I have struggled with anxiety and depression for most of my life. This tends to get particularly severe when I’m waiting for something to happen. Last year, I started working on being mindful of staying in the present, instead of beating myself up over the past or worrying about the future. This is harder than it seems, especially for someone like me, who spends a lot of time in her head.
A few of my friends suggested that I start a gratitude notebook and write down what made me thankful to be living my life at the end of each day. I dug out a little green notebook that someone I work with gave to me. It seemed like the perfect place to record what made me grateful, and “I work with kind people” was one of the things on my very first list. Now the notebook is filled with similar big-picture reflections—I’m grateful for my loved ones, the city I live in, having a roof over my head—but I wanted to slow down, pay attention, and notice what other, smaller things were making my life wonderful. It has helped me a lot—to get out of my head, and actually experience the world around me. —Stephanie