An Attitude of Gratitude

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Every Thanksgiving, I sit down to think about all the things I'm thankful for.  Usually this is sparked by a project at school, or at the very least, the fact that the holiday is called Thanksgiving.  It makes it easy to remember to be thankful that day.  I'm always surprised by how warm and fuzzy it makes me feel when I write down all of the things in my life that I appreciate. 
You know that warm, fuzzy, happy, content feeling you get when you're really, truly happy about nothing at all?  That's what I'm talking about.  Fortunately, there is a really easy way to get this feeling every single day.   Oprah Winfrey has one.  Molly Barker has one, too.  I started mine last night.
It's called a gratitude journal.  All you need to start a gratitude journal is a plain old notebook.  You can decorate it if you want, and make it special just for you.  Use stickers, glitter, magazine cut-outs, pictures of things you love - you get the idea.  If sparkles and glitter isn't your thing, a plain notebook will work just fine.  You can even take looseleaf or computer paper and staple some pages together, or tie them together with a pretty ribbon.  The important thing is that you have a place to write each night.
Find a safe place to keep your journal.  I keep mine on my nightstand, so I remember to write in it each night.  If you have private things stashed in yours, you might want to stick it under your pillow or in a safe place in your room.  
Each night, write a list of at least five things you are thankful for that day.  Some days your list might be longer, and that's great!  Your list should never be shorter than five things.  On rough days, it's okay to have some things that you keep going back to, like "my parents," "my best friend," or "my dog."  It's not okay to skimp on your list.  If you're already in a funk, a super short list will just make you feel, well, more funk-y.
As you add to your journal each day, you'll begin to notice you have a lot to be happy about!  Recording those happy things can make you smile when you're feeling blue.  After a while, you will find yourself looking on the bright side more often.  
Don't wait until Novemeber to write down what you're thankful for.  Start smiling now!
Check out the photo gallery for pictures of how I made my awesome new gratitude journal.

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  • Great idea! You might like the Inconvenience Yourself

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    Lauren Kaminsky

    I’m a 26-year-old who is passionate about many things, and still trying to figure out exactly what I want to be when I grow up. I love empowering young women, training for and participating in triathlons (because calling what I do racing is a stretch), and giving a voice to all the thoughts floating around in my head. Most of the time, you’ll find me running, biking, and swimming, in no particular order, training for as many races as I can cram into my weekends. I also enjoy rocking out to Hanson (yes, the band that hit it big with “Mmmbop” in 1997), watching Glee with my husband, giggling with my girl friends, and drinking way too much Diet Coke.

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