Crafting Gratitude—The Personal Side

A year or two ago I started a new practice. At the end of every day I mentally list 3 things I am grateful for.  I also sometimes list one thing I could have done better that day. I usually do this as I am falling asleep, but sometimes I do it throughout the day too. Training my mind to highlight the good has really helped me create a more positive mindset over the past couple of years. Just this month, however, after speaking with a good friend, I have decided to take my daily gratitude log practice a step further.

My friend recently started a new practice that I’d like to encourage you to try. Each day she lists 3 things she is grateful for. Then she looks at the list to see if she contributed to any of the events for which she is grateful. For example, if she is grateful she ran into an old friend at the gym she may realize that she “made that happen” by going to the gym in the first place, even when she would have rather stayed in bed.

Here is an example—one of my gratitude logs from last week:

I am thankful for:

  • An encouraging conversation with a good friend. (I made this happen by scheduling a coffee date a month ago.)
  • Crisp, fall weather. (I did not make this happen. But, I was able to enjoy the weather because I made a point of answering emails outside.)
  • A healthy, yummy dinner. (I made this happen by planning and cooking a delicious and nutritious dinner.)

The idea is that by remembering the events of our day we loved most, we can often see how we helped cultivate those moments. Some great things will happen no matter what we do or do not do; however, many of our best moments in life—the ones we are most grateful for—emerge because of something we have done to “craft” them.

I want to be mindful about crafting gratitude whenever I can. I want to purposefully contribute to creating moments that will awaken gratefulness in me. AND I want to take time each day to reflect on the goodness in life—however grand or small.

If you struggle with gratitude, OR are in a season of life where your emotional state is such that gratitude is truly elusive (depression, bereavement, etc.), a seasoned Orlando mental health counselor can help you. She can provide a safe space where you can identify and process your feelings and begin your path to healing. With the New Year upon us there is no better time to participate in creating the life you want. Please contact Life Enhancement Counseling Services in Orlando today at 407-443-8862 to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced mental health counselors.


Yolanda Brailey