Practicing Gratitude

Practicing Gratitude

During my divorce, I read a lot of books about maintaining your mental health through the divorce process. Many suggested practicing gratitude, recognizing things in your life for which you are grateful.  While it isn’t a cure all for the roller coaster of emotions one goes through while ending a marriage, it brings to light the positive in your life and lets the negative take a back seat. A suggestion I found particularly helpful was to keep a “gratitude journal” where you could write down these items down. I kept mine on my bedside table and each morning I would start my day by acknowledging, on paper, something for which I was grateful or appreciative. It’s no secret that things written down tend to create more action, whether its goals, budgets, food journals, etc. Most days I jotted down simple and obvious things, other days deeper, more insightful and personal thoughts, and some days it was even repeats of previous entries. But I saw a shift—it was harder to get dragged down or stay focused on the junk when I recognized all the wonderful things in my life. Then I began working with a great attorney in Cary, North Carolina. We had a daily morning huddle before we started our work day, to discuss our goals and priorities for the day ahead. His request was we begin each meeting saying three things we were grateful for. It was a perfect way to direct our energy to a positive state and set the tone for the rest of our day. I stopped writing in the gratitude journal because honestly, I was acknowledging a bigger variety and quantity in our huddles than I was in my notebook. While I brought all of the legal skills I learned from that attorney with me when coming to work at Apple Payne Law, I forgot a valuable lesson.  Like losing touch with a good friend who’s moved away, I let practicing daily gratitude slowly drift out of my routine. I wasn’t totally devoid of being appreciative, but I certainly stopped making a conscious effort to recognize all that was good in my life. I’ve had a couple really crappy things happen lately. And I’ve let them override all the good things that have been happening simultaneously. I was beginning to feel off balance and negative. Nobody likes a Negative Nancy! So, this weekend I brushed off the old journal and set a goal to begin each morning practicing gratitude. There’re some challenges ahead (like everyone else) but I’m hoping starting the day with a positive will remind me that I have plenty in my life to be thankful and appreciative for, and they far outnumber the not-so-great stuff.

Author Bio

Ronald D. Payne II
Ronald D. Payne II is the CEO and Managing Attorney of Apple Payne Law, a North Carolina law firm he founded in 2018. With more than 11 years of experience practicing law, he is dedicated to representing clients in a wide range of legal matters, including business law, estate planning, family law, probate, and traffic law.

Ronald received his Juris Doctor from the Wake Forest University School of Law and is a member of the North Carolina Bar Association. He has received numerous accolades for his work, including being awarded the 2020 Client’s Choice Award by Avvo and multiple Rising Star awards from Super Lawyers.

LinkedIn | State Bar Association | Avvo | Google

location map

Contact us below and we’ll be in touch as soon as possible!

Kernersville Office

900 Old Winston Rd. STE 212
Kernersville NC 27284

Winston-Salem Office

190 Charlois Blvd. Suite 200
Winston-Salem NC 27103