We all have our days when we feel a little low and not as happy as we would like to be.
Research has shown that the very act of having a gratitude journal has many positive effects on us. It lifts our spirits tremendously, helps with depression, improves sleep, and even reduces pain.
When we take small intentional steps in a positive direction, the world around us always responds in a beautiful and uplifting way.
Here’s the thing: when you start to focus on positive things, the brain responds by wanting more and more. A gratitude journal can also help you if you are having an ‘off day’ – to simply look back at what you’ve previously written helps immensely.
When you write down what you’re grateful for, it’s very important that you really feel it in your heart – savouring the complete feeling of that ‘good’ emotion. Below are some tips on how to get started.
You need to set aside 1-2 minutes of time every morning to complete this exercise.
It can be completed anywhere.
- Name just one thing that you are grateful for today.
It is up to you whether you do this aloud, on paper, or just in your mind. Do whatever feels most natural to you.
However, it can be very affirming to re-read some of your previous lists and reflect on everything that you have been, and still are, grateful for in your life. I, for instance, keep a Gratitude Journal and take it with me everywhere I go, in case I am inspired to note something down.
- Now, name something else that you are grateful for. Do not worry too much about putting these in any sort of order – you are simply acknowledging things which make you glad to be alive and the person that you are today.
- Continue to name things for which you are grateful until you run out of inspiration. At first, you may find yourself noting three or five things which you really appreciate and are happy to be experiencing. However, as you become more practiced, your lists will become longer and longer.
There is no limit to the number of things you can be grateful for! Don’t be afraid to acknowledge anything and everything that makes you happy; no matter how “small” they might appear.
For example, I give daily thanks for my beautiful children, my health, my friends and wonderful husband… but I also say thank you for my eyes, as without them I could not see the world.
I say thank you for the roof over my head, the shoes on my feet, and the food on my table. I am grateful that I do a job that I love and have the freedom to go wherever life takes me.
And yes, I am grateful for you reading this email. Thank you!