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gratitude journaling practice - how it helps

the magic of gratitude journaling

I have a very small grey notebook, and almost every day, at the end of the day, I write at least 5 things down that I am grateful for that day. It helps me especially when I don’t feel so good about the day, because I 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 ourselves out of a rut all we often need is to lift our head and look at what else is there… 

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 various scientific studies. 

Paying more attention to the good things in your life raises your vibration 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 things we don’t think about much or even take for granted become sources of joy and gratitude through gratitude journaling;

  • 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).


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!

It has become super clear to me that Gratitude and gratitude journaling are an amazingly supportive practice that could even be called a “quick fix for busy lives”… 

It’s something that I think almost anyone can fit into their lives, if you feel things are a bit more challenging right now, give it a go!

Here is a post that helps you get started, there is a PDF with some tips and also a habitat tracker that helps you get into the habit for 30 days. 



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Hi, I'm Helena, a fellow traveler on the way back to love with big dreams for the world!

I love bringing people and ideas together to help us thrive in changing times.

I’m an ecologist turned web & graphic designer and homeschooling mum of a spirited flower fairy. I’m from the Netherlands but live in Bulgaria where I Co-founded an eco community in a small village surrounded by wild nature.

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