Hi there, I am a little later with the blog post this week. It’s been a busy weekend but there is a lot to be thankful for. I’m not sure about you but I have always been a chronic worrier, it has been one of the reasons I have struggled to get to sleep at night and is something I have looked into a lot while trying to find solutions that work for me. Over the last week or so I have also seen a number of people that I am close to try and come to terms with difficult situations that are causing them worry so today I am sharing something that has worked for me in the hope that it may be useful for you too.
My friend lent me a great book earlier this year by Dale Carnegie called How to Stop Worrying and Start Living it makes reference to what has become one of my favourite poems – I have highlighted the lines that have really resonated with me:
Salutation To The Dawn (written by Kalidasa)
Look to this day!
For it is life, the very life of life.
In its brief course
Lie all the verities and realities of your existence:
The bliss of growth
The glory of action
The splendour of beauty,
For yesterday is but a dream
And tomorrow is only a vision,
But today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness
And every tomorrow a vision of hope,
Look well, therefore, to this day!
Such is the salutation to the dawn.
That’s a very powerful reminder to me that there is little point in worrying about the past or second guessing our worries for the future but to live as well as possible from day to day. In the 5 second rule, that I have written about before, Mel Robbins suggests that when we observe our thoughts turning to worry we think 5-4-3-2-1 and replace the worry with a positive thought and image that brings us happy memories. There are multiple sources that suggest we can benefit from taking this one step further by creating a Gratitude Log or a Gratitude Journal.
A Gratitude Log, for those that are not familiar, is not complicated to do and it takes no more than a few moments to create. It is a daily activity that can be practiced to calm the mind by taking the time to acknowledge the people and things around us that we are grateful for. If you are a night time worrier you might want to do this last thing at night before you go to bed, but if you have a morning routine where you can make time for this then that is equally as good – the main thing is this should be something that you do regularly to get the most benefit and you must commit putting pen to paper to get the optimum benefit.
Aim to write down 5 things that you are grateful for that day – be very specific about the what and the why
Tip: Try and avoid referencing the same things each day – for example, Family, Health, Friends….instead call out specific instances that happened that you were grateful for – it could be someone helping you solve a problem, spending time with a loved one, someone holding the door open for you…anything really that you notice that you are grateful for.
With regular (daily) practice you can train yourself to become more mindful and grateful of the little things that happen all around you each and every day – in turn you can focus more of your energy on celebrating the positive things in your life and reverse the cycle of the negative habit of worrying – win / win! You should find that in no time you start observing all the little things as they happen.
To bring this to life, here are my 5 for today (in no particular order!) – all real – and don’t feel like you have to stop at 5 – the more the merrier but try for at least 5:
- For time with my amazing Mum yesterday, laughing, a few tears and some Christmas crafting – without the TV on – truly grateful and thankful
- For my very dear friend who is supportive of the handmade cards I make – who dropped off a lovely gift and flowers today – I am blessed and thankful
- For my Husband who has spent the day decorating so that we can tick a few more To Do’s off the list – I am grateful
- For my Daughter who’s anti bullying video message recorded at her dance class this weekend was put of social media today and who has spent an hour this afternoon with our elderly neighbour – they have been “pen pals” for 6 years – technically that is 2 but I am certainly blessed and grateful
- For my tumble dryer – grateful – enough said in this weather!
So that’s it for this week, maybe you will consider starting a Gratitude Log yourself – what have you got to lose? It might just unlock benefits to other areas of your life including your sleep and overall happiness. I would love to hear how you get on, or if you already have a gratitude log and have any other tips to share.
Have a great week everyone, be awesome and be grateful! x
Thank you Louise.I have just read your blog .I started my Gtatitude Log after spending some quality time with you yesterday . I followed what you said and read it before going to sleep .I slept really well and did not wake in the night worrying about things as I usually do, Today I have been writing things as they have happened .This has helped me to focus on the positive instead of the negative and realise I have so much to be grateful for . I am familiar with the poem .Extracts from it used to be displayed in the staff room at work .It might be a good idea to do this at home .
So so pleased and what a great idea! Will have my notepad at the ready tomorrow and I will print the poem for home, work and handbag! xxx