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We all have days when we feel lonely, or a bit lost and unsure of what to do, or unloved / appreciated, or overwhelmed. It is just part of being human – nothing is necessarily wrong.

There is a great way to get out of this “muck” though…. be grateful for what you DO have!

This top tip may seem overly simple but its a gem – after all –

HOW you feel about yourself largely depends on what you THINK about yourself.

(Remember: You are in charge of what you think – although sometimes it doesn’t seem like this.)

Yes, you can ask the unhelpful thought to go away, but sometimes action is needed and a “fresh pair of eyes” on the matter.

So if you are down in the dumps or de-motivated for whatever reason – using a GRATITUDE JAR can make all the difference.

They are simple and free to make up – and can be a super easy standby when changing your thoughts is too tricky without some support.

How to do create your gratitude jar:

  • Get a large necked jar – pickle jars are ideal. Clean off the label and dry.
  • On coloured paper – cut them into fairly large squares or using a small notes pad or if you have a decorative crafts punch – create large hearts or stars – at least 20!
  • Write on them ideas and thoughts of things you are grateful for or even add a photo or drawing. (See below)
  • Fold them up, or leave them open and place in the jar.
  • When you are in need of some inspiration open up your jar and take out a card and spend a whilst being grateful for that thing. Really imagine it, or take the action.
  • See and feel and hear and taste the expression of that thing – really take it all in.

When finding ways to be grateful often it is easier to take some actions – as they cause you to shift your physical body and mood too, but mental images and thoughts can work just as well.

Ideas for things to be grateful for:

  1. What makes you happy?
  2. What makes you laugh?
  3. What is your favourite flower?
  4. Where is your happy place? e.g. beach
  5. What part of your body are you grateful for?
  6. Who brings sunshine into your life? It could be a partner, grandchild, shopkeeper…
  7. What kitchen utensil would you miss if you didn’t have it?!
  8. What is your favourite item of clothing and why?
  9. What is your most successful achievement?
  10. When were you last congratulated on something you did and why?
  11. Can you make a picture / collage / plant arrangement to bring back happy memories?
  12. What is your favourite flower or plant?
  13. What is your favourite tree / park?
  14. Name 10 items that are in your favourite colour e.g. yellow – daffodil, sun etc.
  15. What are your best, happiest memories over your lifetime? Why?
  16. Who are you grateful to for having them in your life? Name a specific incident with each person.
  17. What saying or phrase gives you inspiration?
  18. What is your favourite piece of artwork – what feelings come up when you see it?
  19. How do you enhance your positive emotions and energy?
  20. What is your favourite healthy food or drink? Where were you when you enjoyed it?

This little project in itself can be a fun way to express yourself and discover what excites and supports you in all areas of your life. It is a gift to yourself in itself – and can be a useful tool when things feel like hard going and a struggle.

Add to the jar whenever you feel the inspiration – the back of an envelope, corner of a serviette – it doesn’t matter – just write it down and pop the thought in the jar. Dating them also helps to make them real.

“What are you thankful for?”

You can also use it as an educational tool for your family – about what is important to you and your life. We all have different ways to create happiness and show our gratitude for them – but often don’t know what those may be for our friends and family! It doesn’t matter how close you may be to them!

For some creating a Gratitude BOOK may be easier – a random collection of thoughts and ideas and memories and inspiration may be a simpler option. Add pictures, quotes etc.

First you need to identify them for yourself though…. have fun and enjoy the exercise. Perhaps you could create this as an exercise for all the family? Teach them how to manage when times are a bit tougher and things seem gloomy?! Have an hour to get out the colouring pencils and create happy, thankful memories and find new ways to enhance life.

If you have found this post helpful or valuable please COMMENT below and

SHARE it to your friends or on social media. Give everyone a lift for the day! Thank you.

If you want to watch a VIDEO of how to create a Gratitude Jar – watch below.


© Great Guidelines for Later Life 2017. All Rights Reserved.


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