Once upon a time, I participated in Schmutzie's brilliant "Grace In Small Things." Originally, I started doing them here, but when she started the community, I moved over there. Unfortunately, things would come up that would make me feel less than grateful; I would struggle to come up with a list, fail to post, and then it would just become easier not to post. After my third or fourth months-long absence and trying to explain and apologize for said absence, I kinda slunk off with my tail between my legs (however, NOT because of any sort of disapproval or lack of support from the community members: they were always so welcoming and accepting - they're a fantastic group of people).
Part of it had to do with inadequacy issues on my part: I'd read these really phenomenal lists - either phenomenal things people were grateful for, or phenomenally written - and I'd feel really silly talking about a sunny day or a hot cup of tea. So, I did what I always do when I'm feeling less-than, and I withdrew, both into myself and from the community. I do regret leaving the community to a degree, simply because it really was a wonderful place to hang out; however, what I do now feels right because my gratitude journal feels very private and personal to me.
I have a daytimer that I no longer use for its intended purpose because I use Google Calendar, but I have this really lovely red, leather cover for it and I'm loathe to leave a book full of blank pages neglected and unused. What I started doing was writing anything and everything that was bothering me each morning; once I was done bitching and moaning, I would write five things I was grateful for to end the page. Once I was done writing, I'd close the book - the magnetic clasp would give a very final, satisfying SNAP, and I'd put the book away. Writing it out (see: hug it out) helped me, well, get it out of my system, and closing the book felt like a symbolic way to move past whatever my gripe(s) happened to be - I found it much easier to move on with my day in a lighter, more positive frame of mind.
I started doing this sometime in late 2009; I still do it on a daily basis, and I can't imagine stopping at this point, as I find it really helpful to me.
Do you have any sort of daily habit you use to practice gratitude, or to get the cranky out?