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  • Deanne Pandey

Why Gratitude Journals should be your daily go-to


If someone were to ask you what you’re grateful for in the present moment, would you have an answer ready to go? Could you easily recall the small moments in your day that bring you the most joy? The simple habit of reflecting on what you’re grateful for can actually lead to a happier, more content life. All it takes is a few moments of your time and a gratitude journal to record your thoughts. Gratitude journals are not unlike the diary you kept as a teenager, but instead of writing random thoughts about your day, you write about the things you’re grateful for—big or small. If you write down what you’re thankful for every day, in a ‘gratitude journal’, it could make all the difference in how you feel during this unprecedented time. But before you get started, it’s important to recognise just how game-changing gratitude can be. Our brains are geared towards a negativity bias, which means we tend to notice what is bad before we notice the good. While regular journaling has been proven to improve your wellbeing, making a point of jotting down all the things that you are grateful for can take the experience to a whole new level. Keeping a gratitude journal is easy and on the simplest level it involves making a note of the things that you are grateful for that day. You can decide how long your list is each day and how much detail you want to go into. The great thing is that it’s an easy habit to form and after a while you are left with a great collection of inspiring material to look back on when you are in need of a pick-me-up. Here are all the reasons why you should get yourself one and make it a part of your daily routine-


1. POSITIVITY

When you take the time to focus on the good things in your life you naturally become more positive. By writing down what you are thankful for it can make you more optimistic because you are choosing to see more of the positivity in your life and give less power to negative emotions. While these positive aspects of your life may be floating around in your subconscious, writing them down makes them more concrete and real.


2. SELF-ESTEEM

Keeping a journal is a very personal activity and allows you to be present with your own achievements. Showing gratitude has been proven to reduce social comparisons and by expressing what you are thankful for you are less likely to be resentful towards others. A study published in 2014 found that gratitude increased athlete’s self-esteem and they were able to trust others on a higher level because they had more self-belief.


3. BETTER SLEEP

Spending just 15 minutes before bed writing down a few grateful sentiments can help you have a much better night’s sleep, according to a study on the topic. By thinking of the positive experiences of the day or reminding yourself of what you have to be thankful for, you are much less likely to ponder over your worries and therefore clear your mind for a good night’s sleep.


4. DIRECTLY RELATED TO HAPPINESS

Showing gratitude means you are acknowledging the goodness in your life and by writing these things down you are able to feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, and build strong relationships. A recipe for a much happier life! Researchers have found that people who write about gratitude are more optimistic and feel better about their lives in general.


5. REDUCES STRESS

Grateful people take better care of themselves, meaning in the long run they live healthier lives and are therefore able to manage stress in a healthier way. Focusing on feelings of contentment and satisfaction naturally counters stress, and leaves you feeling much more grounded and able to deal with whatever life throws at you.

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