Have you ever considered keeping a gratitude journal? Read any book about positive psychology and you will hear the benefits of keeping a gratitude journal. Reminding yourself daily that you have things to be grateful for, has many benefits. These benefits include things such as increased optimism, increased self-esteem, increased energy, increased productivity, increases relaxation, decreased envy, and better friendships/relationships. All of these things lead to more happiness. Who doesn’t want that?
So, consider giving it a try. It doesn’t have to be time consuming. You can use a paper journal, an online journal such as Penzu, or a word document on your computer. The process is simple, just list out 2-5 things daily that you are grateful for. If you find you are often grateful for the same things, that’s okay…but I would encourage you to focus elsewhere every now and then to appreciate the blessings you have in other areas of your life.
One thing to keep in mind is how you word your entries. We are talking positive psychology here, so it almost goes without saying that your statements should be worded in a positive form and not a negative form. Rather than write that you are grateful for no traffic jams, write that you are grateful that traffic flowed smoothly.
Now for the most important part of the gratitude journal….after each entry, write what you did to create what you are grateful for. This is important because while sometimes we feel we are just lucky, it is our decisions and actions that lead to the things we are grateful for. Taking ownership of your role in the good things in your life will help inspire you to make more positive choices and to acknowledge your own greatness.
Want a couple examples?
1) Today I am grateful that traffic flowed smoothly on the way to work, allowing me to get to work on time. I left the house 5 minutes earlier than usual, which must have allowed me to beat the large number of cars I often encounter during my usual drive time.
2) Today I am grateful for my daughter, who helped out with cleaning the house. I have been a loving and supportive mother, teaching my daughter responsibility.
3) Today I am grateful for my car, which reliably gets me where I need to go. I used consumer reports and chose the best rated car I could afford. I keep up to date with maintenance tasks.
Easy enough, right? Give it a try for a few weeks and see how it makes you feel. I promise you, it’s worth the 5-10 minutes it might take you. And it’s always a nice treat, when you are having a particularly stressful day, to go back and read what you have been blessed with in the past.
Enjoy your gratitude!
Tracy Martorana is a Nutrition & Wellness Consultant, Meditation Instructor and Herbalist...hoping to inspire you to live your life from a place of Holistic Wellness.