the magic of gratitude journaling
I have a very small grey notebook, and on and off at the end of the day, I write five things down that I am grateful for that day. It helps me especially when I don’t feel so good about the day, or in periods when things don’t feel like flowing, because it helps me shift my perspective, just before resting, to all the good things that were also happening.
I don’t know about you, but I can really get stuck in the things I feel could have been better or that I could have done better. But there are so many other things too, and to shift myself out of a rut all I often need is to lift my head and look at what else is there.
I’ve been reading up about gratitude journaling, and wanted to share what I found because I was quite impressed…
Did you know that the effects of gratitude journaling are so profound that even people around gratitude journalers notice the difference, and people who start gratitude journaling as part of a scientific study don’t want to stop when the study is over?
It is one of the best known gratitude practices, and as I found out, there are very good reasons why this is so…
The simple practice of reflecting on what you are grateful for has profound effects on your life, that have even been measured in scientific studies.
Paying more attention to the good things in your lifts your vibes and re-trains and re-wires your brain to focus on the positive things, which helps to attract more of those good things in your life and makes you feel happier!
Many of the common things we don’t think about much or even take for granted can become sources of joy, happiness and gratitude by focusing on them;
- Mundane or ordinary events that we otherwise rarely even notice (running water! Sunshine and how that made us feel … The loving company of a pet… flowers in the garden)
- The things you did well and that make you feel happy and satisfied (being patient with the pushy sales person, choosing self-care and quiet time when we were overwhelmed… making the neighbours’ kids laugh…)
- Kind people we meet (the stranger who showed you where the nearest parking was, the friendly cashier, the person down the road that commented on your beautiful garden).
dow What do the studies say?
Most of the studies on gratitude are carried out by Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D. He is the world’s leading scientific expert on gratitude and a professor of psychology at the University of California. This is what he shares;
People who keep Gratitude journals on a regular basis;
- Report fewer illness symptoms
- Feel better about their lives as a whole
- Are more optimistic about the future
- Experience higher levels of positive emotions such as joy, enthusiasm, love, happiness
- Are able to cope better with everyday stress, are more resilient in difficult times, recover more quickly from illness and are generally healthier
- Have increased feelings of connectedness, and better relationships, and are more altruistic
- And the effects are not only noticeable to the person keeping the journal, in the studies friends & family around them consistently report that gratitude journalers are happier and more pleasant to be around
All of this from a simple daily practice of reflecting on a what you have to be grateful for, and the studies show effects are already noticeable after 3 weeks!
Through reading up on this seemingly simple topic it has become super clear to me that Gratitude and gratitude journaling are an amazingly supportive practice that takes no time and effort at all but has profound positive effects.
If you’d appreciate a little bit of help getting back in the flow again, I’d give it a try.
Because I love creating things, I’ve created a downloadable PDF on Gratitude & a habit tracker to help you with making it part of your daily routine.
Hi there, I'm Helena and I write about my journey of creating a happy and meaningful life, close to nature and with the heart as compass.
I work as web and graphic designer from a small village surrounded by wild nature. I love to share about books, my creative journey, discovering new places and exploring the big questions of life.
I hope that what you find here will spark & inspire your own dreams,
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I write about living from the heart and connecting to nature, my life and work, books + free inspiring images