Monday, June 15, 2009

Wellness Activity: Writing a Gratitude List

One of the most important wellness activities I do when I'm well is to write a gratitude list. The items can be big or small, but I believe it's important to be mindful of what makes me happy, and what I'm thankful for. Here's today's top 10 list.

1. I'm grateful my last depression is over, and I feel well every day.

2. I'm grateful my overall health is so good, and that my recent mammogram was "normal" after an abnormal one last year (that turned out to be nothing, but frightened me for a week).

3. I'm grateful my son (whom I love completely and unconditionally) is so much happier.

4. I'm grateful my husband has so many hobbies and interests and remains so thrilled to be retired.

5. I'm grateful I've discovered gardening and digital photography as new passions.

6. I'm grateful I'm resurrecting my professional writing career, and will be co-writing a garden article and book.

7. I'm grateful that despite years of depression, I still have a coterie of very dear friends (and a few extended family members) whom I love and who love me. And, for the first time in years I'm meeting new people I genuinely like.

8. I'm grateful that after 27 years of marriage (our anniversary was earlier this month), I still love my husband and he loves me.

9. I'm grateful that I've learned so much in therapy that I feel confidant I might end these depressions once and for all.

10. I'm grateful we adopted Jack, our adorable terrier-chihuahua mix rescue dog, who's a marvelous companion, and with whom I've re-established my twice a day walking schedule.

For what are you grateful? If you post a gratitude list, I'll link to it. If you just want to mention a few things, please leave a comment.

If you're depressed or feeling blue, I urge you to reach down in your soul, and find one thing you can feel grateful for. I used to do this, and it always makes a difference--even if it just causes a brief feeling of happiness.

P.S. I just went blog visiting (actually I'm swamped with work and need to begin writing), but I saw that KJ had posted her own gratitude list yesterday, so consider it linked to mine.


Gianna said...

I find that practicing gratitude---and I do it in the form of internal meditation---is very helpful when I feel terrible...I'm very ill and try to do these meditations even when I am at my sickest (I know you know, but for others, my illness is physical) can lighten my load when I start realizing how much I have to be thankful for even in the midst of suffering.

I can't say I'm always 100% successful when I feel really really bad, but most of the time it is helpful and really does change my perspective on things.

Wellness Writer said...

Yes, I agree that trying is half the battle. If we can get outside ourselves--just for a moment and think about all we have--it enables us to feel a little less sad about what we've lost.

Thanks for commenting on this.


Mariposa said...

Very nice post!

I do my Thankful Thursday list every week when I can...and I sure would do mine this week. Thanks for the reminder. It really helps to count our blessings...

Sorry I've been in and out of the I am trying to transition to my new job.

Wellness Writer said...

Dear Mariposa,
I hope the new job is going well. Transitions are always nerve-wracking--at least to me.


KJ said...

I love your gratitude list. Somedays it easier for my to be grateful than others, but it is a practice I should do more.

Wellness Writer said...

Dear KJ,
I loved your list as well!


Patricia Singleton said...

Susan, my life is always better when I do a gratitude list. For several years, I kept a Gratitude Journal in which I wrote down 5-10 things that I was grateful for each day. Several Christmases I gave Gratitude Journals as gifts to family and friends. Starting my day or ending my day with gratitude is a joyful place to be.

Wellness Writer said...

Dear Patricia,
Welcome to my blog. That's extraordinary that you did this every day. And what a lovely idea to send Gratitude Journals as gifts to family members and friends. It's quite inspirational!