Gratitude Journaling + Backless Maxi Dress Round-Up

On Thursday, I wrote about feeling exhausted and being in kind of a negative space filled with self-doubt. I HATE getting into these funks because it can lead to such a downward spiral in my mood. Usually I do a pretty good job at staying fairly strong and upbeat, but HEY, we are all human and our inner thoughts can get the best of us! One thing that I used to do daily, in the throes of my worst days, was write in a gratitude journal. AND, I think that it is time for me to bring that practice back into my arsenal to combat any negative thoughts. I think it is unfortunately easier for us humans to sometimes focus on the things that we think are going wrong in our lives, instead of taking a reflective look around and highlighting all the amazing things that are going RIGHT! Honestly, keeping a gratitude journal was hugely therapeutic for me, and helped me realize just how LUCKY I really am. I didn't want to leave you guys hanging, thinking that I would just give up and stay in my funk-SO, I wanted to share more about this practice with you all, incase you want to join me in picking ourselves up by our bootstraps again, AND start your own journal as well!

In order to start this process up again, I did some research (as I usually do with everything important to me in life), and I came across this really great article. The writers highlight the benefits of regularly keeping a journal, AND the research in the world of psychology that is behind this is undeniable. I'm not quite sure why I strayed from this for so long!! I have shared the idea of this gratitude journal with many friends who are going through a rough patch in life, and every single person who has tried it, has reported back such positive results. In the article, they perfectly explained the advantages of keeping a gratitude journal...

  1. It can make you more mindful, helping you to become more grounded and also making it easier to notice even more things you are grateful for!
  2. Gratitude journaling can help you feel more balanced and less thrown off by daily stress.
  3. You may notice that a lot more small, good things are happening – or maybe you’ll notice the small, good things that were already happening!
  4. Your gratitude might act as a beacon to good things and good people, drawing even more positive things to be grateful for to you.
  5. It can make you feel accomplished, even if it’s a relatively small accomplishment. We all need a win, no matter how big or small, every now and then!
  6. Beware – it might just make you more giving and generous to others! But don’t worry, it isn’t always about money; paradoxically, there are things that actually grow and increase when we give them away, like compassion, empathy, and laughter!
  7. Gratitude journaling can provide a sense of context or interconnectedness. It can remind us how things in life are connected to one another, and guide us to one of those rare moments of epiphany in which we truly recognize that the world is so much bigger than us, yet we are grateful just to be a small part of it. (Pope, 2016).

-From Positive Psychology Program, Gratitude Journal: 67 Templates, Ideas, and Apps for Your Diary

So with all of that said, I thought I would kick off my first journal entry by sharing it with all of you. There are many different styles or topics you could show gratitude for or about (again, check out the article that I linked above for some ideas), BUT my favorite thing to write about is simply 5 daily things that I notice made me feel grateful, lucky, and blessed throughout my day. Here goes...

Date: 5-20-18 Entry #1 Five Things I Am Grateful For Today...

  1. My belated Mother's Day dinner that I got to share with my mom- Since Aaron and I were gone last week for his best friend's wedding, it made my heart so happy to get to take my mom out this weekend instead and show her, in even the smallest way, just how immensely grateful I am for her love.
  2. The royal wedding- I know this one may sound kind of funny, but I find learning about other cultures and people so utterly fascinating. AND, to get to watch a historical moment in the making is just a rare, special thing. This is a moment that will be written about in history books, and how neat that we got to witness it while it was actually happening! I just appreciate how different and unique people are all over the world, and I think sharing in these differences enriches our own lives.
  3. Family gathering with Aaron's family- Aaron's cousin's wife is pregnant, and they had their gender reveal party today! What a seriously special and intimate moment to share with two expectant parents. The impact of this moment was not lost on me. This is a moment that they will forever remember and tell their little GIRL about, a moment that changed their lives forever. PLUS, YAY- I'm so excited it's a girl, which means I get to buy cute, girlie baby clothes!
  4. Getting to sleep in this morning and snuggle with my puppies- This sounds like just an everyday, ordinary thing, BUT like I said, lately I have been feeling so tired and sleeping in felt so rejuvenating. My body was DEFINITELY thankful for these extra moments of rest this morning.
  5. My INSANELY fun night out with my girlfriends last night- I was asked to judge a dance competition last night that was being held as a fundraiser event at a beautiful theatre in our town. It was such a blast to get all dressed up and attend this event with some of my closest friends. We got to enjoy each other's company, wine, laughs, and even a dance party after the show. What more could you want in life?

Ladies, this is just a little glimpse into what my journal will continue to look like. My hope in sharing this with all of you, is that you too find a few moments in your day to reflect on, or write down, the BIG or SMALL things that you are grateful for. Many days, I am more grateful for those very discreet, little moments (more so than any grand spectacle) that just make you say, YES, this life IS in fact beautiful. YES, I have so much to be thankful for. YES, I am blessed. I remember going back and reading my first gratitude journal over and over again, and being completely overwhelmed by how the seemingly insignificant moments in life can add up to become something so magical in what might seem like a dark world. I hope this practice of showing gratitude attracts other grateful and beautiful people and moments into my world. I am a firm believer in whatever you put out into the universe, you receive back ten-fold. So, if I put out love and gratitude, I hope I receive that back ten-fold.

Me at gala in asos dress

All dressed up for such a GREAT night out with friends!

Similar dress linked below.

Earrings

Backless dress collage
  1. Nordstrom Topshop Taylor Halter Maxi Dress- $119.99
  2. Lulus Tropic Of Discussion Green Tropical Print Maxi Dress- $74
  3. Revolve Lovers + Friends Mayla Gown- $228
  4. Free People Extratropical Dress- $118
  5. Nordstrom Lulus Whenever You Call Maxi Dress- $50.40
  6. ASOS Fashionkilla Open Back Maxi Dress In Black- $45 (Similar to the one I am wearing in the picture. Mine sold out quickly, but is also from ASOS! SUPER COMFY!)

I hope this round up helps you find a fun, maybe more formal, dress for your next event! Make it a great week, everyone!

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