If you watch the news or use the internet, it’s easy to see a world filled with negativity. This makes it difficult to focus on the positive things in life. Over time, you may feel tired and unhappy. Life may start to feel tedious or you might lose sight of your personal goals.
Getting into a daily habit of being grateful and focused on your personal goals is the solution. Once you start training your mind to notice all the beautiful things in the world, you will feel brighter and happier.
First things first, what exactly is gratitude?
What is gratitude?
Put simply, gratitude is a positive emotion that occurs when we show genuine thanks and appreciation for something or someone. When we experience gratitude, we often associate it with the feelings of happiness, joyfulness, appreciation, and kindness.
Everyone experiences gratitude at some point, whether in big or small amounts. For example, being thankful for someone holding the door open for you may be a small thing, but it is still something that we can show gratitude for by saying 'thanks'. Something bigger might be showing gratitude for your family, the love and support that they give unconditionally to you.
Often in our busy and hectic day, we can forget all of the positive things around us that we could be grateful for. Using a gratitude journal helps us to refocus on things in our life that we can be thankful for.
Let's look at the three ways that using a gratitude journal can change your life.
1. A gratitude journal can teach mindfulness
As children, we are naturally positive thinkers. Over time we have, unknowingly, trained our thoughts to be negative. But, just like we trained ourselves to think the worst, we can retrain our brains to be grateful.
When you make a list of reasons to be grateful, you are telling your brain to recognize and focus on these reasons. This is called mindfulness. It’s the ability to be present and aware. In this way, you can cut out the excess noise of the world, quiet your mind, and bring positivity into your life.
2. A gratitude journal can improve your health
Studies have shown your thoughts control your emotions, not the other way around. You will first have a thought, good or bad, and then you will feel the emotion associated with that thought. When you have thoughts that upset you or make you unhappy, the hormones in your body react to this, leaving you feeling tired or lethargic.
Using a gratitude journal to focus on positives will boost your mood, energy, and overall well-being. You will begin to feel happier, sleep better, and think more positively.
3. A gratitude journal lets your mind rest
Gratitude journals help you set up a daily routine. When you write in your journal as a daily practice, you are taking the opportunity to quiet your mind, re-center yourself, and focus on any personal goals you want to achieve. It is your time to be alone, away from the busyness of work, social media, and excessive noise.
Make writing in your gratitude journal a daily practice and see a rise in your productivity!