Gratitude journals are a wonderful thing. Yes, we know it requires some time and effort but they really can be wonderful sources of encouragement when you are feeling down in the dumps. Here are a few other excellent reasons why a gratitude journal is a great idea.
Writing things down helps you remember them later. We know that for us, writing things down is crucial in the memory process. We have so much going on from day to day, those small, sweet positive things that happen to us from time to time can easily slip like water through our brains. Taking a moment or two to write those positive things down at the end of the day, even if we are grateful for something that seems insignificant or silly, will help you remember them later. Remembering the awesome sunset from last night just may be the life preserver you need to get through your terrible Tuesday afternoon.
Looking at blessings over time helps you see patterns. Sometimes it can feel like we are constantly failing.
We fail as parents.
We fail as siblings.
We fail as employees.
We fail at going to the gym.
It’s easy to get wrapped up in what we’re NOT doing, but if we take the time to review what we are grateful for in our lives, we can often recognize that we aren’t doing as bad of a job as we think. For example, a gratitude journal will help you see that working out at the very least made you feel grateful for a functioning body, even if you failed at losing the weight you had hoped for at the end of the week.
Most of all, keeping a gratitude journal will make you a happier, more positive person. Garnering and emphasizing the positives in your life will make you a more positive person. You can’t really carry a positive and a negative thought at the same time. Of course there is back and forth, but keeping a gratitude journal helps you practice carrying only positive thoughts, and helps build your positivity muscles. Sometimes, we think of the positive/negative struggle as a wrestling match. You have a positive thought, and then a negative thought can swoop in and topple the positive thought to the ground.
For example, “I worked out three times this week. Good for me!”
“Yeah, but you also had fast food three times this week, so really you did nothing.”
If you have been working on your positivity muscles with a gratitude journal, it’s a lot easier to tell Mr. Negative to hit the road, and not come back.
Plus, being a positive person helps others around you be more positive, making the world a better place in general. Win, win, win!
Here’s just a few tips to help you get started:
- Use a medium that’s easy for you (a small notebook you can carry around all day, a list on your phone, or an email to yourself for just a few examples)
- Be honest
- Be consistent
- Force yourself to come up with something every, single, day…even if it was the worst day of your life.
We hope these reasons and tips help you get started on your journey to greater gratitude and positivity!