Look at the Bright Side

It’s the first day of Fall today and we’re heading into the time of year when many of us try to focus on to good things in life…we sometimes call it the season of gratitude. But what do you do when you are struggling; when you just can’t seem to find a bright side. Maybe you are one of those “cup half empty” type of people. Have you ever noticed how two people can look at the exact same situation and one can find all of the negative aspects of that situation and another sees the positive? I find this so interesting.

I’ve also noticed that once the positive side of a situation is brought into the light usually the half empty cup person begins to change their perspective. It seems as though they truly have a mindset that focuses on the negative first. The key to changing that automatic feeling is changing how you look at a situation…but really…HOW DO YOU DO THAT?

I’ve found a little tool can make a big impact. A Gratitude List! It seems almost a little silly but over the years I’ve witnessed a change in many of the women I work with in my mentor program. It’s works! It’s a great way to calm worrisome thoughts and soothe your soul and my favorite part is that it reminds you daily of the things that truly mater.

First, let me share that in the beginning you may think, ” this is STUPID”, I did. But give it a chance. Try it for 30 days. You may find it not only becomes enjoyable but also a useful tool to help provide you with a sense of purpose. So What are the details? How do you accomplish this “looking on the bright side” of life attitude? Well, the obvious task is to make the list. At first you may have to force yourself, and the items on your list may feel insignificant. But if you can’t seem to find anything to be thankful about here are a few ideas and tips.

  1. It needs to be purposeful. It must be a physical list (old school paper and pen here).
  2. I like to make my list at night reflecting on the day. Once your day is over and you’re winding down for the night, think about your day and make your list then. ie..have a quiet moment. If you happen to be a morning task person, by all means do it then.
  3. Find one thing that you may have enjoyed today (it may be just that it didn’t rain or you got to shower) however insignificant, put it on the list.
  4. Add 1 person that you are thankful for. If you’re struggling, think of the person who handed you coffee at Starbuck’s! In my world coffee is always something to be thankful for. Although I do wonder if Starbuck’s has a special kind of crack that they add to their coffee to make me want to keep coming back.
  5. Think of the person/place/thing that irritated you the most today. Now, find ONE thing about that person/place/thing to be thankful for. (Sorry…I know this may upset you and get those voices in your head yelling.) Be specific, for instance, if it’s your spouse that irritated you today, don’t just list that you’re thankful for him or her. It needs to be specific. That he emptied the trash or she smiled today. etc… You get the picture. You may have to work hard for this one.

So there’s one rule. You cannot add the same person or item to your gratitude list during the same week unless it’s something specific that is completely different than the other entries. (ok, so that’s really rule #3 if you count #1 above, but you get the picture.)

Read your list every day. You may even find that when you’re having a bad day or are particularly upset with someone, that that person has been listed on your gratitude list and has some very nice qualities. Your perspective is just different . After some time you’ll find that you’ll begin to look at your life differently. You may even find that you’re focusing on the positive more than the negative.

Here’s a helpful tool

I designed a gratitude list template because it helps me to have a format for each day with questions/prompts and areas to write. I’d be happy to gift my template to you for your use. Click the button below, enter your email and I will send you the template in a downloadable format. It’s easy, just print it out and add your thoughts.

When you download the template you’ll also receive additional helpful tips along with ideas for specific types of lists to help narrow down areas to concentrate.

Good Luck, I hope and pray that you will be blessed when creating your list!

Don’t forget your free Gratitude List Journal –

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