Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Random Gratitude

I recently downloaded an (iphone) app called Random Gratitude. I was looking for a handy way in which I could keep track of the positive, happy, or fortunate things that happen to me in every day life. Because to be honest, I can lose sight of the fact that they do indeed happen in everyday life. I am a huge fan of free apps, and I came across this one, and thought I'd give it a try. The basic premise is that each day, at a random time - you can set the parameters so that it doesn't wake you up at 2 am - it asks me "what are you thankful for?" and I input something. I can then, at any time, open the app and one of my answers from a previous day will be displayed randomly. Before I go any further, let me be clear up front... I was in no way asked by anyone associated with the app to promote it in any way. I am just basically using it as a catalyst for this blog.

I love the idea of random gratitude. I especially love it on those days during which it's tough to find any. Sure, when I'm out with friends having a great time, it's easy to say "I'm grateful for my friends, or margaritas, or finding this new restaurant" or whatever. But on those days when I am down, when nothing seems to be going right, those are the days that I really need to find it. It might be as simple as "I'm grateful that it's a sunny, warm day outside" or "I'm grateful for the cup of coffee I'm drinking". But it's something. And sometimes, once you start, you notice other things that you're grateful for as well.... not just the sun, or the coffee, but the person behind the cafe counter that always greets you with a smile an remembers how you take that cup of coffee, for instance. Looking at my list, I noticed that one day my gratitude was "for not messing up this day". I'm not sure what I thought I was going to do to mess it up, but I'm glad I didn't, and furthermore, that on that day I realized the beauty in that.

You don't have to have an app to express your gratitude. I know people who keep a gratitude journal - a running list of anything they think of that they're grateful for. You could keep a list in the 'notes' section of your phone or on your computer or a little notebook that you can easily jot things down in. You could have a gratitude partner and each day check in with each other, taking notes of what the other person says. But I think that however you do it, writing it down is key. This way you have some reference so that on your toughest days, when you try to downplay something positive because you just can't comprehend the positive right now, you have "proof" that there are good, happy, fortunate things going on in your life every day, and you can focus on those people, pets, activities, or places until you are feeling more positive again. In fact, the comments section of this blog might be a great place to start. So, what are you grateful for?

This blog was written as part of the I AM WOMAN 30 Day Blog and Linkedin Challenge

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