This blog entry was written by Recovery Help Now’s, Vanessa Blaxland, MFTi.
When I was a child I use to dream about what it would be like to be 16 and able and to drive, then when I was 16 I wished I was in college already, and when I was in college I couldn’t wait for my last class to be over so I could finally get into my career. Even now at times I find myself anxious for the next chapter in life or looking back at the “good old times” and wondering “why didn’t I appreciate that time in my life more?” Its funny how we sometimes struggle with being in the present or being grateful for the phase of life we are in. This cycle of constantly looking back or looking forward keeps us from really living and being present, whether it’s at work, home, or in relationships. But instead of looking back with disappointment reflect on your past journeys to find places of gratitude. Instead of anticipating and being anxious for what is to come find what you are grateful for in the present.
Reflecting on the past and uncovering areas of gratitude can help us appreciate not only where we’ve been but also where we are. Thinking about what we can be grateful for in the past and present helps bring light to the dark perspective we can sometimes take on and allows us to be grateful for what we are experiencing in the now. Try starting a Gratitude Journal, a place where you can write down your daily appreciations. Start by taking a looking back at the path you’ve taken so far, your education, career, activities, relationships, and major life events. What were your successes, what motivated you, what did you learn, where did you receive support? Now that you’re all caught up you’re ready to start your daily Journal of Gratitude!