Friday, March 5, 2010

Gratitude Journals

Let’s face it. Teenagers are on a roller coaster when it comes to their emotions.  It’s so easy for them to get swept up in the drama of day to day living.  This easy tip will help raise their spirits if it’s a particularly low day, and help reinforce the good if all is going pretty well. Not to mention, it's a good life skill to carry you forward into adulthood. It's not like rocky roads happen only in adolescence!  Parents just need to give teens tools to help them cope.

Start a  gratitude journal. Maybe something nice from the local bookstore. Or maybe just a spiral they can keep near their bed. But the ONLY thing that should be recorded in this particular journal is gratitude. 

The whole process should only take a few minutes before bed. Sit still and think about how the day went.  From start to finish.   If you begin to think of something that went wrong, for this little span of time, put that aside for now and keep the focus on what went right. After walking through the entire day, list at least three things to be grateful for.

Here are a few questions to maybe think about.

Who did you see?
Who did you talk to?
Did you read anything that made you feel good?
How was the weather?
How were your pets when they saw you?
Did you exercise? How did it feel afterward?
Did you watch anything funny happen?
Did you see anything beautiful?

Our entire attitude is affected by what and where we choose to focus.  Hasn’t everyone had the experience where all was well until ONE person did or said ONE negative thing? And then all the good was tossed out the window and replaced with an overwhelming feeling of discontent?  So, instead of being swept away by the squeaky wheels in our lives, let’s get back in the driver’s seat. Let’s deliberately pull the positives to the front of our minds.

Try this for a month. See if it helps.