Monday, January 19, 2009


My husband and I had the privilege of going to hear a talk yesterday at our church about Making Happiness a Habit in Your Marriage. It was truly a blessing to be able to go to this with my spouse and learn things that will enrich our marriage. We both agreed that we thoroughly enjoyed it and we both took some import bits of wisdom from the talk, even if they were different bits, it was what each of us needed to hear.

There were a couple different components that were talked about in making happiness a habit, but one that stuck out for me was about gratitude. (Although the message that I found most important was not about gratitude, I still feel the gratitude part was important) The speaker spent a great deal of time talking about gratitude and how important it is, studies that have been done about gratitude, those who are grateful and their happiness factors, etc. We also had an exercise where we wrote what we were grateful for, and then we did another where we wrote 5 things we were grateful for in our spouse and then took turns reading these to each other. It was stressed that writing what you are grateful for and speaking them out loud to your spouse are far more powerful than just thinking them. This was an awesome exercise!

I've heard quite a bit about gratitude journals. You know, Oprah's always talking about it, but I'm starting to wonder if there really isn't something to this. If making a list each day of what you have gratitude for may truly change how you view the world.

Now, I've never been good at journaling, hence why I started the blog, it's the closest I will get to it as I'm not one to sit down and hand write much of anything these days. But, if research shows that those who keep a gratitude journal are happier than other people, it may be just what I need. Something that was stressed when writing a gratitude journal was that we not get "stereotypical" in what we are grateful for, like generalizations, family, spouse, health, etc. Or focusing on the same things everyday.

When asked for examples it was interesting to here some of the examples that people gave, like, coffee, ketchup, color, hot water, the color blue, email, etc. It truly doesn't have to be the big things in life that we are grateful for.

In starting my journey towards a more grateful life, and my journey of starting a gratitude journal I am going to do 2 things. One, I am going to share with you the 5 things I wrote that I was grateful for in my husband plus my gratitude for today and Two, I am attaching a video from the website a wonderful video that really makes you stop and think and appreciate all that we have and all that we have to be grateful for.

Things I am grateful for in my spouse:
1. Intelligence
2. Humor
3. Patience
4. Looks/Handsomeness
5. Willingness to help me (ie takes off works for my appts, let's me sleep in, puts kids to bed, fixes my computer, etc)

Gratitude List for today 1/19/09
1. Parents who are willing to babysit all 3 of my kids overnight
2. Parents who live close enough to do this
3. Date night with my spouse
4. The friendship I have with my sister
5. Being a healthy and present mom for my kids

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