If you enjoy taking photos and consider yourself to be more visual than verbal then this thankfulness practice might be one you’ll enjoy - it certainly works for me.
Often referred to as Gratitude Journaling, this is the practice of regularly recording and reflecting on things you are grateful for and it’s one which is well worth pursuing. Recent research suggests that practicing gratitude may increase feelings of happiness and reduce depressive symptoms, as we practice we rewire our brain to focus more on the positive aspects of our life and build up resilience against negative situations.
But what if sitting down each day to do this becomes a bit mundane? Sometimes when we get stuck in ‘big picture’ thinking we end up listing the same things day after day, things like a well paid or interesting job, a comfortable home are things we should never stop being appreciate of but what about the little things, the smile of a stranger, the beauty of nature, connection with a friend? Finding a way to best capture these moments of joy could be the answer.
By using photography it can help make the things we appreciate more tangible and serve as a reminder of what matters to us most. By having photographs and then writing about them it encourages us to pay closer attention to the different sources of meaning in our life and reflect on why we were thankful for that moment.
Over the next week take photos of things you are thankful to have experienced, moments which brought a smile to your face and made your heart beat just that little bit faster. These can be people, places, animals, things. If someone or something that gives meaning to your life isn’t nearby take a photo of something to represent them.
At the end of the week upload the photos to a computer or get them printed.
Take time to look and reflect on each. What does the photo represent and why is that meaningful to you?
If it helps you could write this down either as a series of scribbles on the back of the photos or in a journal, It’s whatever works for you.
And for me? Well, I’ll leave you to guess what these four photos mean to me!