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It’s scientifically proven that gratitude is good for you. Gratitude isn’t just backed by leaders like the Dali Lama, it’s also backed by science. With so many obvious benefits, it isn’t a surprise that gratitude has become popular and many of us are taking the time to remember to be thankful for what we have. One of the best and indeed easiest ways to remember to show thanks every day is by using a gratitude journal. 

Why journal?

Journaling regularly has been proven to improve your overall mental health and well-being. Really thinking about what you are grateful for daily can take the experience of journaling up a notch. It might sound time-consuming and potentially difficult but in reality, keeping a gratitude journal is pretty simple. If you’re anything like me, you’ll immediately think it’s complicated but it really needn’t be. You can write down as little as a couple of words to explain what it is you’re grateful for each day.

You don’t have to go into a huge amount of detail but, if you want to, you can. There aren’t any rules; you decide how long the list is each day and whether to make it detailed or simple.

The great thing about journalling is that it’s a relatively easy habit to form and will give back in terms of benefits. A gratitude journal allows you to look back on all the good things when you’re feeling particularly low. This can serve to raise your spirits and remind you just how much you have to be grateful for. 

A gratitude journal boosts positivity

Taking time out each day to put your full focus on what is good in your life and what is going well will inevitably make you feel more positive. Writing down what you are thankful for on a daily basis can also serve to make you a more optimistic person as you start to look for the good in things so that you can write them down. Giving the power over to the much more positive emotions of gratitude and positivity will allow less time and space for negativity and unhelpful thoughts and emotions.

You may well already know of these positive aspects in your subconscious but writing it down and cementing it focuses the brain and makes those thoughts much more real. 

It’ll increase your self-esteem

Journalling, especially when focused on gratitude, is a hugely personal experience. It allows you to be much more present with yourself and to really recognize and appreciate your achievements no matter how big or small they may be. Showing personal gratitude has been shown scientifically to reduce comparison and decrease resentment towards others.

Indeed, a 2014 study showed that focusing on gratitude increased the self-esteem of participating athletes. This extended to them being able to trust more freely as they had much higher self-belief. 

You’ll sleep better

Taking as little as 15 minutes before bed to write down what you are grateful for can have a massive impact. Taking just this small amount of time to focus on all the good in your life can even help you to sleep better. Just as stressed and resentful thoughts can play on your mind and make your sleep fitful, the opposite is true.

Recounting all the good things that happened throughout your day will settle your brain and help you to sleep better. Thinking of the positives leaves much less time for you to mull over any negative thoughts as your mind will be preoccupied and focused on the good. 

gratitude journalGratitude might well increase happiness

Being thankful and grateful allows you to acknowledge and think about all the good things in your life. Writing these things down will help you to focus in on the good and block out the negative much more effectively. Your brain will automatically be more in tune with the good thoughts, feelings, and experiences as it seeks them out during the day. After all, you need things to put into your gratitude journal at the end of your day.

Writing all these good things down will help you feel more positive, gain more enjoyment from experiences and build stronger and better relationships. Overall, it seems to point towards a much happier life. Ultimately, if you’re feeling more optimistic, you’re much more likely to be positive about life and all its facets. 

Stress less! 

Science has proven that people who show gratefulness more frequently are, overall, much less stressed. Grateful people tend to take care of themselves and their bodies better and, by extension, live longer and happier lives. They are much more able to manage stress effectively and this focus on satisfaction and good naturally serves to counteract stress. Ultimately, this reduced stress will allow you to take on life more freely and handle what comes your way more effectively. 

References

https://www.happify.com/hd/why-you-should-write-a-gratitude-journal/
https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/minding-the-body/201111/how-gratitude-helps-you-sleep-night
https://www.goodnet.org/articles/5-reasons-keeping-gratitude-journal-will-change-your-life
http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/57314/
https://positivepsychology.com/gratitude-appreciation/

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Katie Hart

Katie Hart is a successful health, beauty and fashion blogger with a BA in Fashion Media at LISOF. Her hobbies include styling, reading, true crime podcasts and singing. She is a lover of all things fashion and beauty, but is happiest when sitting with her mini Maltese, Aria.

The content in this editorial is for general information only and is not intended to provide medical or other professional advice. For more information on your medical condition and treatment options, speak to your healthcare professional.

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