Starting and maintaining a gratitude journal can be a difficult task to undertake at first because it is just something else that you have to remember to do every day. Start with a mindful practice of meditating for the first 1-2 minutes of your morning or the last 1-2 minutes of your evening. Use these moments to reflect on things that you are thankful for. Once you have developed a habit, you will be ready to progress to journaling. The process may take a while however, the effort you put into showing your gratitude every day will be well worth it in the long run. Continue to push yourself to do it every night until it becomes a habit. The best time to start a gratitude journal is now. November is a month of reflection and remembering what you are thankful for, so why not begin journaling the journey. Here are three incredible benefits that you can gain when you start to keep a gratitude journal.
It Increases Positivity
When you write things down that you are grateful for in your life, you will naturally become more optimistic and confident. Focusing on the good in your life provides less power to the negative emotions and greater power to the positive ones. Although you may have positive thoughts come to mind throughout the day, taking the time to write them down makes them more concrete. Remember what you shed light on in your life becomes brighter and the center focus. Change your perspective and place a spotlight on the good in your life.
It Improves Sleep
Spending just a few minutes right before you go to bed to write down the things that you are grateful for will help to quiet your mind and ease any anxieties that you might have about the day. A calm and grateful mind will allow you to fall asleep quicker. Gratitude has been shown to induce the relaxation response and has been proven to be a potent sleep aid. Why not have the last thought of the evening be a thought of gratitude?
When you focus on the negative things in your life, it can become extremely easy to feel down. We tend to be more demanding of ourselves than others, but keeping a gratitude journal can help you stay focused on your achievements. Showing gratitude can help to reduce the natural tendencies we have to compare ourselves to those around us, which can be detrimental to our self-esteem. When you show gratitude for what you have, you will harbor less resentment and jealousy toward others and have a greater feeling of self-worth. Negative thought patterns are replaced with positive affirmations, training your brain to see the good that you are capable of achieving.
Researchers have found that when you focus on feelings of satisfaction and contentment, it will naturally counteract stress. While you will still have to deal with challenges in your life, having an attitude of gratitude will help you better deal with those challenges.
Grateful people tend to live healthier lives and live longer than their ungrateful counterparts. This is because they have the motivation to take better care of themselves. Grateful people experience fewer aches and pains and are more inclined to eat healthily and exercise.
These are only a few of the many benefits of keeping a gratitude journal. If you aren’t already keeping one, starting today will help you live a happier and healthier life.
If you are interested in learning more about how gratitude can help you manage stress and improve your mood, sign up for your goal setting session today!