The One Tool That Has Helped Me Become 100% More Grateful

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This week is all about gratitude and giving thanks and so in keeping with the theme, I thought I’d share the one thing that has helped me grow tremendously in this area.

Here’s that amazing tool…. (drumroll)…. The Five-Minute Journal!

 
Okay, like you I thought it was somewhat of a joke when I stumbled upon this 6 months ago. A journal for $22.95, that’s the secret? They tout that it will increase your feelings of gratitude and possibly lead to:
  • More Joy, Optimism & Happiness
  • Stronger Immune Systems & Lower Blood Pressure
  • Feeling Less Lonely & Isolated
  • Acting With More Generosity & Compassion

Wait, I’m a doctor and I don’t remember learning about this in medical school.

However I had just read the book The Miracle Morning and I wanted to find time to get more done and part of the routine was to spend some time writing and reflecting. So I was looking for something to help me do just that and I found this book.

Despite my doubts, it was being used by some people I respected – Tim Ferriss, Hal Elrod – and the Amazon reviews were ridiculous so I decided to give it a try. I’m actually a pretty optimistic person and it’s not like I felt I needed more joy in my life, but I thought, why not?

Here’s what the book looks like…

So over the course of the next week I proceeded to follow the script and slowly but surely, I found that setting the course for the upcoming day, and reflecting on the past day started to make me feel… better. Wait, I started noticing things I didn’t before, I was focusing on what I had, not what I didn’t have.

Without diving into it too much, here are some things I jotted down over the last several months:

I am grateful for…

  • My supportive wife – who has to constantly be my sounding board for blog posts
  • The health of my children
  • My colleagues at work

Three Amazing things that happened today…

  • My patient high-fived me today after I gave her an epidural
  • Launched the blog
  • Danced out to the Chipmunks version of Party Rock with my daughter today

You know what? That felt good even looking back at it.

My takeaway

I’ve been using the Five Minute Journal for about six months. I miss some days here and there but for the most part I’ve kept to it consistently. I think I know what I’m getting a good number of my friends and family for the holidays this year.

It’s actually made an impact on my life. I now realize that it’s important to be intentional in cultivating a feeling of gratitude in your life. The Five-Minute Journal has helped me to do just that.

Anybody else use this or have any other tips for creating positive patterns in your life?

(Pics courtesy of http://www.davidjamesorozco.com/ and The Five-Minute Journal website)

 

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