Turn pain to joy

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We all have our down days. Sometimes it feels like the universe is conspiring against us and things just don’t seem to look up. While bad times can be demoralising, it helps to identify people and things that we are truly grateful for – our families, friends, the memories we cherish and the good times we have enjoyed. Though dwelling largely on the negatives come naturally to most of us, counting our blessings and being thankful for them can go a long way in painting life in positive hues. A great way to start off on a path of gratitude is to keep a gratitude journal.

A gratitude journal is a diary in which one writes about the things they are grateful for. The concept was initially introduced by psychotherapists for the benefit of their clients; they would coax the person undergoing therapy to regularly write about the good things in life, the purpose being, to get them to look at the bright side. Today, the practice has become common – most schools encourage students to keep gratitude journals and plenty of individuals take the initiative to document life’s best.

Being grateful for what we’ve been blessed with is therapy for the heart and soul. If you ever need to be reminded of the good things in life, keeping a gratitude journal will come in handy…

Keeping a gratitude journal is sometimes a task, can be tricky and may seem pointless. It’s true, we all struggle with cultivating a new habit, so it would be wise to keep at it, even if the fruits of doing so seem few. During the early days, start off by listing out material things that mean something to you – it can be your iPod for playing music that helps you relax, a soft toy you can’t imagine life without, your cell-phone for keeping you connected with friends and family, your job, or anything that matters. Over time, shift towards making a log of people who care about you and make you happy. Eventually, focus on describing events and moments that you are thankful for.

The prevalent opinion when it comes to keeping gratitude journals is that it involves making extensive lists. This is not necessarily true. The things you are grateful for can be documented in any creative way you wish; don’t hesitate to attach drawings, movie tickets, concert wristbands, photographs, notes and letters or souvenirs to your entries – they will bring memories back to life. Also, pressurising yourself to regularly document things you are grateful for can be exhausting. It is better to make journal entries once a week as it gives you an opportunity to retrospect and to concentrate on the high points.

Keeping a gratitude journal is a great way to give the joys of life higher priority and to let the fog and gloom slide. Most of all, it makes evident that no matter how hard life gets, there has been so much you’ve been grateful for and there always will be. Do it for yourself