The beauty of Gratitude Journaling
Gratitude. We've all probably seen this word and heard it expressed before. We know it's meaning to be associated with expressing thanks or being appreciative of all the good fortune or blessings we experience in our lives.
The Oxford definition of gratitude is "the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness".
Yet gratitude has even more profound effects on our day-to-day lives and attitudes and this can be revealed through the practice of keeping a gratitude journal and gratitude journaling.
Gratitude: The secret to happiness
There's much truth behind the old adage "count your blessings"
No matter how tough life can get, we are all unique (and blessed) in one form or another.
Gratitude can turn common days into Thanksgivings ~ William Arthur Ward.
What is Gratitude Journaling?
Gratitude journaling is a way of focusing one's attention on the good in life. It is the art of counting one's blessings - the daily recounting of experiences which we are grateful for in such a way that it leaves us with a feeling of contentment and appreciation for all the good and rich experiences in our lives.
Bottom line, gratitude journaling is focusing on and celebrating the good in our daily lives.
How to Gratitude Journal?
Gratitude journaling is a habit of writing out what makes you feel grateful for or appreciative of your daily experiences or for life in general.
Here are a few tips on how to get started:
Make it a daily practice. Its easier to build this habit with a consistent and daily practice.
Start simple. Simple daily entries tend to make this habit easier and doable. For instance.."I am so grateful I got 8 hours sleep last night" or "I am really grateful my Mike cleaned up after dinner tonight". The more you write, the easier this practice becomes and the more you find to be grateful for! No need to channel your inner poet for this one!
Choose a quiet space and time. Taking time to reflect on all the delicious goodness of your life requires time and patience to get into the flow. Choose the same time each day. Early morning (immediately after rising) or late evening (just before bedtime) come highly recommended as reflection/introspection at these times can set the tone of your day or enable you to have a super peaceful and worry free night of rest.
Write from the heart. Your journal is a sacred space. Here, you can say things that you may not feel completely free expressing to others. It's an outlet to let your feelings out and to creatively express yourself as you'd like. A gratitude journal provides a unique opportunity to truly express your joy in the simple pleasures of your day without judgement.
Use a specific pen and stationery. Using a special pen and journal/diary do tend to create "atmosphere" when journaling gratitude. Adopting this practice makes this journaling experience more significant and sacred. I usually buy a few journals in advance and keep the "active" one at my nightstand so that I don't forget to make the usual daily entry before going to bed.
Quality over quantity. When it comes to gratitude and journaling, there's no hard and fast rule about how many things to be grateful for and let's face it; some days are a bit more challenging than others to find the treasures of the day - it's all about perspective. If you've only pinpointed one thing about your entire day that brings you joy and gratitude? Well alrighty then! Bring out that journal and pen and celebrate that one EPIC moment that made your day special.
Benefits of Keeping a Gratitude Journal
Gratitude journaling won't change your life or perspective overnight but will most definitely bring changes to your life over time.
Here are a few benefits of gratitude journaling based on some of my personal experiences:
Allows you to express yourself in more meaningful and creative ways.
Allows you to focus on the good.
Shift in perspective - a more positive outlook on life leading to reduced anxiety, stress, lower heart rate and a better night's rest.
You glow. Yes, that's right! you begin to radiate light from the inside out. Others are drawn to this radiant and positive outlook on life.
Contentment. Life becomes easier and there is more contentment with your days and in your relationships.
Clarity. Nothing brings more clarity than a peaceful mind. reduced stress leads to a cleared head and it's much easier to work from this space to make life decisions.
Well that's all for now folks!
Hope you enjoyed this article and would love to hear about your experiences with gratitude journaling.