How to Benefit From Gratitude Journaling
Gratitude journaling is a popular tool used by coaches and consultants to help people to improve their health and lives and studies have shown Gratitude Journaling has big benefits for mental and physical health (I will get to the benefits later in the post).
If you are considering whether this could be something that could help you then you probably have questions about what you need and how to do it.
Gratitude journaling is actually very low cost and fairly simple.
Here are a few things you’ll need to get started:
You could use a pen or pencil but why not increase the fun and creative aspect of your journaling by adding color and even texture.
Different colored pens or pencils, as well as different styles, can make your gratitude journal not just a record of thanks but also a really creative endeavor.
While you could use a piece of paper, keeping a special notebook for your gratitude journal ensures that you will know exactly where you are writing and allows you to review previous gratitude records.
Your notebook can be plain and simple or you could splurge on a more decorative one. You can also pick up a dedicated Gratitude Journal like this one with weekly reviews and prompts to keep you motivated.
By taking time out away from disturbances you are giving yourself space to think, relax and write. You'll also find that you enjoy the experience of being alone and celebrating those things you are thankful for.
Now that you have everything you need, collect your journal and whatever you've chosen to write with and find somewhere quiet where you know you won't be disturbed.
Your journaling time should be a time for reflection and celebration free from outside distractions for the best results.
Ensure you are committed to gratitude journaling and that you want to feel happier as well as more grateful as a result.
There is no point in just going through the motions of journaling without creating a positive meaningful emotional experience.
When you write, instead of creating a long list of things you are grateful for put some real thought into it. Take time to write about a particular event and describe in detail why you are thankful for it. Remember to record how you felt and why.
Try to include people you are thankful for as much as you can, not just events.
By including specific people and the reasons you are thankful for them you will create a greater emotional impact. It becomes more personal.
Include surprises and unexpected events, as these will create a stronger sense of gratitude and a more significant emotional impact.
Set yourself a weekly date to write in your gratitude journal.
While you could journal every day it may be more beneficial to create a habit of writing in your gratitude journal once a week. This will allow you to plan for it and enjoy it.
There are no right or wrong ways to keep a gratitude journal. Everyone’s journal will be different.
However, it is important that you are committed to the process and the outcome, as well as make time for it on a regular basis.
It might seem like a pipe dream that writing in a journal could be so beneficial. But the scientific evidence is in, and gratitude journals do benefit you in big ways if you keep one for the long term and use it daily.
8 Benefits of a Gratitude Journal
1. EXPERIENCE STRONGER AND MORE FULFILLING RELATIONSHIPS
It’s so simple, but it can be hard to accept. You are the one who makes yourself happy with your own choices. Another person cannot make you happy or grateful. Only you can do that.
But something amazing happens when you express gratitude often. Your relationships simply open up and become better and for those that don’t, you’ll start to recognize for what they are and let them go.
2. BECOME PHYSICALLY HEALTHIER
Being grateful for the ability to move and breathe will eventually cross over into wanting to ensure that you can always do that. Therefore, you’ll be more motivated to go on walks, eat right, stay hydrated, and live in gratitude for every aspect of your life.
3. INCREASE YOUR MENTAL DEXTERITY
The ability to take lemons and turn them into that sweet, delightful lemonade can be gained by keeping a gratitude journal.
The main reason is that you will learn on even a bad day to pick out the good in it. That requires a good imagination and creativity and thinking on your feet.
4. FEEL LESS AGGRESSION IN YOUR LIFE
It’s hard to feel aggressive if you are happy and grateful. It’s okay to be angry about injustices in the world without being aggressive. But if you feel angry a lot due to your current situation, it might be due to not finding the things to be grateful about. There is almost always something positive for most people to be grateful for.
5. ACT AND BECOME MORE EMPATHETIC
As you write more and learn to forgive yourself as you seek to fill your mind with thoughts of gratitude, you will start seeing others differently. You’ll have more ability to put yourself in their shoes and see things from their way without judgment. It happens when you learn to forgive yourself.
6. GET MORE RESTFUL SLEEP
If you’re able to go to sleep each night feeling thankful for everything you’ve experienced (or at least most of it), it’s easier to sleep because you have less anxiety.
7. GET MORE DONE EVERY DAY
Due to feeling more rested, less stressed, and more grateful, you’ll have a lot more energy to get things done every day.
That’s always going to make you feel even more thankful because good things happen due to productivity.
8. FEEL BETTER ABOUT YOURSELF
You can’t help but feel better about yourself when you have improved so many good qualities about yourself. Your self-esteem will go up when you express gratitude for what your mind and body can do for you.
If you want to be happier, get more done in life, and experience real joy in life, a gratitude journal can be the way to achieve it.
The guiding thing to remember is that your thoughts cause your feelings, and you are the one in control of the actions you take once you accept your feelings.
Accepting that you do have control is half the battle, and your journal will make it clear that you do.
BEFORE YOU GO:
I hope today’s post inspires you to pick up your journal and start writing! Here are a few Everyday Journaling Prompts to get you started.
JOURNALING SUPPLIES I RECOMMEND
Even though you only need a pen and paper, here are some of my favorite journaling supplies if you want to check them out:
I like to use a few different notebooks for journaling but my favorite is this Leuchtturm1917 Softcover. I prefer the squared pages but you can also get the dot grid, lined, or blank formats.
If you would rather use a spiral binding, these notebooks are the best! I love that they come in a three-pack so I always have an extra one on hand. These are also squared format but I think they are available in line and dot grid too.
Sometimes I like to add photos to my journaling and over the years I’ve tried a bunch of different printers. I started out using this Fujifilm Instax Mini but it wasn’t very practical to carry around all the time. Since the quality was so much better when I use my phone for pictures I decided to splurge on the Canon Ivy Mini Printer. It connects directly to my phone through the app and easily prints on 2x3 sticker photo paper that I can add right to my journal page instantly.
Here are a few more journaling posts you might like:
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