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How I Stay Sane On Tough Days

I have a daily gratitude practice. It’s not fancy. I don’t skip around the house saying nice things about myself to myself. But it does work for me, really well.

I used to be the kind of person who flew off the handle quickly. I would scare my kids, my husband, and my friends. This gratitude practice is one of the two things I do every day that has kept me more even keel than any drug I have ever taken.

I started doing this practice as a last resort and before all the neuroscience studies came out. If you type in “gratitude journal study” into your favorite web browser you will find 1,000s of studies about gratitude practices. The gist of the studies is this: a daily gratitude practice can be an effective, low-intensity intervention for enhancing mental well-being.

I suffer from a thinking condition, I used to believe (think) I could think my way out of any issue. If I planned and tried really hard I would get myself out of any situation. It rarely worked.

I learned I had to act my way out of situations. Every time I did, I got stronger and felt better.

So what is my gratitude practice?

Every morning I write ten things I am grateful for in a gratitude notebook.

Now if you’re rolling your eyes right now, let me share something with you. I have also learned the more specific I am about what I am grateful for, the deeper the well-being. My list is not full of I am grateful for my life. (Honestly I think that’s bull anyway. It’s too big.

Sometimes the list just flows, and sometimes it's a struggle. Today I kept it simple. Here are three things that were on my list today. What was on yours? 1. I am grateful that my knees still bend! 2. I am grateful that I have a job. 3. I am grateful that it's sunny today.

The simple act of writing what I am specifically grateful for every morning makes me a nicer person.

I have found the best way to start a new practice is to do two things

  1. Keep it simple, and

  2. Keep it simple.

Gift for you.

To help you start your daily gratitude practice, I am giving away four 5 Minute Journals. But I only have four copies. The first four people to email me at with “5 Minute Journal” in the subject line will receive a free journal!

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