Project GoodVibes - A low-Key Gratitude Journaling
Why We need a Low Key Version of Gratitude Journaling
I went through a severe phase of burnout and depression. As a way to self-help myself before seeking professional help, I tried or tried doing gratitude journaling for about three months. I decided it wasn't for me. Here's why?
- I had nothing to feel gratitude for
- It was hard to find things that genuinely made me feel grateful
- When I tried my best, it felt like I was self-gaslighting myself
To give some context, all of this happened when we were in the middle of CoVID. One gratefulness log might look something like this
I'm greatful that I have a job midist pandemic
But that wasn't one bit true. I wasn't grateful. I hated logging into work. Every zoom invite gave me anxiety. But I kept writing down things I (was)wasn't grateful for. I didn't see any changes. Infact it added to my frustration of "having everything but not being able to enjoy it or cherish it fully."
At one point, it became unbearable. I asked my therapist
At what point does "gratefulness journaling" becomes "self gaslighting"?
It was true. A technique that is preached to bring magic to your life felt more like self-inflicted gaslighting. When reality was hurting me, I was made to feel grateful for it. So I did what my therapist suggested. I stopped.
Later as I recovered and felt better, I gave it another go. Still not convinced.
Pretty soon, I realized gratefulness for me is reserved for big things and big moments. For eg.,
- Finding my mentor and getting guidance from him
- Having reasonable parents
- Finding an amazing therapist
- Being friends with a few of my friends
Then a thought struck. The whole idea of gratefulness journaling is to capture moments that are good in the midst of all the chaos. So why not do just that? and enters Project GoodVibes.
Our life will have a tonne of tiny good moments. Lowering the bar from grateful to Good helped me capture these tiny moments. The best part, there was no pressure to feel grateful for them.
I have a separate Goodvibes document where I capture these teeny tiny moments I want to cherish, along with a date and time.
Here are a few shareable pieces from my Goodvibes journal
- When that friend gave me a big smile seeing me after months
- When that coworker got on a zoom call to help me through the issue
- When that friend cut through the crowd rushed towards me, seeing me after months
- When that friend paid a special visit to Chennai just to meet me
- When that restaurant staff packed our lunch with the utmost care, which turned out to be the most delicious meal
You get the idea. As I collected more and more of these, I can see gratefulness as a side effect rather than a self-inflicted necessity.
If you are doing gratefulness journaling and it works for you, Great. Continue
If not, give Goodvibes journaling a try.