Keepin a Gratitude Journal. No Thank You

by | Nov 11, 2021 | ADHD Symptom Control | 0 comments

gratitude journal

Have you tried to keep a gratitude journal? I have. And I haven’t been successful.

Sure I start out strong. (That’s how ADHD works, isn’t it?) Planning to write a list I’m thankful for every night before bed. And, about two days in, it devolves into meh. Soundbites that are trite and repetitive. 

Basically it becomes a laundry list of the same things day after day: Husband. Daughter. Home. Health. Sunrise. Career. Support team. Healthy food. Dark chocolate. Yoga pants.

I’ve tried to keep a separate gratitude journal. I’ve tried including it in my regular nightly journal. I’ve tried various gratitude techniques.

Nothing sticks.

It’s not that I’m not grateful. I am. For so much. I am blessed with love and support. Health and purpose. Surrounded by beauty.

Even during the challenges COVID-times have tossed at my family, at our core, we’re okay. I am grateful for so much.

My challenge is journaling my gratitude. Like we’re told we should.

Wait!! Did I just SHOULD on myself? Oh my. Ah! Lightbulb moment. That’s my problem.

Just because Oprah and other self-helpers say I SHOULD keep a gratitude journal doesn’t mean that I should. Especially when I have tried so many times and not being able to follow through leaves me feeling guilty.

Shoulds hit us in so many ways. Shoulds leave us comparing ourselves to others. To some unrealistic standard or someone else’s way of being. 

But we have ADHD – we are unique and special and our brain fantastically behaves differently than most people’s. Shoulding on myself leaves me frustrated and disappointed. It’s not helpful. 

On the flip side, living with gratitude opens your heart and mind to all the amazing things around you. It helps you see the beauty in the world – and in your ADHD.

So, what’s my solution? Starting here and now I’m dropping the gratitude shoulds.

I’m going to work on being grateful for small bits of wonder, instead. Like the bright red leaf I saw falling from our tree a moment ago. Or the delicious meal (and dark chocolate dessert) I had last night. And snuggles with our old dog, Carly Jean.

So yes, look for the beauty, the joy, the gratitude. Just don’t force yourself to mechanically write it down every day if you don’t want to! And that permission to not keep a gratitude journal is something I’m grateful for!

Have you figured out an ADHD-friendly way to keep a gratitude journal? Struggle with this as well? I’d love to hear about it – share below!

Keep reading to let go of those ‘shoulds’:


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