For as long as I can remember I have kept a journal. In fact many of the books I have written are a direct result of the journals I have created over the years. However, my favorite one is my gratitude journal. It is a constant reminder for me to be grateful for what I have, rather than what I don’t have.
Here are six keys reasons why keeping a running gratitude list, or daily gratitude journal, really helps:
- Being grateful makes you happier. It’s true, there are studies to prove it. These studies have shown that developing your “attitude of gratitude” can actually reduce feelings of depression and increase feelings of satisfaction, contentment, love, joy, and empathy towards others. As Tony Robbins said, you can’t feel angry at the same time as you feel grateful.
- “Gratitude becomes magic when it is expressed prior to receiving the blessing,” according to Awesome AJ. Say you are longing for the perfect relationship: Before you receive it, give thanks and gratitude that you are loved, respected, and adored by your perfect, kind, and gentle partner, for example. Your energetic vibration will cause the same to come to you. The love and appreciation you give out will come back to you magnified.
- It builds resilience for when the hard stuff hits. When you keep a daily gratitude journal, you are building a resource. Over time, you will have much positive information to review to help you when you are inundated with difficult, stressful times. You can look back over your pages and pages of things to be grateful for and this will very quickly steer your mind, and therefore your mood, into more positive pastures.
- The more you are grateful for, the more you are able to receive. According to the Law of Attraction, when you really feel grateful, you affirm to the Universe that you are open to receive. What you give out, you get back. Therefore, if you think negative thoughts, or if you complain, you will experience a life that mirrors your thoughts: Your life will be difficult and hard. If you think positive thoughts and express appreciation and gratitude, you will experience a life, which is rich and abundant.
- It makes you healthier. Studies have been conducted which show that when you consistently focus on feelings of gratitude, you will need to visit the doctor less than if you focus consistently on what makes you feel irritated or aggravated. Expressing gratitude to others has been shown to increase your happiness levels significantly, while other studies show that expressing gratitude to a partner can increase feelings of closeness and trust in the relationship.
- You are training your mind to be grateful. A daily practice gets you into the habit of thinking about gratitude. According to certain experts, it takes 21 days to establish a new habit. Cultivating gratitude is a healthy habit to develop as it brings about so many rewards. By cultivating gratitude, you are training your mind to grow new, healthy neural pathways in the brain, which lead to the experience of increased positive emotions.
All in all, keeping an ongoing gratitude journal benefits all levels of your health and well-being, and is a very worthwhile activity, having the capacity to change your mindset, and therefore also your whole life, from one of poverty to one of richness and abundance.
Gratitude when practiced daily can train the mind to stay focused on positive thoughts; resilience and positive emotions will result and feelings of happiness, contentment, and joy will become the new normal for you, shoring you up against the stressors of everyday life.