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Capture Summertime in A Gratitude Journal


Summer is such a magical time, and it passes too quickly.

It’s the perfect time to start, or renew, your gratitude journal.

The concept is simple: There’s beauty and pleasure all around us, but we often don’t notice it or get enough enjoyment out of it, because we’re focused on all our pressures and problems.

Keeping a gratitude journal gets us to:

  1. Change our focus and scan our environment for pleasures, not problems.
  2. Notice and savor the good things, spend more time enjoying them.
  3. Indulge in their details by describing them in writing.
  4. Hold on to them by recording them.

I began actively retraining my focus in this manner many years ago, so that by now I automatically notice simple pleasures I dare say most people do not.

The other day I was tutoring in a home where the window was open and a lovely soft breeze was flowing through.

My student was working on her algebra with impressive commitment and interest.

A friendly cat entered the room and jumped in my lap.

On the side table was a beautiful, ornately delicate antique brass and crystal lamp, with one of those clunky new “pigtail” fluorescent bulbs screwed into it; the incongruity made me smile.

I took a sheet of looseleaf paper and wrote all these observations down, and when the harried, stressed-out mom returned I shared them with her. It got her started, and she’s doing a list of Twenty Daily Treasures every day now, so as to catch more of those small, lovely moments.

Another woman told me that by keeping a daily list, she notices the ways her husband helps and participates, and is less focused on the ways he falls short.

I am good at noticing lovely things, but I’m resolving to do a better job of then sharing them, because appreciation is even better when it’s spread around or reflected back.

The other day I eavesdropped as my daughter tutored a student in French; the sound of those young voices pronouncing the lessons was enchanting. And I said so! Why keep my delight to myself?

Do you keep a gratitude journal?

Can you imagine any other ways to heighten your awareness of the beauty and pleasure in your environment?

Capture Summertime in A Gratitude Journal


Leigh Pretnar Cousins, MS

Leigh Pretnar Cousins, MS is an educator, counselor, writer and speaker. She's been a tutor, test prep coach and home school teacher for over thirty years. Click HERE to visit Leigh's website and to subscribe to her newsletter, "Learning Something New."


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APA Reference
Cousins, L. (2011). Capture Summertime in A Gratitude Journal. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 14, 2020, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/always-learning/2011/07/capture-summertime-in-a-gratitude-journal/

 

Last updated: 31 Jul 2011
Statement of review: Psych Central does not review the content that appears in our blog network (blogs.psychcentral.com) prior to publication. All opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the author alone, and do not reflect the views of the editorial staff or management of Psych Central. Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.