I have always loved journaling. However, as I got older, I stopped incorporating it into my daily routine. I had pushed away the necessary tools to overcome my mental struggles, as I simply wasn’t ready to help myself. During the summer of 2021, I was fortunate to meet and become very close with someone who has ALK+ Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer. I was very open with her about my mental health and after a few weeks, she gifted me with my first ever gratitude journal.
She is in her 50’s, has never smoked a day in her life, has a beautiful family, and was diagnosed with a terrible illness, yet she finds something to be grateful for every single day. Participating in gratitude has helped me insane amounts, and it can help you too. Find out how in Gratitude Journal: 5 Key Reasons Why You Should Use One!
1. Gratitude Brings an Increase in Positivity
Taking the time to focus on the things you are doing with your life and acknowledging them will naturally make you more positive.
When writing in a gratitude journal, you are thinking of things that you are grateful for, which brings optimism and light into your life.
No matter what you’re going through, writing things that you are thankful for are all positive acts, giving negative emotions less power to your mind. Writing these ideas down also makes you think about a special moment, memory, or accomplishment and really identify how it made you feel all over again.
2. More Resilience
Mental health and managing your wellbeing can be extremely difficult, especially if you’re going through something very challenging and you find it’s consuming all your thoughts.
Writing in a gratitude journal can help you take a step back from this morass of thinking and shift your focus towards the things in your life that are not falling apart or just appreciating the little things that keep you sane.
In doing so, it makes you feel stronger in knowing that there are still parts of your life to be grateful for and that you are OK in the present moment, even though you may be battling with something seemingly oppressive.
3. An Overall Improvement in Relationships
Since practicing gratitude will positively impact you, it is bound to also impact those around you.
When writing something about a friend or partner in your gratitude journal (expressing that a certain memory or act of service made you feel grateful) that relationship can also improve the quality of the specific relationship for the other person involved too. They will often feel your attitude and energy shift, and you can even share what you wrote with them (if you want).
If you can communicate what you are grateful for, it is more likely you will also be able to talk through areas of struggle, making it overall a healthier relationship for everyone involved.
Alike reading a book, doing your skincare routine, or indulging in a face mask, practicing gratitude is also a form of self-care. It is setting aside time for just yourself and reflecting upon the things in your life that have made you happy.
Feeling those emotions again can boost your mood and make you feel satisfied overall. When you focus on the things that you are content and satisfied with, it counters what you may be stressed about at that moment. You will feel much more grounded in that you will be able to generate confidence to prevail over whatever is to come.
5. Better Sleep
If you use a gratitude journal before bed, it can improve your sleep greatly. This is because you are reminding yourself what there is to be thankful for whilst reflecting through the positive things that occurred during the day.
Some people get anxious before bedtime and think to themselves about the things that need to get done or potential worries they may have. However, if you shift your mindset before bed towards positive thoughts, you are more likely to get a better night’s sleep.