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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

What are three things you're grateful for?

So, I have a confession: Pregnancy hormones make me crazy. During the day, I feel pretty happy-go-lucky, but as Alex and I lie down at night, my mind starts spinning. Every night, I'm plagued by a new random worry: Is Toby a happy child? Does he feel loved? Does he eat enough fish? Do I eat enough fish? Did I lock my bike? Will the new baby be okay? Is the living-room power strip a fire hazard?! No, seriously, Alex, will you go check the power strip?!!

You name it, I've stressed out about it. :)

In the brilliant Happy documentary, researchers revealed that one way to help increase happiness is to keep a gratitude journal. Even the small act of writing down three things per week can substantially boost your happiness. So, let's do it! What are three things you're grateful for today? I would say: Trader Joe's chocolate covered almonds, early spring days, and chatting with my mom on the phone. Also, the etiquette section of the New York Times. Double dates. Whispering in bed before falling asleep. Swimming at night. Toddlers' beautiful round bellies.

What about you?
(This is what I look like at night.)

P.S. Words of encouragement, and a genius trick for worriers.

(Top photo by First Sight Daily and winter blues illustration by Gemma Correll, for sale here)

167 comments:

fromkansas said...

I have a friend, Kim Murton, who is a wonderful ceramist and illustrator. She started a "worry of the day" blog in 2010. I am amazed that it has gone under the radar for so long. I think you'd love it - recommend you start at the beginning.

http://www.cartoonworryoftheday.blogspot.com/

Sarah said...

I'm grateful for a warm house, a husband who does the dishes, and my good health.

Megan M-R said...

A Cup of Jo! Cooking and drinking wine in the kitchen with music playing. Dogs let off their leashes at the beach. Making something with my hands. Phone calls with friends :)

Chloe Moon said...

My mind races like that at night! My biggest concern is did I accidentally close the cat in the closet?!?!? =)

I'm grateful for my job, my parents, and my boyfriend! Oh and chai lattes!

Ergo - Blog

Courtney Adamo said...

When I was pregnant with my first baby (and also when I was pregnant with the others, but it wasn't nearly as bad) I also became such a worrier. About everything! And it was a sort of worry that I had never had before, the kind you can not switch off. It was more like anxiety. I suppose it was similar in a way to depression, although I wasn't sad, I was just worried.
The interesting thing was that the minute I had my baby, those anxious thoughts went away. Like the snap of a finger. It's so crazy what hormones can do to our minds.
Anyway, I thought I would share... so you know that it's normal. And that hopefully your worrying will go away when your baby is born.
x Courtney

alice in nomansland said...

I'm grateful for the lovey-dovey honeymoon phase my new husband I find ourselves in, the now-sprouting bulbs we planted in November, and a great phone call with my BFF last night.

Lizzy said...

Joanna, I am seven months pregnant with my second child and do the same thing. In the first four months of the pregnancy, I was too nauseated and exhausted to do anything. Then we had our apartment painted and had some minor repairs done, and it was the holidays. But between months 5 and 7, I have had an endless To Do list. In some ways, I am less stressed than the first time, but in other ways, I know to anticipate that I will have no time once the baby comes, so I want to do everything posssible before I get to month 8, in case he comes early. I keep a long To Do list in my phone, and I usually am adding to it at about 3 a.m....

Chris Cammock said...

1. The fresh eggs my neighbor dropped off and I hardboiled for lunch.
2. The slippers that keep my feet cozy.
3. My son's never ending sense of wonder & energy. He's 3.5

that was a good break. I do feel better. must repeat.

eileen ragan | leanerbythelake.com said...

I just started a gratitude journal (via Tumblr) last month and it is such a great ritual for starting the day. First thing in the morning when I get into work, while sipping my green tea almond milk latte, I journal about what I'm thankful for and set an intention for the day.

I often get stressed in the morning worrying about meetings and work and whatever else I can dream up. Reminding myself of all the good things and setting an intention is a wonderful to calm my anxiety and stress.


www.leanerbythelake.com

jm said...

I am grateful for my family. Every day. (Also, for pasta with cheese!)

CYLiou said...

I also tend to get anxious when I'm tired. I've learned to recognize what I was doing and tell myself (and really believe it) that it's just my anxiety talking. And then I meditate, meaning I try to empty my mind. It really helps. Otherwise I get so exhausted with all the worrying, and it really doesn't help me in any way.

With respect to gratitude, here's a little expansion on the gratitude journal idea that you write about: This year, just before we start to eat dinner, I've had the kids and I express something that we are grateful for (in addition to being grateful for the food that sits before us). I wasn't brought up religious, but in a way, it's a lot like saying grace. I really wanted for me and the kids to be appreciative of the life that we have, and sharing this on daily basis has been a wonderful practice. It starts some pretty fun and interesting dinner conversations. I just love the practice.

homeanddelicious said...

oh so cute, real and honest...

jennyl said...

Similar to your suggestion, my husband and I like to ask each other: "What makes you grateful for having me as your husband/wife today?" and the answer has to be something specific. For example, yesterday my answer to him was "I'm grateful you're my husband today because you woke up early to take the dog out so that I didn't have to" and his was "I'm grateful you're my wife today for caring that my shoulders are sore."

But back to your post! I'm grateful that Spring is coming, that I'm in a position to be in grad school, and for my health.

poisonwood said...

Today I am grateful for days off during march break, dates with my sister, beautiful iris flowers (on sale!) & my lovely partner.

officiallyobsessed.net said...

I'm grateful for:
1) my toddler daughter's sudden interest in attacking me with hugs
2) my husband who doesn't bat an eye when I just dissolve into tears for no real reason (this happened two nights ago, and he just went and got me a blanket)
3) a good workout this morning

M.M. said...

Discovering an awesome (and easy) Enchilada recipe over the weekend, spring flowers popping up, and powering through my first spin class last night (and I can still walk today! hooray! :)

Laurel Cyr said...

How funny, I started doing this while pregnant too. As soon as I'd get into bed, my brain would tailspin into anxiety land. M husband and I started writing down what we were grateful for that day and read them aloud to each other. It cured my insomnia immediately! Such a great practice. Harder to do with a newborn, but it really puts things into perspective.

fleur_delicious said...

Do you remember that book, "simple abundance" by Sarah Ban Breathnach? (Oh, the 90s!!). She suggested this as a daily practice: list five things you are grateful for at the end of each day. I haven't done this in a long time, but for a long time I kept a journal which gradually filled up with little mysterious lists: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5; 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Over and over again, with my now-husband's name at the top of every one =).

Today I'm grateful that he's coming home after a week away in Denver. Finally, I'll get a good night's sleep now that my favorite person is back! While he's been gone, I've been reminded how affectionate and sweet our Siamese is (I think she missed the extra attention of having another adoring fan around!). And three, I'm grateful that today I get to stay home and work, with no real distractions until my mother in law shows up at mid-afternoon.

Sarah said...

Hmmm ok 1. Spring weather. Always puts me in a good mood. 2. Strawberries, and I have a fridge full of them. 3. Showers, because they seem few and far between with every child I have. TMI? Sorry ;)

Akshara Vivekananthan said...

I keep a gratitude journal but I must admit I don't do it daily but often think I should. Maybe your reminder will make me do it daily!

Three things I'm grateful for today: my family, great books, and dark chocolate!

megan said...

1. vacation planning.
2. a new blogger template.
3. fresh bread. (I am living in France for a year, I have to eat as much as I can, non?)

4. (can I add a fourth?) eclairs... I am obsessed... I had no idea the good ones tasted so good!

trinaenriquez said...

A friend of mine posts daily (or nearly so) on Facebook an itemized list of what she's grateful for, with no repeats. It's pretty neat, actually. She's been doing it for long enough that the things for which she's grateful have become very tangible and specific—and often funny.

Amy said...

Love this!! I'm blessed with a 9.5 month old who fills me with wonder every single day (e made that amazing human being?!?! Wow!), a husband who is an amazing provider so I can stay home with my little guy & warm, sunny days

oly said...

Hello Jo, I'm 5 months pregnant and I feel exactly the same way. I mean my worries at night are really annoying, and i'm also have nightmares. ( when Im not pregnant I sleep like a baby). My wonders are more about the baby to come, will he/she be ok?
And then I remember what one of my friends told me the other day when i Talked about her about my stupid worries. she told me that it's okay if I feel anxious about the baby, that i have the right to be anxious once a day, to write down in a notebook all these questions, think about it for a few minutes, and then close the notebook and NEVER think about it again. Then start again the next day... Im actually trying this method, and it's kind of working out.I think that combined with what you recommend to do, we'll never be stressed again... ( by the way I'm really grateful that my two first kids are in a very good health, I'm grateful that the sun finally came out this week end for a few hours and that I was able to lay down in the grass, and I'm grateful that I have such wonderful friends). :-)

the brunette said...

An intense random crush on a boy, noticing new blooming plants, warm California afternoons, the excitement of an upcoming trip, feeling (semi) confident in a bikini for the first time EVER, hearing a new favorite song in it's entirety on the radio, when things go on sale online...

heshewee said...

I was thinking of starting a grateful jar so that on the tough days I could sift through my jar to remind myself of how lucky I am :-)
Three things today: chocolate chip orange muffins (made by my husband), three more sleeps until a mini vacay, my daughter and I both slept in until 9:00 a.m.!

Mollie @ Jennings Brae Bank Farm said...

Grateful for:

1- A loving husband who is also a fantastic cook
2- A giant Husky who is great for snuggling
3- Cheese

Ashley@MarriedLane said...

Today I'm grateful for my hard working husband who loves his family, tums for pregnancy heartburn, and toddler naps. :)

Katie Peterson said...

Today (as with most days) I am grateful for how cute my fiance's head looks as he sleeps in the morning with the covers pulled up under his chin and sparkling mineral water. I am also especially grateful for a commet which has given me something to plan and anticipate for the evening.

Mindy said...

what a great post! here are mine:
a beautiful view from my desk
coffee with half and half and sugar-free vanilla
a healthy husband and toddler

Carol said...

I am so very grateful that my husband chooses to go to work earlier in the morning so he is home by 5pm to have dinner and playtime with me and our daughter.Then we put her to bed & have the whole evening together! A lot of my friends just don't get quality family time during the week or sometimes even at weekends if their husbands are doing Masters programs or travelling for work.

Lady Baughman said...

1. my darling husband

2. sushi

3. the smell in the air on the first warm day after a slew of cold ones

dc said...

Wet, fluffy snow on our parched yard.

Upcoming lunch with my husband.

The pot of strawberry jam simmering on the stove.

Gold Muse said...

Too funny. That's how I look in the mornings and I'm not even pregnant! But I do agree with the gratitude point to make ourselves happy. I usually just think about what I'm thankful for but it would be great to put it in writing. Expressing your thoughts through writing is very therapeutic so if what you're writing is positive then the feeling will be much more intense.

amillionreasonswhy7.blogspot.com

dc said...

Wet, fluffy snow on our parched yard.

Upcoming lunch with my husband.

The pot of strawberry jam simmering on the stove.

Jamie said...

Hmmm, what am I grateful for this week??

1. The bitty baby growing in my belly (grateful for that ALL the time :)
2. The way my husband waits for me in the morning, smiling at the bottom of the stairs to say goodbye before leaving for work, as I come running down with my hair still wet and makeup half done to give him a kiss
3. Fruit Smoothies

Amanda aka MamaRobot said...

I'd say I'm grateful we can afford our new rent increase, Daylight Savings time is here, and my daughter's 4th birthday celebration went off without a hitch.

Leslie Garza said...

Grateful
1. Deep conversations with best friends late at night
2. Church and the way it continues to feel like coming home
3. writing because it allows me perspective

Love your blog and love this post.

Emily said...

1. Bachelor wine nights with my best girlfriends (on hiatus until the Bachelorette starts in May!)

2. My boyfriend's attempt at a beard. It's in the awkward growing out stages but if he sticks to it, I think it'll look awesome!

3. The sunny weather Texas has all week. I love walking outside on my lunch break and feeling the sun on my skin. :)

Sasha said...

Yes! This was one of my favorite take-aways from Happy. What a great, daily exercise!

Today, I am grateful for my morning cup of coffee, my puppy and his unconditional love & snuggles, and the possibilities that after-work free time will bring!

Great post! Thanks, Jo!

xo,
Sasha @ sashapearl.blogspot.com

Charli said...

I think that´s a great idea =)

My things I am grateful for:

- My sudden motivation for working out (I still don´t know where it´s coming from!)

- That my greataunt and I am bonding now although she´s 73 years older than me

- That the weather is getting better against all the reports

Greetings from Vienna, Austria, I love your blog!

Kristi said...

I am thankful for REAL butter! for my hair stylist :) and for my 5 week old baby.

Jossie loves said...

So happy and thankful for

1. Fabulous (real) bloggers like you!
2. Gooey cheese
3. NZ butter (nothing comes close!!!!!) True.

PS I suspect Toby is v v v happy and knows he is loved! And he'll be a fabulous big brother. Sleep soundly tonight! xxx

Erin Phraner said...

Yey! I love this idea. Today I'm grateful for...

1. Boyfriend making me coffee to-go before I leave for work in the morning—he really is the sweetest!
2. Looking at the calendar and seeing a bunch of friend-dates scheduled this week!
3. Peanut butter cookie dough, straight from the bowl

(Bonus: Text messages from my parents while they're on a romantic tropical vacation)

xo
Erin

Kayla T said...

I do this every Wednesday on my blog. I call it Humpday Happiness.

some recent entries: ballpoint pens, really bubbly sparkling water, hand written notes, vending machines that accept credit cards, giving a genuine compliment to a stranger

I find it really does make me happy. Love this idea.

x
kayla

www.nearlyoldfriends.com

CP and KW said...

hahha i know how you feel. i have generalized anxiety disorder and this is my every single night. i think that i will clearly be nuts when i get pregnant!
kw ladies in navy

Emily said...

I love writing down things that make me happy/I'm grateful for! Right now, studying abroad in London, I'm thankful for:

1. apps on my iPhone that let me talk to my mom via wifi
2. the occasional warm day in London that is surrounded by other days of miserable cold, and
3. the 2.5 more months I have left in such an awesome city!

I'm not a very religious person, but normally at night I say this: Thank you for my family, college football, and my home. They are all equally important.

Ashley Daly said...

My husband and I started naming three things we were each thankful for that happened that day,then three things we are looking forward to the next day. And if we don't have three for the next day, we plan one- like walking the dog or calling a friend or a back rub when we get home. It's been really uplifting.

Chelsea MacMeekin said...

I think maybe it is the fact that you become responsible for someone other than yourself that makes parents become such worriers. I feel your pain! Today I am grateful for the sunshine, for caffeine which is like chemical sunshine, and for our sweet little boy who is my personal sunshine!

Chelsea
Haute Child in the City

Mary said...

I've always been a natural pessimist, but by identifying and documenting things I'm grateful for, I've turned myself into an optimist! I credit blogging for keeping me on this track. I used to post Three Beautiful Things every week, but now I do it on a less regular basis. Today I'd say 3-year-old Captain Americas, orange-cranberry marmalade, and my Ugg slippers. Love!

Lynne said...

Totally agree with the gratitude journal thing. I've been having a rough six months and every night I write something in my notebook which I've been thankful for each day. Has made a huge difference.

Yolanda said...

I am grateful for...
My body just the way it is
The course that I am studying as I am learning everyday
The most beautiful, wonderful man Alex who is my boyfriend
Our dog Nanuk and the way he sleeps on us & his warm soft belly

MrsLittleJeans said...

I like that picture a lot...internally I feel a lot like that but I don't show it...I have also learned to remind myself of things I am grateful for to manage worries and bad mood, etc.

I think I should start writing them down...I only bring them into my presence and it does help with coping

thank you for the brilliant picture : )

Kali said...

I, too, am pregnant and in my seventh month. I know exactly what you're talking about and even though I reside on the cynical side of the fence most days, I'm going to give gratefulness a go:

1. My helpful husband and healthy daughter
2. Spring is on the horizon and the sun is out today
3. Cadbury eggs

MrsLittleJeans said...

I forgot to tell you what those things are most days...
that I am healthy
that I can drive around to places
that I have sisters

xx

Julia C. said...

This is never a bad idea! I'm thankful for friends who love me the way I am, the fact that I live in a beautiful neighborhood in the greatest city in the world, and my new butcher block/kitchen island. :)

Jackie said...

i like this idea, i might have to start a similar tradition in our home. i'm thankful for...

cadbury chocolate eggs (preferably the milk chocolate variety)
meeting new friends
warm spring-like weather (that is finally here!)

jm said...

That cartoon is genius.

Laura said...

library books, pillows, and strawberries.

mindykay said...

Love this. Having a thankful attitude is a discipline to choose joy! I think it can have a significant impact on our daily lives.

Today I am thankful for: cozy blankets to keep my toes warm, Physical Therapists who can help us get our bodies back into shape after an injury, and a husband who loves and supports me.

And I'm thankful for you Joanna!

xo

megan said...

We've just had our 1st baby, so obviously her happy and healthy self tops our list! :)

I love that you have whispering in bed on your list... as new parents we TOTALLY relate! I love those moments we have together chatting about all sorts of random things, Lucy sleeping in her bassinet beside us.

Great post!

S Haines said...

I'm grateful for

1) soft doggy ears
2) Trader Joe's Pound Plus chocolate
3) newly cleaned flannel sheets

EmHacket said...

Thanks for a writing prompt! I needed to make a blog post this week and you inspired me. http://peacelovemusicgrows.blogspot.com/ You seem like such a lovely lady- congrats on your pregnancy- you look adorable in the Hatch photos!

Kit said...

i'm in college. Top of my list today: chai tea lattes and sharing clothes with friends :)

igotsapoodle said...

I'm grateful for my boyfriend who is my best friend.
For Ben & Jerry's ice cream.
And for the smell of the earth when all the snow melts in early spring.

RitaMarie said...

I'm grateful for:

creativity
an amazing husband
homemade chocolate brownies
(maybe getting a new bunny, too)

Samantha said...

I'm grateful for so much! If I had to pick three from today:

1) a job (at an academic library) where I get to help people answer questions as varied as "How do you draw blood from a snake?" and "What is the effect of corn's agricultural history?" because it's always fun and I learn a lot.
2)Excel spreadsheets and the charts it makes.
3)Rain boots.

katharrrina said...

Love your post, Joanna! I try to be aware of all the wonderful things and people in my life every single day. I share my life with a wonderful man, the love of my life (I had to go to Paris to find him) and since last summer we have a wonderful baby boy and all this in the city of my dreams.The thing is, very often when I feel so happy that I think my heart might explode I get very scared, scared that something bad might happen because it seems just impossible to be so happy while there are so many people who aren't and because I know what I have is so special and rare. I know it sounds weird, but sometimes I'm afraid to be so happy.. I wished I wouldn't be.

Katharina from Paris

Carrie said...

I co-coordinate a teen program for girls in Detroit and this year I started a "Happiness jar". It has done wonders! I work with two groups of girls on different days. The second group I've known since last year but the first group is new. It was really hard to break the ice but when I started the Happiness jar everything fell into place. The consistency of a weekly project helped them open up and start conversations.

I give them each a sheet of paper, they write down one good thing that happened to them in the past week, and they they have to put the sheet in the jar. When the jar is full we're read the slips out loud to remember the good times.

1. I will not be taking a paycut due to sequestration
2. Martha Stewart's Tiramisu cupcakes: http://www.marthastewart.com/318067/tiramisu-cupcakes
3. Re-connecting with my best friend over Sunday quiches

http://thenextqueenb.blogspot.com/

Annie Dog said...

I am grateful for Iron Chef: America on Hulu, the endless kisses of my dog, and a man in my life who (sometimes) gently and lovingly pushes me to be better.

Meredith said...

I have the opposite problem- I fall asleep feeling peaceful and happy but I wake up with my mind running and a sense of dread and anxiety. I used a gratitude journal app on my phone for a while, but I had a hard time keeping up with it.

Marielle Fillit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lindsey Hoover said...

This is wonderful. Thanks for the motivation to restart my positive mood of the morning. I write down many things that I am excited and am grateful for before starting my day typically. Today my plans to enjoy life are:

1) Being home in Fort Collins again :)

2) Ceramics class

3) Little Bird Bakery coffee

Sarah said...

Starbucks chai, my sweet and cuddly 2 yr old who makes me swoon and laugh every day, and fun blogs to read such as yours!

Lizzie Polish said...

1. Salt and vinegar potato chips
2. My morning run
3. Lavender L'Occitane candles

:)

margaux said...

i used to do this daily, and it was so helpful! i don't know how i got out of the habit.

1. when i say "chicken" as in "would you like some chicken for dinner?" my 11-month old says, "bawk!"

2. chocolate biscotti for breakfast.

3. Lanz of Salzburg flannel rhumba pajamas. http://www.vermontcountrystore.com/store/jump/productDetail/Sleepwear/Sleepwear/Kids&apos_Sleepwear/Infant_Girls%E2%80%99_Lanz_Rhumba/62501

joana said...

love the exercise!

so:

shrimp
negative pregnancy testes
the sun (even if just for a little while)

thanks :)

nak244 said...

One of the things I am thankful for is your blog. I have really been realizing the power of being positive (and how incredibly easy it is for me to become negative, unfortunately!). I just appreciate how consistently positive your blog is-- it's always a bright spot in my day. You are a lovely person and I appreciate you sharing your thoughts with us.

kaylee.michelle said...

The cartoon made me laugh. I feel like that often at night too. I'm thankful for:

Coffee_ Seriously so grateful for this wonderful drink that makes morning after nights like the one you described above bearable.

Friends_ like the ones that I don't see for months but whenever we are together it's like I just talked to them yesterday.

Second Chances_ My Dad is widowed (Mom passed away 5 years ago) but he has found a second chance at love. He's getting married in a few months and while it's hard I'm happy for him.

Thanks!



sian said...

1. the bean seedling my son gave me as a mother's day present, it's growing in a pot on our bathroom window sill.
2. pears and the way the baby eats them. he loves the taste. the kitchen floor is covered in little nuggets of pear.
3. someone making me a cuppa.
4. anticipation of my sister's easter visit, she's so far away in australia at the moment but is coming home soon, soon, soon.
HURRAH!

Steffanie said...

There is an amazing book called "1000 Gifts" .... it is the author's journey of counting "gifts" or blessings...it is amazingly moving. I am on my second read through.

Zoƫ said...

I love posts like this one on your blog. You have such a wonderful outlook! Three things I'm grateful for today...easy laughter with my fiance, hints of spring, Snapchat sessions with my best friends around the globe.

Yankee in England said...

Ha Ha I am the same way at 33 weeks pregnant I come up with the silliest worries. I put our parking permit up when I parked but then panicked because it was snowing and wanted my husband to go and clear the windsheild ever five minutes. He told me if the parking warden wanted to check the could clear the windsheild to look!

Jessie said...

I am thankful for:

1. My boyfriend of 4.5 years and the beautiful relationship, home and memories we have created together.

2. My 8 month-old Maltese/Yorkie mix puppy. I am completely and utterly obsessed with him. He lights up my day.

3. My parent's support. Without it, I don't know if I would be graduating with my bachelor's degree in May and possibly starting graduate school in August.

Kelly Rae said...

love this post. I think that is an excellent idea bout writing down 3 things you are grateful for a week. I'm keen to start doing that! (1. Public Libraries 2. Text Messaging 3. lotion that smells like lemon cake)

sandra said...

seE fgybbw

Anna said...

Some friends and I started a page on facebook where we try to share three gratitudes every day. Today I am grateful that my pregnancy continues to be healthy, I am taking the time to do some writing, and milkshakes.

Celeste said...

I love this. I'm religious, so I've also learned that saying a prayer of gratitude, rather than asking for things, is a good way to ease my mind as well. The prayers are unscripted chats with the creator of all things good. I love that time.

But writing them down is such a good idea, too.

Today, my list looks like this: 1) clean water 2) sunny skies 3) Costco's customer service (they helped me price out some items over the phone for a party so I could submit a budget without making a trip over there!)

kati said...

i actually use this trick for maintaining sanity when my 5 year old's personality is really driving me crazy. sometimes it seems like she only does annoying things (how mean am i??!! i did just admit that) and it really helps me at the end of the day to write down the sweet/lovely/amazing things she did that day to regain my perspective. xo

emmy d said...

I am grateful for a husband who cleans the bathroom, automatic coffee makers, and sharing silly reality TV with friends!

Chimmy said...

hanging with my sister and mom. it just never gets old.

writing. journal, poetry. whatevs, as long as i carve out some time to write.

a tasty home-cooked meal.

a glass of delicious red vino at the end of the (day) week.

summer. i love everything from the excessive heat to the thunderstorms.

meditation and prayer (they are almost the same thing).

The Wild Fairy said...

Gratitude is so important - it puts everything in perspective once you have thought about your list. This evening I'm grateful for my lovely husband who started my car for me on a snowy morning, a hot bowl of soup at lunch, and a card in the post from an old friend. ♥

jill cavanaugh said...

I must say I do this nightly - but I don't write down what I am grateful for - I just kind of thank the universe. Anyway I always am grateful for the health and happiness of my family especially my two little ones. Today I am also thankful for getting a decent night's rest and for finding something wearable to the office as I was short on time this morning - it could have really been disasterous :-)

Notes from Holly St. said...

I am so happy that I'm not the only one who lays in bed and worries over every little thing! I love the idea of a happy list...things that are making me happy today: a great cappuccino from Intelligentsia, the tight hugs I get around my legs from my two-year-old and the possibility of a date night with my husband tonight.

Julia said...

So glad you write about this. I am a teacher and in our school each student has a "things to be happy about" journal and we spend most days a little time to record more and more things we are each happy about! :)

Stella Dobry said...

I am a huge worrier too. I always tell my husband, "But what if this [insert horrible thing] or [insert even more horrible thing] or [everyone dies and the whole world blows up]?" And he always calmly replies, "Or what if everything is great and it all turns out perfectly and nothing bad happens??" This makes me feel better for about 5 seconds before another worry comes... but at least those 5 seconds were worry free. :)

Raphaelle Robert said...

grateful for having a kid who looks and is exactly the baby I was dreaming about
grateful for working with creative and nice people
for this delish mushroom soup

Sabina said...

This post is so on point! It's a constant battle against the chatter of the negative mind.
Three things I'm grateful for today are:

1. My good health
2. Jasmine green tea
3. My bass guitar

Jessica Rebelo said...

Today I'm grateful for:
1) My 15 months old boy being healthy again (since he was sick for two weeks)
2) The little bit of sunshine and signs of spring on my way home
3) My husband coming home early from work today surprising us, and seeing my little one getting all excited and hugging him. It melted my heart

Thanks for this post and to remind us to be grateful every day
x

Tall and Salty said...

A friend started a blog based on the concept of being thankful for one thing every day for a year. She's kept it up past her "deadline," but what she wrote about her year was this: "I like to think that it’s no coincidence that the year in which i decided to [literally] count my blessings ended up being the best year of my life." It struck me as a beautiful thought. (Her blog at kategivesthanks.wordpress.com. It's delightful.)

a said...

today i am grateful for...
my husband, my beautiful daughter who melts my heart, and my wonderful job.
what a wonderful excercise!!!
and I stay up stressing too...
xo

Jessica said...

Leaving work (and getting home!), wedding planning (and the man who made it possible...), and my rowing machine!

Sarah and Renuka said...

I have kept a gratitude journal for years now. It forces you to slow down and take a moment to pay attention to the good that you have in life!

Great post!

www.pocketfulofperspective.tumblr

gc said...

I could not be a bigger worrier at times, and I totally feel you! What a good exercise - I love it.

I would say...my toddler daughter in deep concentration when she reads Curious George or the sports section of the NY Times, a good cappucino, linking arms with a good friend while walking. Also swimming in lakes, spring in LA, and seeing art that makes me think!
Ginny

lisa said...

Great illustration! That has been me for the past two weeks. Slowly getting out of it though. Thank God.

honeyandlimes said...

My three are: 1)green tea, 2)sunny CA days, 3)girlfriends who laugh w/me (not at me). Sarah

Sharla said...

long runs, sunshine, a new desk!

emmakesherown said...

I go through phases where I try to be really diligent about doing this, in some form, before bed every night. My follow through, however, ebbs and flows. :)

My three things: chinese takeout on a gloomy rainy day, the promise of warmer weather soon (goodbye coats, hello sundresses!), and my upcoming trip to Chicago in May when I'll spend my birthday with my family!

Em | emmakesherown.wordpress.com

Bea said...

I love keeping a gratitude journal, it makes such a difference to my day! I started one when I broke up with my boyfriend last year, and now months on I love looking back on all of the good things that happened during such an awful time.

My three things: the cool change that finally came through (we've been in a heatwave for 10 days!), extra-hot hot chocolates in the morning (served by a handsome barista) and sweet letters from my lovely boyfriend.

http://www.thegoogleyear.blogspot.com.au/

CHEVRON and GEOMETRICS said...

This is genius. Thanks for posting!

Today I am thankful for the weekends spent with friends, the hundreds of birds singing outside, and homework done early.

Lizzy said...

Hmmm...
Sunshine
Happy and healthy children
Making new friends in my mid-30's.

Nina Leung said...

My boys' tickle spots, kale chips, and freshly washed sheets

Bakehouseblog said...

Have you read The Magic?
I'm reading it and its all about being grateful!
Definitely good for happiness levels. Especially while waiting for summer to arrive!

Sarah D said...

Three people for whom I'm grateful: my children and my husband. There other, every day things for which I am grateful today: thin mint cookies, being able to text a friend when going insane with stubborn children, and leftover pizza! :)

I've started to do this daily with my 7 year old son. In bed each night, before he goes to sleep, we name 3 things for which we are grateful, then 3 things that we could do better the next day. I'm hoping it will help to combat some of the more-more-more societal pressures.

Sammi said...

cups of tea, cuddles from my dog, and my beautiful dressing gown (all of these have to do with being warm)!!

Christy said...

I'm a worrier when I'm pregnant, too. I'm grateful for my three kids.

Dee Murphy said...

Three things I'm thankful for: Tulips, The warm sun on my face... and the inspiration from other bloggers :)
http://murphydeesign.com/category/blog/

Tracey said...

I'm not pregnant, but I definitely can relate. I love this strategy for defeating all that useless worrying and fill it in with a sense of peace instead. My mom and I text each other ten things we are thankful for every morning to keep up this mentality.

I'm thankful for:
1. Women who are inspired to write blogs
2. Being inspired to start my own
3. Freedom of speech

Tracey :) www.busyboldandbeautiful.com

AJ said...

I'm a worrier and planner by nature. Always have to have a Plan B.

1. I am grateful for my mother, who would leave her house at the drop of a hat to come to mine and help our family. And to my father, who would support her leaving and make himself pot pies.
2. Mud season, because without it, the wild trillium cannot grow.
3. Ginger tea. Hot hot hot ginger tea.

anecdotalgoat.com said...

Today I am grateful for:
1. playing hooky for a day at the beach with my husband
2. the view from my house
3. Ella Fitzgerald on vinyl record

Vermont Woman said...

I experienced this anxiety a few months ago. Just too much stress I decided. Now, I can't recall how I got rid of it....wish I could for your sake. But thank you for reminding me about gratitude. For today, my top picks are:
1. Snuggling with my 4 year old and receiving not 1, but 5 goodnight kisses.
2. Baked cauliflower - yum!
3. Having lunch with the new Prime Minister of Libya at the Williard Hotel. Of course, there were 35 other guests there, but it was quite an honor.

Linda Davidson said...

Replacing worries with gratitude is a wonderful night time ritual. We get to focus about what we loved during the day. What inspired us. It's the simple joys that make us happy. I've been encouraging readers to share what they are thankful for on my blog. This practice has helped me develop a positive mindset and helps me focus on the beauty and love that is available to us everyday if we appreciate it. Here are three things I am thankful for today:
1. Having lunch with my daughter who is home from college for Spring Break and my mom!
2. Playing Pachabel's canon with my violin students. This gorgeous soothing melody always makes me smile.
3. A cinnamon coffee that warmed me up on this rainy day!

http://www.sharingthanks.blogspot.com

Jolene said...

Today, I am grateful for...
-my cashmere blanket keeping my feet warm
-checking things off my to do list
-the way the snow stick to the tree branches and looks like blossoms

Sally Mae said...

Oh Jo, I think you are so brave for having another baby. The overactive mind was the craziest side effect I experienced and it is still sort of a problem and our baby is 15 months old. Deep breaths and surrender to the universe! Lately I'm grateful for meditation, working part-time, and my up-coming trip to Palm Springs!

Sleep well - you and your family are going to make it!

Anna said...

I am 7 mo pregnant with my second and am also doing the sleepless worrying. Mostly about money.
But: I'm grateful for my cosy puppy who curls up behind my knees, for the sudden flurry of picture perfect snow that we got today, for having enough propane, & for the way my little guy runs down the hallway with glee!

Sita Daavettila said...

Oh this is a joyful post. Thanks for asking this of us all... SO good to feel gratitude. I am thankful for my new babysitter who is amazing with my little boy. I am thankful for smiles and giggles from my 10 month old. And I am thankful for being an american. That's all for now.

fiendbyname said...

1. The opportunity to follow my dreams by being in school
2. Still having vegetables in my fridge that haven't gone bad
3. Finding enough quarters to do laundry because I waited until the last possible minute

I'm very stressed about an upcoming combined physiology-neuroscience-anatomy-embryology exam but this puts it all into perspective.

Taryn Louise said...

I love your worries about eating fish. :)

I am grateful for my amazing friends (and just having a yummy and healthy dinner with one of them), my sweet and healthy little boy, and liking my job!!

Sandra Carson said...

I am grtaeful for my well wishers,my bf,my friends and my family....
kiddicare

Lendy Salazar said...

I am a chronic worrier too! Lets not even go there with the pregnancy brain! Now I have a new lil bitty worry--with adorable big cheeks! Once in a blue moon my worries are justified otherwise Im just being looney!!! Its best to just laugh at ourselves (after the anxiety-ridden thoughts/meltdown of course)!

Grateful today for 1) my 5 wk old being asleep (11:16 pm); 2) my husband; 3) waking up Happy!

elizabeth said...

I'm American but have been living in South Africa for over two years, and got married to a South African this past December. We signed an internet contract last NOVEMBER and have been waiting ever since; considering the described situation above, this has been quite a sore spot. But I am grateful that our internet is being installed today! I'm grateful that tomorrow is my 25th birthday and I get to spend it with my new, amazing, wonderful husband. And I'm so thankful that we get to go back to the States for three weeks this summer!

Catherine Masi said...

Aw, love this post. And I especially adore your honesty about worry and freaking out (I can relate, but I'm learning learning learning and , my god, letting go brings such a peaceful feeling... I had no idea!) Thank you for opening this up for us to share what we are appreciating. My three things right now? 1. The warmth and near daily sunshine here in Santa Barbara, even in the middle of winter. I think having grown up in New England really makes me feel happy for this and I have yet to feel desensitized to it even if we have the same weather nearly every single day. 2. Making a career out of doing exactly what I love. and 3. Having my husband and dog waiting for me to come to bed in the other room.
p.s. I watched Happy this evening. It was an affirmation.

Zulejka said...

When a read the words "gratitude journal" I immediately grabbed a tiny notebook with Tour D'Eiffel on it that has been waiting for a purpose on my desk for quite a while. Now i know what ro do with it! Thank you so much Joanna. Oh, and everything is going to be all right in the end. If it's not all right, it's not the end:)

Jackie B. said...

I go through periods of ups and downs myself and so awhile back, I decided to end each blog post with something I'm grateful for. Sometimes they are silly, sometimes they are serious, but they always lighten me up which is the point. Good luck with your pregnancy and I'm sure everything will turn out just fine. -jb.

http://madewithlovebyjackieb.blogspot.co.uk/

Lauren Thorpe said...

I absolutely love this post! And reading all the comments! There's so much to be grateful for. I'm a worrier by nature and I love the idea of starting my day with calm reflection -- what I'm grateful for and my vision for the day, the kind of woman I want to be, the goals I want to accomplish. Thank you so much for the food for thought and I'm grateful to add my two cents!

1. I'm grateful for a bf that recognizes when I'm being needy and will spend extra time just being with me.
2. I'm grateful for a home I run back to every day.
3. I'm grateful for the network of friends and family I have around me at all times - just a phone call away!

I'm going to write a post about making a list of what I'm grateful for on apronsandcammies.com

Victoria King said...

It seems that this post was meant for me! After moving countries and hitting the 6 month mark, homesickness and loneliness has hit. It's hard to remember all the wonderful exciting things that made me want to move in the first place when feeling so anxious so here are my 3 things Im grateful for:
1. My new friends, that will jump at a chance to make me smile
2. My new BF, who knows when Im needing a hug
3. The (very rare) blue sky in London that reminds me that spring is on its way.

X

Dani said...

I struggled with racing thoughts when I was pregnant and ended up downloading some meditation podcasts that really helped me get to sleep! (I think they are called THE meditation podcast on iTunes) The man's voice is the best!

Katie Lee said...

At this very moment I'm grateful I get to work from home. I'm so grateful for a loving husband who supports my dreams. And because I'm super exhausted this morning I'm grateful for my big coffee pot. You're right! I do feel better. ;)

Jen said...

This post is exactly what I needed to read today! I'm 15 weeks pregnant with my first baby and I feel like pregnancy hormones have made me crazy! I've just got back from the Doctor who eased my worries, let me listen to the heartbeat and told me that my anxiety is perfectly normal. The fact that you and your lovely readers experience the same things make me feel so much better :) I am grateful for that, my amazing family and my little baby growing in my tummy :) xx

posse said...

Thanks for this post, Joanna. I worry a lot, too. Today my grateful list is:

baked kale fresh out of the oven
the baby's first word is mamamama over and over and over
my very tidy husband who washes dishes, folds clothes, and tends to the garden

Missy said...

Great idea! New amazing friends, clean bed, my family all healthy

Lais said...

I am thankful for people that have this kind of thinking. Not everybody takes the time to notice how lucky and happy they are, and how people are in general, pretty awesome!

Lauren Doxey said...

It's so funny you posted about this because this is exactly what I have been doing for the past month! Read about it here http://laurenofthedoxey.blogspot.com/2013/03/3-things.html

goatsdorun said...

It's so easy to get caught up in day to day worries!

Today however, I am grateful for:

My body's ability to bounce back from injury and illness
The time change and having it be light out when I get home from work!
Have parents and a boyfriend that love me without a doubt

Rosamapose said...

I am grateful that I get the chance to keep trying every day for what I did not accomplish the day before. I am grateful that I have the chance to tell the people in my life that I love them every day. I am grateful that I am learning to grow as a person every day.

Thank you for the reminder, it comes at a much needed time in my life as someone close to me is ailing. It's tough not to get caught up in the worries & important to remember that life (& death) will happen whether we acknowledge it or not.

x
Rose

Blonde in this City

IsraLuv said...

i have the "nope" picture hanging over our bed. we both hate to get up so i bought it to symbolize the "nope" feeling in the morning

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Nicole Carrington said...

I've been like this for the last week. I just cannot sleep. We are buying a house... Need I say more...
So here goes: my niece and nephew, the beach, my convertible, 75 degree days, great pictures.

My Bearded Pigeon said...

I was thesame when pregnant, as soon as the lights were of fm n worry kicked in, I kept rescue remedy next to my bed!
3 things:

Little baby cooing noises
Big girls getting surprise award next week at school
My mr made my fave curry for dinner.

Woot!!!!

McKenzie said...

Okay over the last week:
1. being able to share good music
2. someone picking something up for me that I've left behind/forgotten that just makes me so relieved
and finally,
3. that after 5 days of work/school the weekend finds a way to come and brighten things up! :)

hope you had a great week!

http://currentlylovingblog.blogspot.com/

Kate said...

I am pregnant with my first and have had the same night time anxiety although a happy person overall. I have been doing a lot of reading, and I have come across a few places that say that certain pregnancy hormones cause the anxiety and the biological purpose is to help you prepare for parenting...Don't know how true it is, but it makes a lot of sense to me.

Kate said...

I am pregnant with my first and have had the same night time anxiety although a happy person overall. I have been doing a lot of reading, and I have come across a few places that say that certain pregnancy hormones cause the anxiety and the biological purpose is to help you prepare for parenting...Don't know how true it is, but it makes a lot of sense to me.

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Nicole Carrington said...

I read this post when you first wrote it and back then, it had a completely different meaning to me. At the time, I didn't know I was pregnant. Last Wednesday I found out I was a month pregnant and since then, I have been griping with anxiety. I am worried about everything. My pregnancy is going to be challenging because I have extremely large fibroids on my uterus that made my uterus the size of a 5 month pregnant woman prior to even being pregnant. When I went to my ob-gyn about it in February, he immediately said if I were to get pregnant, I would miscarry. I went to a surgeon and was schedule to have them removed in May. The day after my appt with the surgeon, I found out I was pregnant. Here I am, pregnant, and I can't shake those "miscarriage" words out of my head. It's like waiting for a death sentence. Outside of that, I am worried about being a first time mother, going to settlement on my first house in two weeks, and everything else that happens in this world. I'm just scared- about everything. So scared that all I want to do is sleep and do NOTHING.

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Frock and Kohl said...

I love this. Just good to remember the small things can make a big difference and taking time to appreciate them can instantly give an instant boost! Having a carch up with my mum, chocolate Oh and a back massage :-) instant happy feelings! X

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