Do you use a gratitude diary? Some people recommend using one weekly. I have used one daily but I’ve found that when I’ve had a particularly bad day or when things are going particularly well, I don’t use it.
Why leads us to skip our gratitude diary routine?
I pondered the latter, particularly. At first, I thought that when I already feel positive, I spontaneously avoid becoming more positive. After all, after positive comes irrational optimism and I like to keep my feet on the ground.
My one-off test
Then I disciplined myself to jot down some notes on a lazy Saturday morning and I decided that the opposite is true. It strikes me that we veer away using a gratitude diary when life is going well because it reminds us of our underlying anxieties.
It’s reasonable to avoid spoiling the party but anxieties are anxieties because there are serious matters in our lives that might not work out well. Acknowledging anxieties does not have to be mood-dampening. Cleaning dust out of a corner doesn’t make us think our house is permanently dirty (though we might marvel at how much collects).
Acknowledging anxieties keeps us in touch with rich tapestry of life and makes life fuller and more enjoyable. At least, that’s my current thesis. Time to get back to using a diary, I think.
What do you predict? ‘Events’ notwithstanding, will I be better off for cleaning out the subconscious anxieties that I would be quite content to ignore if I thought I could?
- A day of awe
- Ingratitude is sooner or later fatal to its author
- Happiness is managed like clean hands – regular washing?
- Pondering gratitude diaries with a Sufi poem
- Unless we have a relationship with ‘the other’, we cannot believe in our success.
- Do you have the courage NOT to be happy?
- No light at the end of the financial crisis tunnel?
- Is it fair to puncture someone’s anger with active listening?
- When fear and desire are in residence, we are self-exiled from our immortality
- The Noughties, Positive Psychology and New Year Resolutions