It’s no secret that showing gratitude is good for you. As well as being backed by science, good folks such as the Dalai Lama are also big fans, so it’s no wonder that more of us are taking the time to be thankful for what we have in our lives. One of the best ways to show thankfulness on a daily basis is to keep a gratitude journal.
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.
1. IT INCREASES 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. IT IMPROVES 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. IT HELPS YOU SLEEP BETTER
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. IT MAKES YOU HAPPIER
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. IT 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. Scientists have found that 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.