, there will still be negatives, they just won’t seem as bad.
Spreading the Gratitude
Once you have gratitude within yourself, spread it to the world!
You never know who could benefit from it 🙂
“The root of joy is gratefulness” -David Steindl-Rast
Written by: Alexandra LaForge, Fundraising & Community Relations Intern