For longer than I’d like to admit, I was in a funk. I was constantly complaining about the kids, the laundry, the driving, the dishes, the cooking, and so on. By the end of each day, I was completely depleted.
After a tearful conversation with my spouse, I realized that I didn’t entirely know why it had gotten this bad because I’m generally a happy person. I could blame COVID. I could blame the craziness of the new school year. I could blame hormones. I could blame the emotional toll of parenthood and being a stay-at-home mom. But ultimately, it didn’t really matter why. All that mattered was that I didn’t want to be feeling that way anymore.
I thought a lot about how I could set myself off on the right foot and break a negative cycle.
One thing was clear: I needed more reminders in my life of all that I have to be grateful for, which led me to research and download a simple app.
Every morning (and most evenings), I receive a prompt from the app and respond to a question that encourages me to log something I am grateful for.
Prompts include questions like:
- What made you smile today?
- What was the best thing that happened today or yesterday?
- Write a thank-you note to yourself?
- What was the most enjoyable part of your childhood?
- When did you feel grateful today?
Consequently, I start my day feeling positive about my life. And while I don’t open the app again until the evening, I find myself slowing down throughout the day to recognize moments of gratitude. Some of the moments of gratitude I experience are as simple as “wow, the sky is beautiful today,” or “boy, did that hug from my son fill my bucket.”
Additionally, I’m more patient with my children. I’m more mindful of the positive and negative moments throughout my day. I’m more appreciative of my family and friends. I’m seeking out more positive experiences and coping better with the unexpected as it comes up. As a result, I’m genuinely happy and feel lighter.
I’ve seen a complete shift in my mood and my perspective. I think everyone around me feels it too.
With Thanksgiving approaching, it’s a time of the year when many people take stock of the things in their life that they are thankful for. However, practicing gratitude is something that can and should be done daily. So, while I use an app as a gratitude journal, you could just as easily buy a blank notebook and grab a pen. Better yet, make it a family affair.