Gratitude and Shopping

This blog was meant to be my gratitude journal. Somehow (I don’t know how?) it turned into a shopping blog. I think many days there weren’t too many things I was grateful for. Or I felt like I was scrapping the bottom of the barrel, which does NOT make me feel better. I know there are starving children in Africa, but that just makes me feel even more pathetic.

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Image from The Gratitude House.

Still after reading this article on the GGSC website, I want to try again to focus on the good things in my life, and to stop trying to buy happiness.

A new study finds that troubled people can reap enormous benefits from keeping a journal that focuses their attention on the good things ….

Participants were assigned to one of three groups:
* In the first, they were asked to keep a gratitude journal. “There are many things in our lives, both large and small, that we might be grateful about,” read the instructions. “Think back over the past day and write down up to five things in your life that you are grateful or thankful for.”
* The second group kept a journal about kindness: “Kind acts are behaviors that benefit other people, or make others happy. They usually involve some effort on our part. Be sure to include at least one kind act that you did intentionally.” Like the first group, they were also asked to talk about their moods that day.
* The third group—which acted as a control—was asked to write about their daily mood, noting their expectations for the following day, their sense of connectedness with others, and their overall satisfaction with life.

Did it make them more grateful, kinder, and happier?

…. both the kindness and gratitude groups showed measurable improvements over those who simply monitored their mood. Both the kindness and gratitude groups enjoyed a higher percent of happy days, where they felt optimistic and expected the best. They were also more satisfied with their lives, which they perceived to be more meaningful, and they felt more connected with others each day.

For me gratitude is a lot about recognising what actually makes me happy versus what advertising tells me will make me happy.

I do like fashion. I do enjoy playing with colour and patterns. The intellectual challenge of trying to dress appropriate for my age, to suit my body shape and to use colour and pattern in interesting (but not eccentric) ways. I do. It’s kind of embarrassing and pathetic because I am not a super model. But I enjoy it.

The risk with fashion is to get sucked into the advertising. Buying the overpriced designer gear. Buying the new because it is new. Rather than buying the thing that you loooove. I love my Ash sneakers, my Hudson boots, my blue scarf, my clutch. They make me smile. (Embarrassing, pathetic but true).

The other thing I really like is being in nature. (Another pathetic statement. See how mean I am to myself?) But I do. I feel myself regaining sanity on my beach or park walks. I return to a sense of my place in the universe (Very small. Temporary).

And for my third thing today, I like work. Yes, really. Money is kind of nice, you know, so I can eat. But also I love the intellectual challenge. The distraction. Being around people. The excuse to dress up rather than spend all day in ugg boots. The money.

I have spent all weekend pondering a project at work. Trying to find a way to make a document I am working on look more professional. I might even play around with it today a bit. Because it’s fun.

I don’t know. I’m grateful for fashion, nature and work. Wow. This is not cheering me up!