Why You Should Keep a Gratitude Journal
We all have patterns that we follow throughout the day.
They help guide us and create a sense of security, predictability and balance in our lives. For a lot of people, our evening routine is as follows: wash our face, brush our teeth, put on pj's, and then pass out in bed for as as many hours as we can manage to squeeze in.
What if between putting on your pj's and falling asleep, you managed to fit in one more activity: writing in a journal.
I'm not talking about writing a "Dear Diary..." segment each night, although if you can manage that, it's incredibly healing. I'm suggesting that you jot down three things within the past 24-hours that you're grateful for. They don't have to extensive or earth-shattering. Just small, daily occurrences that you're grateful for. For instance, today I am grateful for: my morning yoga, the phone call with my mom that I had in the afternoon, and my enjoyable work. When you make a habit of jotting down at least three things you're grateful for, it changes how you perceive your life. Your brain starts to notice the small, positive aspects of your life more often, which can lead to a boost in happiness. Isn't that what we're all striving for?
1. It's Fun!
Learning about what makes you 'tick' is inherently interesting. By writing in a gratitude journal, you're tracking all the things that bring you the most happiness! Each time you recall one of these things, you'll experience a boost in happiness. Who doesn't want that? In addition, you'll be learning about what makes you happy, and self-discovery is something that everyone loves! Emotional growth and self-discovery are fun!
2. It Changes Your Thought Patterns
Ever wonder if you're being a little too moody? Wonder why you're so self-critical? Keeping a gratitude journal can help to STOP that process! By redirecting your thoughts to aspects of your life that make you happy, you're breaking the cycle of negative thinking. In addition, by writing in your gratitude journal, you're practicing reframing negative events in a positive light on a regular basis. Once you learn how to do that, you'll be able to take the most dismal of situations and find something within them that can foster growth. Isn't that worth putting in some time for?
3. It Helps Your Future
When you're in a more positive mindset, you're more likely to take better care of yourself, be productive at work, and invest in your relationships. When you're in an emotional rut, you're more likely to let these things go, since you're too busy focusing on how you can feel better. Writing in a gratitude journal sets the foundation for a happier future! Since the act helps to boost your feelings of wellbeing, you may end up engaging in more self-care behaviour.