Three months ago, I started listing three things I was grateful for every night. I had heard all these things on gratitude; it caught my interest.
Everyone was saying how impactful and healthy the whole process was. I’m always trying to better myself, so this was right up my alley. Besides, what did I have to lose?
I felt silly. I would open up my journal to a blank page every night with no idea what to write. The only things that would come to mind were my socks or my bed.
Sometimes it was challenging to maintain the habit. On the nights where I was tired or bummed out, the last thing I wanted to do was to write in my journal.
It all felt dumb. Early on, I couldn’t see how this would improve my life. Writing “cereal” under what I’m grateful for didn’t seem to have an impact. But…
I Kept Going
Even with my reservations, I stuck to it. More and more things would come to my mind—things like my friends, family, and health. Often, I’d list more than three.
I started to realize what I was genuinely grateful for. Some of the same things would keep reappearing. This brought more focus to my life. Through this process, I started to realize what I should be giving more of my attention to — things like my car, a good meal, or laughing with friends.
One thing that I kept writing was, “I’m still here.” My whole perspective began to shift. I saw the entire forest, not just the trees.
What The Process Showed Me
This whole process has opened up my eyes. Listing what I was grateful for every night has brought me a new appreciation for life.
Some nights, I wouldn’t be feeling it. Whether I had a bad day or I was tired, I would stick to it. The funny thing is, listing what I was grateful for would change my night entirely.
The process would remind me on bad days that there was still good. It would force me to bring my attention to the things in life I truly appreciate and love.
This process has also changed how I go about my daily life. I cherish the moments with my friends more. I treat my loved ones differently. Reminding myself that I’m grateful for them every night makes me appreciate them in the moment.
I Still List The Little Things
Even though I list “bigger” things like family, friends, and health, I still list the small things — like my socks, a funny joke, or cereal.
Now, I can appreciate both the trees and the forest. I’m not missing one for the other. I would recommend you give this a shot. It may seem silly at first, but what do you have to lose? You might learn what you’re genuinely grateful for in the process.