Skip To Content

    This Habit Has Become My Secret Weapon Against Bad Vibes — And I’d Recommend It To Anyone

    I often get so focused on the future that I don't appreciate what I have right now — but this has helped me change that.

    Hey, hey! My name is Jasmine and like most people in their twenties, adulting governs much of my life. I sometimes get in such a "go mode" that I don't appreciate what I have enough — because I'm already focused on the next thing.

    I've been prioritizing gratitude as of late, so I recently bought a really neat gratitude journal from Addie Rawr — and one of the suggestions within the journal has been low-key life-changing for me.

    But let me back up real quick: a gratitude journal is usually a notebook (sometimes with guided prompts) that centers around noting the things in your life that you're thankful for.

    BuzzFeed / Via Jasmine Vaughn-Hall, addierawr.com

    What I liked about the Addie Rawr's gratitude journal ($20) in particular is that there are varying prompts broken into sections like family and friends, health, wealth and money etc. They're also a Black-owned business, and I felt incredibly represented in the sketches used for many of the products.

    One of the first few pages in the journal has instructions for making a gratitude jar — so I thought I'd give it a try. A gratitude jar is a similar concept as the journal except you are writing down what you're thankful for on pieces of paper, then physically putting them into a jar.

    Comedy Central / Via giphy.com

    Both habits are great to pair together. The journal, in my opinion, is nice for when you're jumpstarting your day or before you're about to go to sleep. The jar is great for adding to throughout the day.

    Since writing things down in a similar way has significantly helped my mental health before, I was eager to try this.

    The first step? Decorating a jar. If you don't have supplies, you can always just grab an empty jar from your kitchen for a quick $0 version, but I wanted to get creative with it. ✨

    A clear mason jar, a can of spray paint, and a circle cutout are laid out on sheets of newspaper.
    BuzzFeed / Via Jasmine Vaughn-Hall

    I'm a stick-figure extraordinaire and crafts are really not my thing, so thankfully, the expectations weren't too high. I knew one thing for certain — I was bound to make a mess no matter what direction this crafting project went.

    I also realized that I didn't have a top for my jar, so I just used one of the little paper circles I usually write quotes on for my wall of inspiration.

    A manicured hand is holding up a paper cutout of a circle in front of a large piece of paper on the wall with quotes.
    BuzzFeed / Via Jasmine Vaughn-Hall

    All it took was a little rendezvous with some scissors and boom!

    BTW, my wall of inspiration is a poster board, filled with quotes and sayings that get me through the day. It also has affirmations I like to say to myself when I'm feeling overwhelmed, like "you are not defined by this job."

    I don't know why purple spray paint was the move, but it seemed like an easy color scheme to follow.

    A spray painted mason jar is placed on a piece of newspaper.
    BuzzFeed / Via Jasmine Vaughn-Hall

    It also had glitter in it, so the appeal was there.

    Of course it came out a mess, but I went with it. I added some Edgar Allan Poe bandages to give it a cooler look, then started actually using it. I kept it basic and wrote out things I was grateful for on purple adhesive notes — ranging from my family, my little corgi, and more.

    A spray painted mason jar with Edgar Allan Poe Band-Aids is sitting on a windowsill.
    BuzzFeed / Via Jasmine Vaughn-Hall

    I know Edgar Allan Poe's melancholy seems a bit odd for a gratitude jar, but like I said, make it your own. He's one of my faves, and this may get repurposed into a candle some day.

    I started writing at least one thing in there a day, but some days I found myself adding two or three items. In the past, I wrote down self-doubts and put them away in a shoebox underneath my bed. I've hardly added to that lately since I started using my gratitude jar. The jar (paired with the journal) has become a very grounding habit for me.

    A spray painted mason jar is placed next to a stack of Post-It notes on a hardwood floor .
    BuzzFeed / Via Jasmine Vaughn-Hall

    I'm not saying I've been completely cured of self-doubts and other negative thinking, but gratitude has helped me counteract a good amount of damaging inner dialogue.

    Even when I was having a not-so-great day, I'd pop a few things into the jar that I was grateful for. For me, writing those things down anchored me to the present, even when my mind was running astray.

    A mason jar with pieces of folded up paper in it is photographed from above.
    BuzzFeed / Via Jasmine Vaughn-Hall

    I have a problem with trying to anticipate and chase the future so much that I forget just how important right now is.

    You can do it for however long you want, but for me, it was comforting to see how many pieces were in there — or just how much I have to be grateful for.

    Pieces are poured out of a mason jar on hardwood floors.
    BuzzFeed / Via Jasmine Vaughn-Hall

    This is my gratitude jar after about a week! But it's important to remember: gratitude looks and feels different for everyone. If you try this, my advice is to be honest and write what feels right.

    How have you been able to practice gratitude in your day-to-day life? Let me know in the comments!