It wasn’t long ago that I came across Kristiane and her inspiring workbook, ‘The Gratitude Attitude Journal’ which is purposely designed to encourage people to go back to basics and rediscover what it means to be grateful for the simple things in everyday life. This is very much in line with the ‘heiter’ philosophy and I therefore really wanted to get to know Krissie and her project better. I was thrilled when she agreed on an interview for ‘heiter’.
Tell us a little bit about yourself
Hello, I am Kristiane and I am a freelance graphic designer based near Hamburg, Germany. After 12 years of studying and working in London, I decided to relocate back to my roots – I suppose in order to get away from the city rush and figure out myself again. Being in my early 30s then, I was looking for more sense in life – more soul and more purpose… The calmer village time has been a true gift for discovering myself and my life path. A big part in this has absolutely been my gratitude practice. With The Gratitude Attitude it’s my goal to share this experience and help bring some light into this often quite dark and unsettled world.
What is the idea behind ‘The Gratitude Attitude’?
It’s about (re)discovering all the goodness in life, all the ‘small’ easily forgotten or overlooked things… There is proven research that a daily gratitude practice (writing down 3 things a day that you are grateful for) is a key player in improving physical, mental and spiritual health. It might sound very simple but it has such a positive impact on our wellbeing.
This practice has been proven to lower stress/anxiety levels, strengthen the immune system, improve sleep quality, help us feel more optimism, compassion and happiness (to only name a few benefits). It can also support us through tougher times once we have our ‚gratitude attitude‘ as a go-to mindset. The research behind it is super interesting!
So ‘The Gratitude Attitude Journal’ is meant to provide that space for you; to be your guide and inspiration in your journey with gratitude. Giving you 365 sections to write down the things you are grateful for, the journal will help rewire your mind for the good stuff in life
When did you come up with the idea and why?
About 2 years ago, articles and info about practicing gratitude kept popping up almost miraculously and somehow they felt like such a revelation in my life at that point. I was anxious, a bit lost, questioning the sense of my job and looking for a purpose in life. So starting a gratitude practice, I quickly began to see and feel all the benefits it brought to me – finding an inner calm by really appreciating the nature that I have around me, simply feeling a deep gratitude for the present moment, my heart beating, my lungs filling with air, a cup of tea when work gets stressful… all the daily gifts that we easily forget…
With the idea developing, I also saw my job getting more of a purpose again – using my graphic design skills for something I feel really passionate about and I can see as part of my path in life. I want to share my experience and give people the opportunity to experience the same wellbeing and shift in perspective as well. There is so much that gratitude can change for each single one of us and also in a bigger perspective. I think it absolutely creates a ripple effect that I’d love to help spread worldwide. On a spiritual level I believe that gratitude is one of the strongest energies out there and can create a ‘universal field of goodness’ (morphogenetic field) that will help us support Mother Earth and humanity.
What can people find in the journal?
‘The Gratitude Attitude Journal’ is meant to become a treasured companion creating precious personal moments of peace and appreciation. It brings us back to our base again, with 365 sections to write down 3 things daily that we are grateful for. The good thing is, it can be started at any day of the year.
Each page brings thoughtful and inspiring quotes from health and gratitude experts, writers, philosophers. Also included are illustrations and photography by 14 international artists such as Jean Jullien, Karolin Schnoor or Clara Terne. With 5 essays we explore the theme of gratitude in health, spirituality and culture. There are also blank (lightly coloured) pages to write more, doodle, stick memorabilia etc.
To me it has been really important to create a journal that encompasses as many aspects of life as possible. Gratitude shouldn’t be limited to a certain spectrum – it really can be applied to (highly likely) everything! So I wanted to give it a modern context that makes it relevant and intriguing in many different areas. I like to see the journal as well as the Instagram as a meeting point of all of life’s connections to gratitude – health, mindfulness, mental health, science, art, culture, relationships, spirituality, and more…
How has the concept of gratitude changed your life?
It has become easier for me to find a state of inner calm and presence. I am just grateful for simply being, breathing, appreciating the present moment, that it creates a feeling of balance in me. I am quite prone to anxiety and worries, so when my mind gets lost in everyday stress, I often stop and take a few deep breaths and let a feeling of gratitude fill my heart area.
I crave and I buy less. Through gratitude I have arrived at a more minimalistic lifestyle. I want to appreciate everything I own. I got rid of lots of stuff, decluttered physically and mentally. I was quite the clothes and shoe shopper, which I also think was filling some sort of ‘happiness gap’. I have curbed that down quite a lot, because I feel more fulfilled.
I’m learning to reframe the so called ‘bad’ things that happen into something more positive or at least meaningful. One can never really know if a so called ‘negative’ situation isn’t leading to something ‘positive’. So either or, there is a lesson in everything or a stepping stone to something.
I am kinder to myself. Being grateful for my health, I want to feed my body good stuff and don’t beat myself up as much about any so called imperfections.
I hope I have become kinder and more compassionate to others as well. I try and show my gratitude often. It creates such connections of kindness and togetherness.
All in all, gratitude has given me inner stability, fresh eyes to see the beauty of life and the abundance in its simplicity.
Where can we get your journal?
You can currently buy it from the website www.the-gratitude-attitude.com or contact me by email for larger orders or anything more specific. I’m planning to sell it via other book shops and websites soon, too.
What’s next for you?
Expanding that morphogenetic field of gratitude :) I am so humbled and full of joy when people write to me how the gratitude journaling has improved their wellbeing, happiness, life. So I can’t wait to bring more of this to people’s lives.
I would love to expand 'The Gratitude Attitude' variety – add some notebooks with even more space to write, a calendar… and definitely get the Journal translated into German and other languages.
How would you describe a perfect heiter moment?
I’m pretty sure it would involve my cat – a peaceful afternoon in the garden, the cat stretching in the sunshine, daydreaming, breathing in gratitude for this simple and simply perfect moment. Nothing exhilarating here – but these days, being fully present in the Now is my main source of calm and heiterkeit.