Many of us struggle with daily life but keeping a journal is often recommended as a way to cope with stress. Writing down your thoughts each day is a great way to understand what is going on. Focusing just on what you are thankful for is a quick and easy way to help put things into perspective. More than just a fad, a gratitude journal can be a valuable lifelong self-care tool.
Here are three benefits to consider:
1. Your mindset switches from negative to positive
At first, it may seem hard to find something to be grateful for. Writing a list in your gratitude journal is a good way to begin observing the positive things around you. For example, when you start your car, or even turn on the lights in your home, you may consider how grateful you are to have the resources to do these things. Those with health issues sometimes say that they are just grateful that they can breathe or that their hearts are beating. Whatever your problems, gratitude helps you see things for what they really are.
2. You learn to appreciate others
It can be too easy to ignore the kind things a loved one or a stranger does for you during your busy day. By slowing down to notice your child’s cute expression or when a stranger holds the door for you, it is easier to see that you are not alone with your troubles. If you notice these things and feel motivated to give back, your relationships with others can improve.
3. You will find it easier to remember the good times
We sometimes have no choice when it comes to what life brings us. We never know when we'll be hit with an unexpected illness, death or financial crisis. Writing a list can help lift your spirits by helping you notice the positive things. For example, you may find yourself expressing gratitude that a friend brought you a sandwich, your kids are at someone else’s house for a while or that you were able to get an extension on a bill. Once you have been keeping a gratitude journal you can look back at some of the good things you have experienced and realized that difficult times will pass.
Starting a gratitude journal is as simple as making a short list of three things that are positive right now. To help you remember to do it every day, make it a part of your morning or evening routine. If you keep it up, you'll soon have a list of happy memories to turn to as you need them.