I started my first gratitude jar back in 2013. I don’t remember where I’d first seen the idea, but every day, I’d write down one thing I was grateful for and then reflect on that thing in a short paragraph. (That second step made the whole thing feel more intentional.)
I haven’t had a gratitude jar since 2016, but that’s not to say I’ve given up my gratitude practice. I started using gratitude journals in 2018 and made them part of my morning routine.
But this year, I’ll be reintroducing my gratitude jar with post-it notes. The idea is as simple now as it was then, with a twist. I’ll keep my jar next to my bed and at the end of each day, I will write down one thing that gave me joy or that was worth celebrating that day.
The older I get the more I realise how important it is to document my thoughts, ideas, and frame of mind during different moments so I have them to look back on as I grow and change. My gratitude journal—and jar—is just part of that process.
There’s a thing that happens to me when I sit in gratitude. (I know this isn’t unique to me.) Gratitude reframes my perspective on the things that aren’t going well.
Whenever I’m actively practicing gratitude it’s difficult to be angry, frustrated, or worried. Gratitude always brings me back to the awareness that I am loved and taken care of my the powers that be—God, source, the divine, the universe. It’s a constant reminder that everything will work out as it should, which makes it easier to keep carrying on when things don’t work out the way I want them to.
Right now I’m between jobs and client work has stalled. A job I was really excited about fell through after I made it to the final round with a paid test project. So of course I’m disappointed and a bit dejected. Plus, there’s also an unhealthy dose of worry and frustration.
Whenever I feel those feelings bubbling up I actively practice gratitude—I’m alive, I’m healthy, my bills are paid, I have groceries in the fridge and pantry, I’m a talented writer who can always find client work or apply for another in-house role, and I could go on and on…
The point here is this. Gratitude has a way of pulling me back from the edge of some unpleasant places.
It also has the added bonus of calling into my life more of the things I desire by signaling to the universe that I am a worthy recipient who can be trusted with blessings.