I first bought a gratitude journal back in June 2011, after attending the Happiness Conference in Brisbane, which was 2 days of inspirational speakers, including David Gillespie and the Dalai Lama! The biggest messages for creating your own happiness were altruism and gratitude.
Since then, I have been through phases of religiously completing my gratitude journal and other times not being so diligent. Mid-2012, I found myself struggling with life and happiness and had a brief stint on anti-depressants. It only lasted a few months, as I realised that they were contributing to my (weight)problems and not in fact helping me cope. During that time, there were no entries in my journal. Perhaps I did not feel grateful for anything? In reality, I think that if we live in Australia, we have A LOT to be grateful for!
Mind Body Green recently posted a very interesting article on gratitude – you can find it here. It got me to take stock of my life. Here are my responses below.
Here are 12 questions to help you invite some gratitude into your life:
- What have others done that has benefitted by life—even if I don’t know who those people are?
Wow I could think of a lot of names to list here. Basically any pioneer, inventor, or creator who has shaped our modern world. Reality is, we live in a very exciting modern society in which we are all connected more so than ever before. We travel and have the opportunities to experience cultures and climates that wasn’t possible before. We can communicate in an instant with someone on the other side of the planet. We’ve even been into space!
- What relationships am I thankful for?
My husband, my parents, my brothers and their girlfriends, my grandparents, my auntie and uncle, my cousins, my in-laws, my family-friends, my friends, my colleagues and all those fabulous inspirational people who I follow on facebook or in the blogosphere!
- What am I taking for granted that, if I stop to think about it, I am grateful for?
- How can I be thankful for the challenges that I’ve experienced? What did I learn from them?
Easier said than done sometimes. I guess those challenges have made me who I am today.
- How is my life different today than it was a year ago? How can I be thankful for those changes?
Well I’ve come a LONG way in a year. This time last year I considered myself a healthy person. Back then I was much slimmer and cardio-fit than I am today. However, I wasn’t very satisfied, happy or loving of myself. Now, I feel like I have the best of both worlds – a balanced diet and a healthy mindset! Find out more about my eating disorder here.
- What insights have I gained that I am grateful for?
Too many to list on this post, but basically my insights will be shared on this blog!
- Who do I appreciate? Why?
There are so many people to list. I suppose as I’ve grown older, I can appreciate all the sacrifices my parents made for me as I was growing up.
- What material possessions am I thankful for?
Obviously this computer, a fridge, my amazing water filter, and my phone. But I also love many of my sentimental material possessions, like my crystal collection, my wedding album, family jewellery, and a few of my favourite books.
- What about my surroundings (home/neighborhood/city/etc.) am I thankful for?
Oh my, I am extremely grateful to be living in Australia, and even better still – Melbourne! What a beautiful city with so much to offer. I’m also thankful to live so close to a range of quality organic grocery stores that are filled daily with fresh produce direct from the farmers.
- What opportunities do I have that I am thankful for?
To be employed. Wow, it’s often taken for granted (particularly on those mornings when you don’t really feel like being cooped up inside!), but to be able to do something meaningful and to get paid for it is pretty awesome.
- Where can I help people more?
Being kinder to everyone is general would make a difference, and I believe I make a positive impact at work, however sometimes I feel there is more that I can offer than just HR in a workplace. Perhaps that’s why I’ve decided to start my Health Coaching course with the Institute of Integrative Nutrition.
- How can I say thank you more?
Verbalising my gratitude to anyone and everyone! Being sincere in my interactions and offering positive feedback whenever I can. I think we focus too much on the negative feedback and where we need to improve, as opposed to a job well done.