...or should that be 'how not to'?
A few weeks ago Daughter gave me a gift of a pink journal. It has a soft, leathery cover and is compulsively tactile. She told me it was for recording daily gratitudes. She said that this method of dealing with negative thoughts has now replaced the old 'dumping of baggage' journal, explaining that writing negatives down every night was reinforcing them in your mind. Writing gratitudes down every night will reinforce the positive.
Reinforcing positives certainly makes sense but it took me a few weeks to get the hang of it. For a start I began by picking out events that had previously been a negative in my life but had now improved and so I could record my gratitude, for example the Covid rate going down to below 100 per 100,000 in our area. Daughter told me that this was not the idea at all. It was to find pleasing, gratifying moments. She saw the blank look on my face - I'm afraid I am something of a 'glass half empty' person - and so she gave me examples.
"Look Mum, how about writing it down next time you see that woodpecker at the bird feeder and the way you told me how he sends showers of seed all over the place for the smaller birds to clean up... or... or you could write about that daffodil bud in the garden, look, the way its yellow petals are just beginning to unfold. That's positive. That's gratitude."
I may have remembered the conversation slightly wrongly. Daughter will probably read this, roll her eyes and say that I've still not quite grasped how to keep a gratitude journal but I think I'm getting there.
I saw the woodpecker again today and as for the daffodils, they're looking lovely and I had to smile at the pretty pink hellebore photobombing my daffodil shot...