It is official, I've been blogging for thirty days. In order to blog, I've made focusing on optimism a regular part of my day. Looking out for something good to write about no matter what the days bring. Every day.I know yesterday was twenty-nine days but as I typed thirty up there I felt surprised. I've officially passed the twenty-eight day mark, which means I have created a habit. A new one and a really good one for me, in my opinion. One month down, twelve to go. It is a milestone and I'm happy to note it.
In the month since I have begun this blog I have become more in tune with my emotions and where I allow them to go. Choosing the optimistic thought over the negative thought is not as simple as changing a TV channel. At times it feels nearly impossible, but I have tools now to help. It can be an affirmations CD, meditation (most of the time that simply turns into a nap, either works though), a walk outdoors with the dogs or by myself, music, reading, and writing a gratitude list. I have even tried Carol Look's suggestion of a gratitude walk, even though my first reaction there was "No, not for me". Gratitude is a reliable mood shifter. You simply cannot be negative and be thankful at the same time. Just like you can't be full and hungry at the same time. One neatly displaces the other.
A gratitude walk is pretty simple. I thought it would feel silly in practice but it did not. I keep the gratitude silent when anyone else is around though. Basically a gratitude walk is a walk outside, alone, listing what you're grateful for. It need not be more than five minutes. I tried it because I know that when I write a gratitude list in my notebook I feel better, lighter inside. I know when I walk outside, I feel the same. The combination of the two could only be stronger yet. So when walking alone with the dogs I vocally say what I am grateful for. I can't talk out loud about good things I am grateful for and think about anything that upsets me at the same time. I'm just not that good at multitasking, honestly.
Thank you for reading. Each one of you that has given me feedback has helped sustain my commitment, fueled my resolve, and gave me something important to be grateful for.