8 Reasons Why You Should Be Journaling For Gratitude
What are you grateful for?
I for one am grateful for all of you. It’s an honor being able to share information on stress relief methods that can help you enjoy your life and to have a greater connection with yourself. If you’ve read some of my other posts, you know that I believe that journaling can be beneficial in so many ways. And I’m right 😊! It's been shown that journaling has a very positive effect on your life and that keeping a gratitude journal provides a myriad of benefits especially if you use it daily. It’s all about making time to make sure that you manage your stress before your stress manages you.
In this post, I’ll describe what a gratitude journal is and then talk about all of the different benefits you might experience when keeping a gratitude journal of your own.
What’s A Gratitude Journal?
One of the easiest ways to develop an “attitude of gratitude” is by keeping a gratitude journal. A gratitude journal is a place where you write out those things that you’re grateful for. The people that you’re grateful to have in your life. The experiences that you’re grateful to have had (whether positive or seemingly negative). The things that you possess. The knowledge, skills or abilities that you have. Whatever it is, as long as you’re grateful for it, write about it.
You can write anything from in depth entries to a sentence a day – whatever feels right to you. For instance in the gratitude journal I created, there's spaces for both short and long form entries (click the picture to check it out). Over time, your mindset and attitude will lean towards the positive and you’ll find it easier to be mindful of the things in life that you appreciate.
Although a journal is the most common format to record your thoughts of gratitude, it doesn’t have to be the only way. You can use a gratitude jar, write out slips and put them on the wall, bulletin board or in a frame or you can even keep track of what you’re grateful for on your phone.
Interested in free gratitude slips? Click here.
Gratitude Journal – Eight Benefits
Stronger and More Fulfilling Relationships
It might not always feel like it, but you have power over your own happiness. Others might enhance your feelings, but they’re not responsible for them. One way that you can take control over your feelings of happiness is by expressing gratitude and appreciation for the good things in your life.
Something amazing happens when you express gratitude often – your relationships simply open up and become better. Because expressing gratitude helps you to change your mindset and your focus on the glass being half full as opposed to half empty, so little things do not bother you as much as they may have in the past. Which makes for a better relationship. And for those relationships that don’t open up, it’s easier for you start to recognize them for what they are and let them go.
Become Physically Healthier
Focusing on the good things in your life can eventually translate to improve those things that are in your control such as your physical health. Think about it – as you focus more and more on those good things in life, don’t you want to be around to continue to experience them? I know I do!
This attitude will translate into motivation to exercise, eat right, stay hydrated, and otherwise take care of your physical self so that you can continue to live in gratitude for every aspect of your life for many years to come.
Increase Your Mental Dexterity
We’ve all heard the phrase – “When life gives you lemons, turn them into lemonade.” That’s what a gratitude journal helps you to do. How? I’m glad you asked. When it comes to a gratitude journal, your focus is on the good things that are happening in your life. So even when you’re having a bad day, when you sit down to write out what you’re grateful for, you’ll have to think about what good things happened on that day. That requires a good imagination, creativity and thinking on your feet.
So now, when life gives you lemons, you know what to do!
Less Feelings of Anger
In general, it’s hard to feel angry if you’re happy and grateful. It’s okay to be angry or upset about injustices in the world. But if you feel angry a lot due to the things that are or are not happening in your life, then part of the issue may be that you’re not actively trying to find those things in your life that you can be grateful about. Even if it’s something as simple as feeling the sunshine on your face. There is almost always something for most people.
Being More Empathetic
As you write more of your appreciation and learn to forgive yourself as you seek to fill your mind with thoughts of gratitude, you’ll start seeing others differently. You’ll have more ability to put yourself in others shoes and see things from their point of view without as much judgment as you might normally have.
Because the more gratitude you express, the more you learn to forgive yourself. And the more you learn to forgive yourself, the more you learn to forgive others.
Get More Restful Sleep
During these times, it’s easy to feel anxious which in turn can affect your sleep. As I’ve stated earlier, the more you use your gratitude journal the more your mindset changes to help you look for the good in life. This can help reduce your anxiety as you go to sleep each night feeling thankful for the good things in your life it’s easier to sleep because you have less anxiety. Which is important because sleep is restorative and an important part of any stress management plan.
Get More Done Every Day
As time goes on, due to feeling more rested, less stressed, and more grateful, you’ll have more energy to get the things that you need to do and get them done every day. It becomes a positive cycle because as you’re able to be more productive, you feel better which leads to increased feelings of gratitude and positivity.
Feel Better about Yourself
When you develop a regular gratitude habit, you can’t help but feel better about yourself when you’re able to see the things that are going right in your life. Your self-esteem will continue to grow as you continue to express gratitude for what your mind and body can do for you.
So, there you have it – 8 ways that you can benefit from regularly using a gratitude journal. Journaling about the things in your life you’re grateful for should be an integral part of any woman’s self-care practice. Becoming more tuned in to your happiness, becoming more productive and increasing your mindset all become easier when using a gratitude journal. After all, you are what you think you are.
How often do you express gratitude for the things in your life? Let me know in the comments section – let’s talk!
Cassandra Martin-Himmons is a trainer, wellness coach and consultant who believes in empowering her clients and providing the tools that they need to make positive changes in their lives to manage their stress and increase their self-care. In her spare time, she enjoys papercrafting, volunteering and travel. Connect with her on Instagram or Linked/In