Belief Beyond Boundaries
It is well document that practicing gratitude rewires the brain in several ways. One is that gratitude creates more instances of positive feeling throughout the day, which raises dopamine and other natural feel-good chemicals in the brain. It also has side-effects like increasing the likelihood of producing more positive interactions with others as well as increased feelings of forgiveness. Gratitude also helps you become more cognizant of the blessings you've received. That is why I ascribe to regularly writing down what I feel grateful for in a gratitude journal.
Activity: Create a notebook or document to use as your Gratitude Journal. Write the following prompts on the first page. Use these prompts to help you think of a theme for each day:
Monday - List 3 things you are grateful for and why you appreciate them.
Tuesday - Identify 3 people you appreciate and the reason why.
Wednesday - Name 3 things you normally take for granted, but actually appreciate and the reasons why.
Thursday - Name 3 people at work or school you appreciate and the reasons why.
Friday - Pick a person and think about 3 things that you appreciate about them and why. Write down on paper as a “thank you.” Send it to them if you wish.
Saturday - Name 3 things you appreciate about your health and the reasons why today.
Sunday - Send a “thank you” prayer up to Heaven about something that recently happened for you and why you appreciate it.
If you find you are having a hard time feeling God's presence or feelings of depression, documenting gratitude can set off a positive chain reaction to help you out of that state and get you back into an attitude of gratitude! I urge you to try this for a couple weeks and see how it affects your mood throughout the day. If you stop journaling, likewise, see how stopping affects your mood as well.
Have you ever kept a gratitude journal? How did it work for you?