5 Benefits of Keeping a Gratitude Journal
Ever since I was a pre-teen I’ve kept a journal. My mother purchased my first one in middle school. In her spare time, she was a writer. Poetry and songs written in beautiful penmanship tucked away in stacks of dusty notebooks. She encouraged me to write as a way to be creative. I don’t think she realized just how therapeutic it would be also. Nowadays I begin every entry with gratitude. Naming at least 3 things for which I’m grateful. Doing so has changed my perspective. In this post we’ll discover 5 benefits of keeping a gratitude journal.
1. Shifts Our Focus
One can certainly argue that journaling in general relieves stress. Keeping one allows us to identify problems by writing through our thoughts and feelings. Thus, we are more likely to uncover the solutions. However, a gratitude journal not only helps organize thoughts, it helps increase mindfulness. How? By shifting the focus from problems to blessings. We arw are suddenly more aware of what’s going right in our lives. Not what’s wrong.
2. A More Positive Mood
Now more than ever it appears our society is hypersensitive to the perils of this world. Doom and gloom are front and center in the media along with our own individual challenges. The simple practice of naming all the things we’re grateful for trains our brain to be more aware of positivity. This daily reprogramming will increase our overall happiness over time.
3. Greater Satisfaction
I have seen firsthand that expressing my gratitude has given me greater satisfaction. Even scrolling through social media I no longer feel “behind” or “unaccomplished” or “covetous”. Why? Because I am satisfied with my present. Each day I’m reminded of how much I have. How much I’m loved. How far I’ve come as a person. This fills me with thankfulness and that leaves little room for comparison.
4. Better Sleep
First let me say that I work evening shift. So in general, I don’t fall asleep right away when I get in from work. However, I’ve certainly noticed that taking time to write in my gratitude journal before bed has calmed my spirit. After a hot shower, this allows me to refelct and relax. No anxious, worrisome thoughts keeping me awake all night. Instead I am at peace.
5. Increased Generosity
The more we shift our perspective to our blessings, increase positivity, find greater satisfaction, and get better sleep we will inevitably become more generous. Think about it – the more grateful I am, the more likely I am to lend a helping hand to someone else. When I stop thinking about what I don’t have and praise God for what I do… the more I give to others.
I’m sure there are more than 5 ways gratitude journaling has been beneficial , but these are a great place to start. I encourage you to take up this practice with me. Examine all the beauty in your life and document it in a daily journal. Watch yourself uncover more blessings than you ever realized!
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