It's easy to go through days feeling like you're never wealthy enough, thin enough, successful enough. When we compare what we have to what everyone else has (or seems to have on Instagram), it becomes a draining cycle that always ends in the same conclusion: "I'm not good enough."
For the moments when this self-defeating mentality crops up, you've got to find a way to spin it and make yourself see and believe that you ARE ENOUGH and be thankful for the things you do have. Journaling can be a daunting task for some, so try a Gratitude Jar!
What is a Gratitude Jar?
Similar to a gratitude journal, it's a jar or box filled with reminders of what you're grateful for. The opposite of those crushing "I don't" statements, gratitude reminds us of what we do have. It's what makes the glass half full, and research shows that staying grateful can improve our mental health.
It is so easy to get your jar started. It can be just an old-fashioned glass jar, just as long as it sits where it is accessible and you can see it. Every day, sometimes several times a day if you are feeling it, write down what you are grateful for and add these "Gratitude Notes" to your jar.
You will start to notice that your outlook has ever-so-slightly shifted. You will no longer feel the feelings of inadequacy or lack. You will learn to appreciate the tangibles that you have, the time that you have, the people that you have.
When you do have a down day, pulling a note or two from your gratitude jar will remind you that life is full of wonder and that you have the strength and perserverance to overcome anything.
**A fun time to dump these out and read them is either at Thanksgiving or New Year's Eve or Day. It allows you to reflect on all of the blessings, love, and goodness that have showered your life over the year. You can store those away if you'd like and start anew for another year!
How to Make Your Own Gratitude Jar
Ribbon or other decorations (optional)
Paper and pen
Decorate your jar by tying ribbon around it, writing on it, placing stickers on it, etc.
Using small slips of paper, write down one thing you're grateful for on each. Fold and place in your jar. Sometimes it’s the simple things that make life wonderful: the beautiful weather, the new growth in your garden, the smile from a stranger, or the encouraging text from a friend.
Every week, set a reminder to add a note or two to your jar. If you are hit with a sudden wave of gratitude for something when you're away from home, write it down in your phone so you remember to add it next time.
Whenever you need a pick-me-up, sit next to your jar, take a deep breath, and pull out a note or two to gain some perspective.
Don't feel like making your own? Amazon has plenty of pre-made options like this one.
Being grateful doesn't just happen! It's a practice we have to foster every day. Expressing gratitude can be a fun activity that the whole family can get involved in with the help of a gratitude jar. Make a family fun night of everyone decorating their jars!
What will you put in your gratitude jar?