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Home / Health / How Keeping a Gratitude Journal Makes a Healthier Mind

How Keeping a Gratitude Journal Makes a Healthier Mind

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It’s so easy to complain about the little things that cross you. But to be grateful for the tiny blessings is rarely practiced. As that one Smiths’ song says “it takes guts to be gentle and kind.” 

Positive Psychology defines gratitude as ‘the human way of acknowledging the good things of life’. It is often seen in mentally strong individuals who have a much greater appreciation of life. You can express it in simple ways.  In thanking the waitress who served your meal or being grateful for fine weather.

These are things that are often deemed as trivial by people who are consumed by their fast-paced lives. Taking a moment to appreciate the meals prepared by your mother may seem pointless. She does it every day. But once you go to college and start living on cup noodles and canned goods, you begin to realize how lucky you were. 

It seems that the value of things is often only appreciated when they are no longer present.  

You may be wondering what exactly is a gratitude journal? A gratitude journal is a diary of the things that an individual is grateful for. 

So how do you maintain a habit of gratitude? By penning it on paper.

The Magic of Gratitude Journals

To help you live a more satisfying life, here are the magical benefits of maintaining gratitude journal:

Improves your Emotional Health

smiling woman

Keeping a gratitude journal improves your emotional life. Counting the things you have fulfills you and influences your mood. Besides, it draws attention away from the negative while it highlights the positive things in your life.  

Research shows that people who wrote about the things they are grateful for felt generally better about their lives. They also paid more attention to their physical health by exercising more. Consequently, they are less likely to visit the doctor. 

This means that keeping a gratitude journal produces a domino effect. It not only improves your health emotionally, but it also does well for your physical health. 

Reduces Psychological Stress

people walking

One study shows that gratitude fosters social support.  This means it helps develop your relationship with people. Once gratitude journaling becomes a habit, it will be easier for you to practice it with people. 

Your energy influences your environment. It significantly impacts those around you. One way to communicate your positivity is through gratitude. 

Showing appreciation to people communicates how genuine you are. More importantly, it tells them that you see the good things about them and you acknowledge the things that they do for you.

Above all, it encourages them to keep showing you little acts of kindness. It makes them gravitate towards you because of the positivity you exude. 

Makes You Mentally Stronger

A gratitude journal makes you resilient once challenges come knocking on your door. This is due to the fact that gratitude reminds you of the good things in life.

sturdy tree

As a result, it makes you stronger and more equipped when dealing with these challenges. The reason behind this is you are more keen on looking at the bright side.

Once you turn this into practice, it becomes easier for you to recover from a bad fall. This is because it makes you understand that there is a silver lining to every experience. Above all, you are less likely to be sucked into a downward spiral as it allows you to practice how to climb your way back. 

Writing about gratitude is an exercise of picking yourself up. It stops you from ruminating on the impossibility of escaping your negative circumstances. Instead, it makes you look forward to the solution.  

Makes You Feel Good About Yourself

Documenting the good things that happen to you increases your self-esteem. It humbles you realizing that all these positive things are coming from the rest of the world.

The understanding that these things are given to you tells you that the universe is kind. Consequently, it inspires you to mirror the same kindness and give it back to the world. Doing this improves your self-concept or how you perceive yourself.

It makes you realize that you are a good person. In the long run, it makes you want to keep doing good. Keeping in mind that you are doing it without expecting anything in return. You do it just because it feels good. 

The Power of Putting Your Blessings on Paper

Keeping a diary has proven to have massive benefits on the emotional and physical health of an individual. Your thoughts can get crowded in your head and writing allows for a cathartic release. 

It is a way to look at your life from a certain distance. It allows you to see your problems and struggles away from your clouded thoughts. It organizes those thoughts and makes you see your situation clearly. It allows you to give meaning to your experiences. It is worth remembering that it defines the experience more than the event itself. 

By now you must realize how important it is to share your story through writing. Other than it personally helps you, it can also make an impact on other people’s lives.

Gratitude has immense power. If you combine it with writing, you can provide a permanent home for those tiny blessings. In this way, they are immortalized.

 

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