There is a large body of research linking gratitude to wellbeing and at times over the years I have kept a gratitude journal. Each evening I would note three things that I felt grateful for. This could be an appreciation for something I received from someone; perhaps a physical gift or something less tangible such as a boost to self-confidence. I also noted times when I felt grateful for an experience such as visiting the country of my birth – my emotional home; or perhaps felt a sense of awe when being close to nature (hugging a giant redwood tree comes to mind).  And on many occasions I ‘count my blessings’.

I thought I would look back and see whether I had any journal entries for February, and indeed found some made in 2016. For example I recorded that I was grateful for:

  • A good meeting with my GP
  • Spending time with a special friend
  • Wallpaper stripping with a newish friend giving us time to bond
  • Experience of progress in my exercise routine
  • Completion of planning a day about ‘recognising and using your strengths’
  • Great day volunteering in a local ‘green cafe’
  • Insights through a Quaker meditation process, ‘Experimenting with Light’
  • A walk in the sunshine and beautiful countryside

… and there were many more.

More often than not I notice when I feel grateful to someone and thank them in the moment. However sometimes it is only after I reflect, that their contribution becomes clearer. I would like to think that I then ensure I thank them directly but if I’m honest, this doesn’t always happen. And of course sometimes I can be grateful to a stranger, or perhaps someone I hear on the radio who brings me a new insight. Therefore today I plan to think carefully about three people I am grateful to, and I will make a point of telling them.