Why I Started to Intentionally Think About Thankfulness

Before I start today’s post, I wanted to say that I will be taking over The Blog Baton on Instagram on Friday, so follow the account to see my pictures for that day, as well as the other great bloggers who take over the account each day. If you haven’t heard of The Blog Baton, it’s an Instagram that passes from one person to the next each day. It is hosted by Mason… Like the Jar and you can visit her blog to find out more about The Blog Baton.

Thankfulness is a topic that I’ve written about regularly on my blog over the years. It’s something that I intentionally take time to think about, but it’s not something that I’ve always done. A few years ago I discovered a blog called The Thank You Project, written by a woman who challenged herself to blog every day about something that she was thankful for. I discovered her blog towards the end of her year-long project, but her challenge was something that stuck with me. I decided that I wanted to take time to focus on what I was thankful for, so I took on my first “gratitude project,” which was to write down something that I was thankful for every day on a sticky note and put it on my wall. I kept them there for a long time, even after I stopped writing something down every day, until they started to lose their stickiness and fell off.

When I stopped recording something that I was thankful for every day, I didn’t stop thinking about it. What my few months of writing things down on sticky notes proved to me is that I became a different person–even in that short amount of time. I complained less and I was happier. I started to focus on the good things, instead of the bad. Take this weekend, for instance. The furnace stopped working and it was ten degrees outside, so it was pretty cold in the house. But it wasn’t all bad. It could have been colder outside. I had a warm sweatshirt and slippers, and a dog who I have always referred to as my personal furnace during winter. I have a fireplace that provided some warmth to the house. That’s how I’ve started to view life ever since I started to intentionally think about thankfulness. I look at the good first, instead of the bad.

Does this mean that I’m always happy and that I no longer have bad days? No, of course not. I have bad days and I still find myself complaining. The difference now is that I catch myself and I force myself to stop dwelling on the bad. When I notice that I’ve been complaining for a period of time, I take on a gratitude project. I even take them on when I haven’t been grumpy. There’s always something to be thankful for, and I want to remember that.


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