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5 Benefits of a Gratitude Journal
In the last couple of years, I started practicing daily gratitude by writing in a journal. I started this practice in hopes it would help improve my mindset and allow me to see the blessings and joy in the current season of my life. Over a few months, I began to notice the benefits of this practice. So if you’ve heard of it, but wonder if it actually works read the 5 benefits of a gratitude journal below.
1. Mindset Shift
Have you ever noticed that you focus on the negative more than the positive? I know I used to! I would hyper-focus on one or two bad things and let them ruin my day. Over time, this caused me to only think about the negative things going on in my life. Honestly, I was not a fun person to be around because all I talked about was what annoyed me that day or what was wrong. I know I’m not alone in this kind of mindset. It’s easy to get there and stay.
I have good news! There is a way to train your brain to focus on the positive things that happen during your day. It takes some time, but If I can get there, you can too. There many ways to do this, but one of the ways I accomplished it was through a gratitude journal.
Every morning, during my quiet time, I write 5 things that happened the previous day that I am grateful for. Sometimes I can write 5 things quickly, other mornings, it takes me a really long time. The days that it takes me a long time are the most important. I’m forcing myself to find blessings and joy from a day that didn’t go well.
Warning: If you are in a season of life that is difficult, finding 5 things you are grateful for is hard. But I urge you to find those 5 things! Even if it’s your cup of coffee or your favorite song on the radio came on. If it brings you joy it is something to be thankful for! I promise overtime you will begin to focus on the positive things in your day.
2. Stress Relief
When your mind shifts from negative to positive, your stress levels will go down. You no longer focus on every obstacle that could happen or everything you didn’t get done. You start to focus on what you have accomplished and give yourself credit for that.
I’m not saying you will never be stressed again. I wish that was the case! I’m saying it is easier to stop your mind from going down the rabbit hole of disaster and refocus on the positive parts of the situation. I promise this is possible.
I know it sounds a little far-fetched, but practicing gratitude can give you energy.
Personally, when I am stressed I want to isolate myself and just watch TV. While I am doing nothing, my mind slips into a negative space that sucks out any ounce of motivation I have of being productive. I’m sure you can relate.
You can create energy when you relieve your stress levels, shift your mindset, and focus on the joys and blessings. Those things will motivate you!
Related Posts: How to Change Your Negative Mindset
4. Interactions with Others
This one is a big one for me. When you look for gratitude throughout your day you tend to treat people a little better. You notice the smiles, someone holding the door open for you, a “hello” or “how are you” and you return the favor.
Remember how a negative person can affect your mood, a positive person can have the same effect. Treat others with kindness and gratitude and they will treat you the same. If they don’t, that’s on them.
5. Overall Happiness
My overall happiness and mood have escalated since I started keeping a gratitude journal. Not only do I have a positive mindset, less stress, more energy, and better interactions with people, I have realized that I have so much to be thankful for.
When I’m having a bad day, sitting down and writing out gratitude shifts my perspective and reminds me that I choose to see the positive and negative in life. I choose to be grateful. I choose to be happy in the midst of the storm.
Is it easy? Absolutely not, but it is still a choice.