A few weeks ago I decided to start keeping a Gratitude Journal. I’ve read a lot about gratitude journalling and I have kept one in the past but I just never seemed to get into the habit of writing in it daily. (If you haven’t read my post about how I came to buy this journal, you can read it HERE)
Making Journalling a Habit
Therein lies the problem. If you really want to fully feel the benefits of gratitude journalling, writing in your journal has to become a habit. It has to be something that you take time out to do every single day and not just when you feel like it. By writing down the things that you’re grateful for on a daily basis you quickly see just how many positive things there are going on in your life. Of course, this is just my opinion. There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to keeping any kind of journal. And maybe something is better than nothing. It just doesn’t work for me.
(By the way, if you don’t have a suitable journal you can browse a selection of lovely ones HERE including the one you see above)
So, I decided that the best way to get into the habit of writing in my journal was to incorporate it into my nightly bedtime routine. That way it would become second nature to me along with removing my make-up and brushing my teeth. And that’s exactly what happened. After a few weeks I no longer have to make myself do it. I just get on with it. And I really look forward to doing it too.
How To Journal
I noticed that, when I was researching gratitude journalling, some people suggested writing three things per day. Other people suggested five. My suggestion is write as many as you like but probably a minimum of three.
The journal I use has a week on two pages layout meaning there isn’t a huge amount of room for writing so I write a single sentence about each of the things I’m grateful for that day. You could also add stickers or doodles if you’re artistically inclined, write in different coloured pens, colour it in… If you run out of room you can always add extra paper or change to a bigger journal. There’s no right or wrong way to do this. It’s your journal to do with whatever you like. Make it work for you. I can actually see myself needing a bigger journal soon as I get into this journalling lark more and more.
Another thing I noticed as I was researching gratitude journalling, was that there are a lot of articles written on the benefits of keeping this type of journal. However, instead of just writing the same things as everyone else I thought it would be useful to see for myself what the benefits were and report back here with my findings. That way I might encourage someone else to take up their pen and start journalling too.
Now, I don’t know if any of you have read Arianna Huffington’s book ‘Thrive’. If you haven’t, I highly recommend it. You can get a copy of it by clicking HERE (UK only).
Anyway, in the book (p.127) Arianna says,
“According to study by researchers from the University of Minnesota and the University of Florida, having participants write down a list of positive events at the close of the day – and why the events made them happy – lowered their self-reported stress levels and gave them a greater sense of calm at night.”
Sounds good, doesn’t it?
And so, without further ado, here are the 10 benefits that I’ve felt (so far) from keeping a gratitude journal.
10 Benefits of Keeping a Gratitude Journal
- After I’ve written in my journal I feel much calmer and I seem to be sleeping better than I was before I started writing in my journal
- It’s changed the way I think. I now have a much better idea about what’s important in my life and what’s not as important as I maybe thought it was. I’m also starting to appreciate these important things more than I was before.
- I’m starting to see what I want more of in my life and what I can live with less of.
- I’m focussing more on the good things that happen rather than the bad things. This, in turn, means I’m feeling much happier about life in general.
- I’ve realised that I don’t need more ‘stuff’ to make me happy because, at the end of the day, material things just aren’t that important.
- I’ve found that, during the day, I now find it easier to let go of negative emotions.
- I’m becoming a more positive person in general
- One thing I write every night is that I’m grateful for my health. This is turn has made me more aware during the day of what I’m eating and how much exercise I’m doing. I want to stay healthy for as long as I can and I’ve realised that I need to work at that rather than take it for granted.
- I’ve always been an optimist but I now feel even more optimistic about the future. Apparently a positive, optimistic attitude can help us to increase our lifespan and that’s a good thing.
- Overall I feel happier, stronger and more able to cope with all the things that life takes great delight in throwing at me from time to time.
And, that’s it for the moment.
I may write another post at some point in the future if I feel even more good things happening as a result of journalling.
I would definitely recommend giving gratitude journalling a go. It’s not difficult. It doesn’t take up much time. And, if makes you feel much better about yourself and your life, what’s not to love?
Do you keep a gratitude journal?
What benefits have you noticed from it?
Have you kept one in the past but given up?
If so, what were your reasons?
As always, let me know what you think in the comments.
And, if you want to keep up with Cupcakes and Cadenzas elsewhere on the interwebs you find me in the following places:
Until the next time,
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