I remember when I first saw a gratitude journal on my best friend’s bedside table.
At the time, I laughed and thought it was ridiculous “what are you using that for, man?”
My friend is probably the happiest person I know. He was content often and always took life’s problems with an incredible amount of ease that always amazed me.
I, on the other hand, rarely felt happy with any situation. I preferred to filter the positives from the negatives and dwell on the latter. Surprisingly, there was a time in my life when I thought this was even healthy practice and that I needed it to be productive. I was always deep in my sadness.
And then one day, I came across a book that talked about releasing the negatives from your life. Understanding the things that hold you back and then getting rid of them so you can heal.
And the best way to do that? Contrastingly, by appreciating the many things in your life you’re not giving enough significance. This is where I first learned about the gratitude Journal.
Look, the goal of every person living is to be happy. To live a life so positive that at every instance, you’re smiling from genuine happiness. And one of the proven ways to live a happy life, to create an extremely pleasant environment for yourself is by showing gratitude.
Gratitude for the little things; for the big things. Gratitude that you have woken up with your two legs intact; gratitude for your eyes. Gratitude for the people who have helped you in your life.
A Gratitude Journal helps you observe a daily ritual of writing down all the things/people in your life that you’re thankful to have. In a world that can be full of stress and difficulties, waking up and feeling grateful for the amazing things in your life—not dwelling on the negatives—will undoubtedly impact your well-being psychologically and physiologically.
If you are ready to keep a gratitude journal, below are a few of its benefits that will help you stay happy.
It Lowers your stress levels
The difference between people who maintain a relatively low-stress level and those who fall deeply into it is the attitude of positivity. Stress can make you dwell on your problems and negative aspects of your life so much that it begins to affect your health.
Writing down the list of things you are grateful for every day helps you focus a lot more on the happiness in your life and cultivate a feeling of thankfulness for the people/things in your life. When you are happy: you have healthy relationships, get great sleep at night and your stress level is typically non-existent.
It Increases your Self Esteem
By focusing on the many good things about yourself, and realizing that you have so many positive qualities as a person, you improve your self-esteem and how you feel about yourself. You begin to feel sufficiently capable enough to take on tasks at home or at work and your productivity greatly increases.
Instead of comparing yourself with other people, and filling your head with negative thoughts, you compliment yourself for those things you are good at.
It promotes Social Relationship
When we express gratitude towards our family members, friends or our spouse, we increase the bond that we have with each other. It expels any form of anger or resentment we have towards each other and helps our relationships to grow even better.
Also, telling someone you’re grateful to have them in your life will boost the affection they have about themselves and also towards you.
It improves your Mental Strength and Resilience
Like everybody else, there are times when you will be faced with difficulties at the workplace, at your home, at school, etc. There’s a pretty high possibility if you are always positive from constantly giving gratitude, that you’ll focus on the upsides and push to improve your situation rather than settle on the negative aspects of the situation and overthink things. In the long run, you become immune to difficulties and your mental strength is top notch.
How to keep a gratitude Journal
Of course, starting out something you’ve never tried before could take some training. So, here are a few tips on how to properly keep a gratitude journal.
- Set a Reminder: People set reminders for everything: wake up time, when to take lunch breaks, outings, etc, and a gratitude journal isn’t any different. Schedule a time to write it and ensure it is logged on your phone or laptop to always remind you.
- Pick a time of the day: Personally, I like writing my journal before going to sleep. This way, I can unwind and go to sleep in a very peaceful state. Some people say writing inside your gratitude journal as the first thing you do every morning will mentally prepare you for the challenges of the day. You could space the frequency if you cannot keep up with everyday entries. Pick what works best for you and stick to it.
- Don’t hold back: Write as much as you can. It could be little details or the most relevant things, just write them down and feel it deeply.
The benefits of showing thankfulness every day for your mental, physical, and emotional health are endless.
By taking small steps everyday, expressing gratitude to the people and things that have impacted or are impacting positive vibes into your life, you are moving inevitably closer to a happier and healthier life.