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Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Gratitude List

I'm stealing this idea from a wonderful blogger named Deb. Thanks, Deb! I like the idea of a gratitude list as a way of helping me focus less on the drama and trauma of life, especially life with a teenager, and more on the positive things about my life. It's so easy to overlook the good things and become overwhelmed by life's troubles and irritants.

I started my list of 100 things for which I am grateful last week -- a very ambitious goal indeed! So far my list includes 76 items, and the list is growing v-e-r-y slowly. Once it's complete, I'll post it for everyone to see. Some of the things on the list are rather silly -- chocolate, for example. Others are more important, such as the high desert I love, or my dogs.

It's an interesting exercise to actually think about and record the things for which I am grateful. There is no rhyme or reason to my list, and no significance to the order in which items appear. It's completely random. But putting this list together has caused me to think seriously about just what is most important in my life. Perhaps this is an exercise that more people should do. Even if they can't come up with a list of 100 things, how about 50? or 25? or 10?

Studies have shown that people who have gratitude lists -- and some people do them daily -- are better able to shift their perspectives than those who don't. I am facing a lot of stress right now, on a number of fronts. Anything I can do to help me deal with my stress and keep me positive and moving forward is worth doing.

Try it, and let me know how it works for you!