Something didn’t feel quite right about Gratitude journaling for me. I thought it was the format, so I bought a new journal. I suspected it was the method of writing, so I downloaded an app. Then I stopped gratitude journaling altogether. It felt vague, or unfulfilling. The words began to recycle themselves and become devoid of any emotion. And the term “gratitude” became lifeless to me.
Sure, I am grateful for a house, who fucking isn’t. Yeah, I am grateful for good health, a beautiful family, a car, my husband, but repeating these things every day never really affected change on my negative mindset. I’ve even recommended to you all to take up gratitude journaling yourselves, that was before I knew it didn’t work for me.
Knowing that it may not be for me, and feeling like a dickhead and that maybe I am a broken human, feeling guilty I can’t find more things to be grateful for, I stopped that form of journaling and slid back into my comfy home of listening to podcasts.
Maybe it has taken an Aussie bloke to say it in an Aussie accent. In my comfy home of podcasting whilst I fold washing, I found Hugh Van Cuylenburg (who I unashamedly have stalked since hearing about his Resilience Project work some time ago) speaking about this very topic and resilience on A Life of Greatness by Sarah Grynberg.
Instead of this “recycling” habit and feeling, to be honest, shit about ourselves because we cannot find anything more to be grateful for, we can try writing the following.
3 things that went well for you today.
Pshhhtt. Mind blown. Totally achievable. A child could do this. Each day is different, so each thing that went well could potentially be different. It can be simple. Or complex. And it doesn’t feel anxiety inducing as if there is a “wrong answer” like gratitude journaling can.
Hugh suggests that within 21 days you can rewire your thought patterns. Rewiring your brain. Challenge accepted.
With this tip, I resume some form of recognising what I am grateful for, in my downtrodden $4 Kmart journal. I shall report back with my findings after 21 days.
*HIGHLY recommended that you follow Hugh on socials @theresilienceproject and check out his webpage. How refreshing it is to have an Aussie guy broaching this subject and making a difference in education.
*Also HIGHLY recommend subscribing to the A Life of Greatness podcast. Sarah is a fantastic interviewer. She really lets people deep dive and find their public speaking groove. Plus, she also interviews one of my favourite happiness author’s, Gretchen Rubin.
Like anything, take self-help advice with a grain of salt. Not every author, speaker, personality is right for your approach to life. And you shouldn’t feel guilty about that either.