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Dublin: 16 °C Saturday 20 April, 2019

In celebration of Gratitude Diaries: Why you should embrace the habit

Some days are easier than others, let’s be honest.

AT THE BEGINNING of this year, an individual I follow on social media pledged to share three things a day she was grateful for.

grateful Source: Giphy

She got off to a flying start, and her first post was dedicated to her appreciation of the simpler things in life.

Day 2 was a little less gung-ho with the entry only making an appearance on the 3rd day, while the third entry failed to manifest at all.

And that was it; four days, two entries and a whole host of good intentions.

Despite what those life-affirming posts – which always feature a body of text against a setting sun – on Instagram might tell you, it’s difficult to summon up gratitude on a daily basis.

Difficult, but not impossible.

A few years back, I began keeping a Gratitude Diary, and each night I jotted down three instances in my day which brought a smile to my face, reminded me that people cared or simply made life easier.

Some days were easier than others, but I could always – without fail – summon three; even on days I dramatically labelled some of the worst of my life.

shutterstock_579807967 Source: Shutterstock/Yulia YasPe

But, just like the aforementioned individual, I eventually stopped taking time out of my evening to record these moments, and the habit fell by the wayside.

Today is World Gratitude Day, and if ever there was an appropriate day to begin your own diary, it’s today.

We are, on a minute-to-minute basis, bombarded with messages that tell us we’re not enough, our lifestyles aren’t enough, our life choices aren’t enough, and I’m now saying enough.


Striving for better is admirable, but being grateful for what you already have is even more worthy.

My social media feed is awash with photos of better trips than I’ve experienced, tastier food than I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating, and even more appealing chill-out-and-do-sweet-eff-all evenings.

Her candle is a Jo Malone, for Christ sake. She even does nothing better than I do nothing!

Even now – a few years on – I can flick through that old Gratitude Diary and be met with the same feeling of warmth I experienced when I completed each day’s entry, and subsequently realised that no one day is without its positives.

According to Psychology Today, the effects of establishing a Gratitude Diary are far-reaching.

Not only does it improve psychological health and increase self-esteem, it also aids sleep and benefits physical health.

And hey, if you try it and find that it’s not for you, at least you can use those pages to rant about how shit your life is. Every cloud, you know?

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About the author:

Niamh McClelland

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