Creating an Attitude of Gratitude: A Review of the Gratitude Journal by Natalie Fox
There's nothing quite like taking the wrapping off a newly-arrived postage delivery to find something truly beautiful, something exciting.
The Gratitude Journal (2nd Edition) by Natalie Fox was both beautiful and exciting, but it has also become much more than that for me.
For a long time, I lived with a glass-half empty mindset. It was safer. It meant that rather than being disappointed, I was sometimes pleasantly surprised. It also meant that I trained my mind to look for the negative, rather than the positive in life.
When I started to shift that mindset, cultivating gratitude was an important part of my journey. It felt more natural than trying to “just think positive” because gratitude is based on reality. It's about finding things in your life which you may have overlooked before and being appreciative for them! For example, rather than feeling annoyed by an unexpected bill, you might instead feel grateful for being able to afford to pay it. Rather than telling yourself what a “bad” day you're having, you could take some time to appreciate the good things in your life, such as your health, your loved ones, or the weather.
So, how does the Gratitude Journal fit into this picture?
Natalie Fox's meaningful creation has guided me to create a beautiful gratitude practice, where I sit down each day and write about some of the things I'm grateful to have in my life. This journal has taken the simple practice of writing down three things you're grateful for a big step further. Each day, you'll explore how you want to feel, what you're most grateful for, who you would like to thank, and more! And then, there are the fun and surprising gratitude practices sprinkled throughout the journal, such as finding meaningful gratitude quotes online and acknowledging why you love your body.
I've really enjoyed adding this gratitude practice into my mindfulness routine! At the moment my daily practices include a short and gentle yoga stretch, a mindful walk with my puppy (for mindful walking exercises, click here), enjoying a mindful cup of tea, writing in this Gratitude Journal and Dailygreatness Journal, visualising how I want to feel when I wake up in the morning and I always use my aromatic mists from Combardis Elixirs (click here to read more about this practice!). Apart from that, I try to bring consciousness and presence to as many activities throughout my day as I can.
Altogether, these mindful practices take between one and two hours to complete (depending on how long I practice yoga for) and it has been so very worth it! Not only am I working more productively and efficiently, I'm also feeling calm, clear, relaxed and purposeful. I'm more convinced than ever that meaningful mindfulness practices, such as using the Gratitude Journal, play important roles in my wellbeing.
If the idea of taking one or two hours out of your day seems overwhelming, don't worry! It's taken me a while to figure out how to balance my life and build the mindfulness and self-care practice I have today. Try using just one structured mindfulness practice each day (it might only take a few minutes), then simply practise being more present and conscious throughout your day as much as you can.