Struggling with Positivity? Use this ‘Gratitude’ Framework for Ease.

An easy way to cultivate being grateful is a daily practice of identifying good things from the day, saying thank you for the silver linings even in a crisis. As explained in my last blog, Say Thank You to Dire Times – Being ‘Grateful,’ the benefits of such a positive practice are numerous as the previous blog details. Here’s the summary: you’ll be happier, less anxious, sleep better, fewer aches and pains, more optimistic, more friends, better marriage, deeper relationships, greater networking, better teamwork.

The Crisis Challenge

My challenge to you: Get a journal and every day for one month do this practice.

Yes, EVERY DAY. Yes, WRITTEN. Why? Every day to create the habit. Written because this engages your eyes, your hand (kinaesthetic movement), and your brain, making the gratitude more tangible as it’s a multisensory exercise. If you only ‘think’ about them they are just more fleeting thoughts crowding an all-ready-busy mind.

It will get easier rather quickly. Initially it was hard to see what I was grateful for beyond the weather and something extra special, such as a gift, a work achievement or an acknowledgment. I’d get my journal out at night and struggle to write something, I’d almost feel like I was ‘making it up.’ After a while I started to look intentionally for things in my day that I could be grateful for because I knew I’d have to write something in my journal that night. Over time it evolved into me just noticing through the day “oh, that’s a gratitude” and now I see them many times through the day, it’s just a natural observation and label for me.

This crisis seems to be pointing out many silver linings, things to be thankful for – carers, healthcare workers, clean water, delivery people, food, sunshine.

Grateful Structure or Template

Specifically, every day for one month WRITE 5 THINGS you are grateful for from that day, then one thing ABOUT YOURSELF for which you are proud, then the BEST thing from the day, then the WORST thing from the day (to let it go), a FEAR from the day (to surrender it), and something you LEARNED today about yourself, life, living or the world and lastly, something about YOUR PARTNER (or friend or family member) for which you have gratitude.

You can download my gratitude worksheet/template from my website here.

It will look something like this each day:

  1. Something I’m grateful for today
  2. Another thing I’m grateful for today
  3. Another thing I’m grateful for today
  4. Again, another thing
  5. You get the idea

Self: Something about yourself for which you are grateful or proud
Best: The best thing from the day
Worst: The worst thing from the day
Fear: A fear from the day
Learning: Something you learned today
Partner: Something about your partner you’re grateful for

Many of my clients do this practice often starting it because they are questioning themselves, second guessing themselves, especially now as some decisions they are making are well outside their comfort zones. The gratitude about yourself builds self-belief, certainty and confidence.

Tips for Maximizing Positivity

  • Be specific – the detail is what makes the experience rich and creates the good feeling.
  • Have fun with it, it’s enjoyable and feels good.
  • Involve others. Around the dining table ask your family or friends “What are you grateful for today?” Clients who do this learn so much about their family’s day and have gotten feedback from their partner that they’ve “shown up differently, not pre-occupied with at home.”
  • Find the time in the day that works best for you (ideally in the evening or night as you have your day to reflect on).
  • Make the commitment to yourself to try it consistently (I say try to be kind to yourself, and really there is try and just do so do).

What are you grateful for today? Let me know here.