When Oprah Winfrey and Positive Psychology raved about keeping a gratitude journal, I rolled my eyes. I’m a cynic at times.
Here’s why it didn’t work for me.
Sometimes gratitude feels way out of reach. If I don’t feel it; I’m not writing it. The research indicating writing what I’m grateful for supports greater health and happiness, doesn’t motivate me.
One Reason To Do It
Our hard-wired evolutionary tendency called “negativity bias” prompts us to see the bad before we see the good. We recall insults rather than praise. We beat ourselves up for one slip-up, rather than recognizing the other 99 on-point actions. Write what you are grateful for strengthens positive recall, offsetting the tendency toward negativity bias.
If gratitude is too far a stretch for you too, try WWW…What Went Well today. When things aren’t feeling so hunky-dory, “what went well” is doable. When I started, I wrote the basics: Exercised or completed tasks.
Now, I’m jotting down more sublime moments – like the color of the sky one recent morning or the goofiness my husband and I shared while making dinner.
Given the toxic world we inhabit today, a daily WWW – can keep you afloat, help you notice awesome amidst the ugh…and you may discover gratitude sneaks in unnoticed.