I’m quite a reflective person, I like to remember the good times – talk about them, write about them, photograph them – anything that helps to bring the memories back to life. I’m also very grateful for everything that I have in my life – the big, the small and everything in between – and I like to express thanks for those things. It’s important to overcome the negative energies that might press on you from time to time by taking a step back, gaining some perspective and then, just be happy.
There’s an abundance of ways to store memories and show thanks for all that you’re grateful for; I wanted to share just two suggestions: a Gratitude Journal and Memory Jar.
“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
A gratitude journal is kept to acknowledge everything that you’re thankful for and to pay tribute to that. You could task yourself with listing 100 things that you’re grateful for or, perhaps more simply, list one thing that you’re grateful for a day. You might start with the big (and more obvious) entries such as relationships, family, friends, health and a warm home… then, you’ll have to delve a little deeper. What are the small blessings that you may not be considering? The smell of the flowers blooming in the spring? Being snuggled up in bed with your favourite book? Taking a nap? The politeness of a stranger? Or even a blog comment that put a smile on your face?
You will find that keeping a gratitude journal not only stimulates your creative side but also boosts your mood, it’s so much better to be focused on the positive, rather than the negative – always look for the silver lining (there will be one)! This activity will help you to take stock of the every day gifts that we sometimes take for granted. You will be surprised at how long your list becomes and why not extend and express your gratitude further? Make a call, type an email or write a letter to those people that feature in your list.
You can use whichever tool you wish for your gratitude journal, a personal favourite of mine is the “One Line a Day: A Five-Year Memory Book” (available from any good
Amazon retailer) but if you’re more into your tech than traditional methods, I’d recommend the “Happy Tapper” (iPhone) or “Attitudes of Gratitude” (Android).
“Whatever you’re doing right now, whatever you’re thinking, or worrying about. Stop. Take a huge breath in, and just enjoy being alive” – Tom Odell
A memory jar is a similar activity with a similar principle, it’s important to capture the small memories, as well as the big ones. The days, weeks, months and even years fly by – so much time, what do you fill it with? You only need 4 things: A jar, some paper and a pen, and your memories. Write down any memories that are worth capturing and dig into your jar to read over them whenever you might need a little ‘pick-me-up’! Keeping a jar each year really allows you to reflect back on the moments that have helped to shape your life, and you as a person!
You can make the memory jar a personal pursuit or one that you commit to with friends, family or the household – a fun activity to then, at a later date, open and read as a group. And again, if you don’t have a penchant for a good ole’ pen and paper, then there is (of course) an app called “My Memory Jar”, which serves the same purpose. With this, you can even tag, sort and organise your memories!
What are you grateful for? What are some of your favourite memories? Do you currently keep a gratitude journal, memory jar or something similar?