I am so excited to bring you this inspirational guest post about gratitude journaling from Roxanne Merket!
Let’s turn it over to Roxanne!
How Gratitude Journaling Has Improved My Life
I remember vividly the night before I got married.
It was late, I was exhausted from the emotion of planning a wedding, and I was wrapping up final decorations for our reception at my (recently passed) grandmother’s home.
I’m very much a “type-A” personality, and I had a VERY clear vision of every single detail of the wedding. I knew the angles of every table, the folds of every linen. And I had communicated my vision exceptionally well…
Or so I had thought.
I was wrapping up final set up and walked into the room where the food would be. Several people had set up the serving table, and it wasn’t at all what I had planned.
I nearly broke down in tears.
I started “fixing” what was never broken, and in turn, hurt the feelings of many who had worked so hard to create what they thought I wanted.
I never said thank you.
That was nearly 7 years ago and I can still see the hurt on the faces of those I love.
Since then, I’ve started gratitude journaling. I can’t help but wonder how that situation would have played out if I knew then what I know now.
Gratitude Journaling Lifted Me Up
I started gratitude journaling as an experiment. I’ve always found ways to show gratitude, but decided to put serious effort into documenting that gratitude after a deep conversation with a friend one night.
My friend was experiencing significant negativity and doubt in her life – mostly self-inflicted. I had read the benefits of practicing gratitude and encouraged my friend to find 5 things every day for which she was grateful. I told her I’d join her efforts as an accountability partner.
Each night I listed 5 things for which I was grateful. I found myself defaulting to my senses: the smell of chocolate, the taste of cold water, the feel of piano keys, the sound of my favorite song, the sight of a chevy truck out my window…
I found myself feeling lighter as the days went on.
Gratitude Journaling Calmed Me Down
I have always been a control freak – and I’ll own that. I can get things done, and they are great when I do them. It’s one of the traits I’d never change about myself.
The way I’ve approached that control, though, has changed dramatically. Since I began a gratitude journal, I find myself searching for opportunities to thank people for what they’ve done. It gives me a split second to evaluate the vision of another person, often calming my own desire to be controlling of every detail.
Can you imagine how that would have changed the night before my wedding?
What if I had just said “Thank you!”? I can’t change the past, but I can learn from it. One of the most important lessons I’ve learned is that the moments I say thank you first are the same moments I don’t regret my actions.
Gratitude Journaling Inspired My Creativity
As my gratitude journey continued, I found myself searching for unique things and ways to express my gratitude.
When you’re searching for something unique, chances are you’ll find it.
I found a unique avenue when I combined the search for gratitude with the idea of journaling itself. Gratitude journaling isn’t easy – it takes a lot of effort to remember the practice every day. I found myself wishing for a text prompt to remind me to be grateful daily. My quest for gratitude led me to TextMyJournal – a unique way to remember and store a journal. I found myself grateful for abilities and ideas and individuals supporting me in my journey.
My creativity was triggered by the search to get outside myself and find gratitude in the small things. My creativity was further inspired as I began to develop gratitude prompts.
Gratitude Journaling Encouraged Contentment
I’ve found a unique peace in my search for gratitude. I’ve found myself content with where I’m at in life – it’s no where close to what I had hoped or imagined, but it is enough.
I’m grateful for the little things, but I’m grateful for the big things too. I’m grateful for being alive some days and grateful for red toenails other days. On my sarcastic days, I’m grateful for my unique world view. On my bad days, I’m grateful for a range of emotion with which I experience the world. On my good days, I’m like a crazy ball of sunshine – I’m grateful for the sky and the birds and the flowers and the rainbows and the unicorns and the cheesiness that gratitude journaling can be sometimes.
It doesn’t have to be all serious, you know.
Gratitude Journaling was like a Software Upgrade
Gratitude journaling hasn’t changed who I am at my core. Really, I’m just the same stubborn person I was 7 years ago when I ruined my maid of honor’s night. I’m just a version better – Roxanne 2.0. Same stubbornness, same need for control, but also, a little more grateful, a little calmer, a little lighter, and a little more at peace.
Gratitude journaling has kept me from many regrets, and helped me overcome others. To that end – to those beautiful women who set up the food table the night before my wedding…
Have you tried gratitude journaling?
Hi! I’m Roxanne Merket. I’m a graphic and web designer, musician, adventurer, and founder of TextMyJournal. I founded TextMyJournal with a simple goal: to help people tell their stories. I believe our life stories are made up of small, seemingly insignificant moments that, when combined, create a beautiful story of who we are and how we got there. When I’m not working with TextMyJournal or designing websites, you can find me exploring the Pacific Northwest with my husband and daughter.
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