One of the most powerful ways you can use your gratitude journal is to shift your perception. Let’s try it now.
Write down a situation that is occurring in your life right now that is making you unhappy. Write down as many details about the situation, and be as negative as possible. Get it all out on the page.
Now write down all the emotions that this situation creates in you that you view as negative. Write as many negative emotions here as you can. Don’t hold anything back. You can add drawings and collage to really capture the feeling.
You’re probably feeling pretty yucky right now, so let’s get ready to shift.
Look at your list of feelings and circle the one that feels the most negative to you. For example, let’s say you circled the word “fear.” You are now going to write a gratitude statement about that emotion. For example, “I am grateful for feeling fear because it is teaching me what I need to feel safe in this situation.”
Spend a few minutes mulling that over in your mind. What is fear teaching you? How can you be safe in this situation? When you’re ready, start writing down your thoughts on what you need to feel safe.
You should already be feeling a shift in how you feel about the situation, but let’s take this one step further. Based on your journaling, what actions do you need to take? Pick one that you feel you can do easily and act on it. Keep going along the path of creating safety for yourself. And while you are doing so, remember to be grateful for your fear.
You can do this with any emotion you are feeling in a difficult situation. Stress teaches us how to relax, worry teaches us how to prepare, and anger teaches us how to protect our boundaries. Keep working through all the feelings and soon you’ll notice that instead of being unhappy about the situation, you’re grateful for it.
Thanks to BK on Flickr for the beautiful graphic.