I’ll admit it my default response to this winter has been complaining, moaning, whining, swearing heartily, and then complaining again. I live on the East Coast and we’ve just been walloped with snow this winter (we typically average around 12 inches of snow each winter in Philly, and we’re nearing 60″). Now comes the news that yet another storm will be hitting our area next week.
I am not happy.
I’ve long known that the best way to cope with things that make me grumpy is to practice gratitude. I’ve been sober for quite a while, and most of us recovering alcoholics work hard to focus on the good things in life, because the bad things can lead to bad behavior, and possibly, drinking again. A common statement I’ve heard from people smarter than I am is, “You need to have an ADDEETOOD of GRADEETOOD,” said in that fabulous Philly accent.
I believed them, and I used to have a dedicated practice where I ended each day by journaling a bit and writing down five things I was grateful for. Then parenting happened, and the internet, and smartphones, and blogging and journaling by hand is not even close to being part of my life any more (in fact, when I do have to write something by hand it hurts, I’m so out of practice). I’ve tried to keep a digital journal or even use the Note function on my iPhone, but nothing has stuck. And I really miss it.
Well, until now. Now I’ve got the Gratitude Journal, a really sweet little app from the folks at Happy Tapper. Suddenly it’s easy to remember to note down five things I’m grateful for at the end of each day.
I’ve been doing it so far every day for a week, but the makers of the app suggest that you try to do it every day for three weeks because it generally takes about three weeks to make a habit form. They also say it will change your life, and frankly there’s not much evidence to back up that claim. But I do know I go to bed happier now even on the days more snow is forecast.
Sadly the Gratitude Journal app is only available right now for the iPhone and the iPad (for $.99) but if you’re in the market for an app for your Android phone, check out the similar (although not quite as cute) Attitudes of Gratitude App. And may we all bear the last few weeks of winter with a little more happiness.