How many of you journal? The good old pen and paper journaling? There are so many different ways to journal, but one of my favorite journals is my gratitude journal. Taking the time to reflect each day, and then actually make a note of our thoughts has huge rewards to our well-being. Reaping the benefits of a gratitude journal is for all of us!
Now, it might seem like a pipe dream that writing in a journal could be so beneficial. But the scientific evidence is in, and gratitude journals do benefit you in big ways if you keep one for the long term and use it daily.
Reaping the Benefits of a Gratitude Journal
Experience Stronger and More Fulfilling Relationships
It’s so simple, but it can be hard to accept. You are the one who makes yourself happy with your own choices. Another person cannot make you happy or grateful. Only you can do that. But something amazing happens when you express gratitude often ñ your relationships simply open up and become better. Those that don’t, you start to recognize for what they are and let them go.
Become Physically Healthier
Being grateful for the ability to move and breathe will eventually cross over into wanting to ensure that you can always do that. Therefore, you’ll be more motivated to go on walks, eat right, stay hydrated, and live in gratitude for every aspect of your life.
Increase Your Mental Dexterity
The ability to take lemons and turn them into that sweet, delightful state drink of Arizona can be gained by keeping a gratitude journal. The main reason is that you will learn on even a bad day to pick out the good in it. That requires a good imagination and creativity and thinking on your feet.
Feel Less Aggression in Your Life
It’s hard to feel aggressive if you are happy and grateful. It’s okay to be angry about injustices in the world without being aggressive. But if you feel angry a lot due to your life, it’s really due to not finding the things to be grateful about. There is almost always something for most people.
Act and Become More Empathetic
As you write more and learn to forgive yourself as you seek to fill your mind with thoughts of gratitude, you will start seeing others differently. You’ll have more ability to put yourself in their shoes and see things from their way without judgment. It happens when you learn to forgive yourself.
Get More Restful Sleep
If you’re not anxious but go to sleep each night feeling thankful for everything you’ve experienced (or at least most of it), it’s easier to sleep because you have less anxiety.
Get More Done Every Day
Due to feeling more rested, less stressed, and more grateful, you’ll have a lot more energy to get things done every day. That’s always going to make you feel even more thankful because good things happen due to productivity.
Feel Better about Yourself
You can’t help but feel better about yourself when you have improved so many good qualities about yourself. Your self-esteem will go up when you express gratitude for what your mind and body can do for you.
If you want to be happier, get more done in life, and experience real joy in life, a gratitude journal can be the way to achieve it. The guiding thing to remember is that your thoughts cause your feelings, and you are the one in control of the actions you take once you accept your feelings. Accepting that you do have control is half the battle, and your journal will make it clear that you do.
If you are not sure where to start check out my Write a Gratitude List to Feel Thankful article or The ABCs of My Life – both posts from the past that had me really thinking about and reflecting on all that I am thankful for.
So what are you waiting for? It’s time to get out the paper and pen and start building a habit of journaling!