Gratitude Journaling 101
The human mind is not designed to feel happiness. Instead, it is designed to ensure survival. This primal instinct cares less about whether you are happy and automatically looks for discomfort and dangers and ensure that you are kept safe. However, you now live in times where you are surrounded by comfort and safety; living in survival mode all the time is simply not a requirement anymore.
Therefore, to find happiness, you have to force and train the mind to feel it, and to make positivity a part of our everyday life. Gratitude is perhaps the simplest and the most effective way to do this. Gratitude makes you focus on what’s good in front of you instead of what’s wrong. By practicing gratitude every day, you essentially train your mind so stay in positivity mode.
Several cultures and religions teach us to be grateful, and their expressions can be seen in forms of thanksgiving prayers, offerings, festivals, and rituals. So you are certainly in the right to want to enhance a gratitude practice in your personal and daily life.
Journaling is only one of the way to practice gratitude.
Practicing gratitude has numerous benefits, including reducing depression and anxiety. This is why adding it to your daily routine can be a great form of self care. To do so, purchase a gratitude journal and get in the habit of writing down 3-5 things you are grateful for every morning. At the end of the day, go back to it and reflect on it daily. You will soon notice you have placed yourself in a gratitude mindset. You’ll notice more things to write about in your journal.
We are big fans of the Gratitude Journal by Taylor Elliott. This gorgeous luxe journal is so aesthetically pleasing that it just calls you to it. Best yet, it does not have dates marked, so even if you skip a day or two, no problem. The journal will be waiting for you to start where you left it off.
There is too much to be thankful for in life. When one takes the time to express gratitude, they automatically feel health benefits because the focus goes to the positivity. Experiencing increased happiness and satisfaction every day allows you to have a great mood.
TIPS ON GRATITUDE JOURNALING
- The most common way to start a gratitude journal is to (ideally) allocate a specific time of the day to sit down with just your thoughts. Best times are first thing in the morning and before bedtime. The idea behind journaling at a specific time is so you get yourself in a habit of doing it. Call it your “me time” or “gratitude hour”.
- You can have a list of questions that you ask yourself every single day. For example:
- (The obvious one) what are the three things I am grateful for in this moment?
- If you are having trouble finding things to be thankful for, use your five senses. What do you see? What do you feel? What to you smell, taste, hear?
- Very importantly, don’t just gratitude journal because you feel you HAVE to do it. To become happier, you much make a mindful decision to actually feel the thankfulness. Only record what stands out the most that day or in that moment.
- Don’t overthink it. It’s about simplicity and what you truly ‘feel’ in the moment.
- Be as specific as possible. Writing down your ‘why’ helps you zero in and truly feel your blessings. Instead of just saying something like, I am grateful for my meal today, say why you’re grateful. Perhaps it was the taste, how it made you feel as it filled your tummy, what you were doing while having the meal that made you grateful, etc.
- Focus on ‘what if it was all taken away. There are these age-old words of wisdom that go something like this… What if you wake up tomorrow morning and find out all you have left with you are the people, the blessings, the things you express gratitude for today? All else will be gone, taken away from you. If, every day you knew things you didn’t express gratitude for will be gone tomorrow, what will you be grateful for today?
Start off with this amazing journal by Taylor Elliott Designs. In summary, some of our favourite features of this journal are:
- A beautiful floral-patterned hardcover exterior with gold foil imprinting
- Pink gingham interior
- Lined pages with hand-lettered quotes
- 365 journaling pages to keep going for a whole year.
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