“Every night list five things that you are grateful for. What it will begin to do is change your perspective of your day and your life.” ~Oprah Winfrey
By Erin Scott
Are you thankful for what you have?
You may compare yourself to others—thinking that they are richer, wiser and more successful than you are. You may even think they have more than you have.
Stop. Resist this ugly habit.
Simple things can make you smile. Simple moments can bring joy. Appreciate them; embrace all that you have, and your life will be happier. One way to increase positive feelings is by keeping a gratitude journal.
Why Keep a Gratitude Journal?
Writing in a gratitude journal will help:
- Redirect your mind and body to positive energy
- Give you strength and hope
- Turn you into an optimistic person
- Help you to see what is great, not what is wrong
- Widen your perspective in life
- Keep you motivated and thankful every day
- Help you savor every blessing in life
- Give you restful sleep
- Make you feel good and livelier
Start realizing these benefits of practicing gratitude by committing to write in a journal, for 30-days, all that you are grateful for in life. Simple daily notes of gratitude each day will help you appreciate your life more. Here’s how to get started:
You can use a mobile app or a document in your computer to write your daily entries. Alternatively, you can purchase a nice journal or customize a notebook with decorations, photos and a colorful photo for the cover.
Decide what’s best for you and what will make you feel the most connected when you write.
2. Write as many entries as you want
Ideally, three or five entries per day will help increase feelings of gratefulness. If you think that you have more to add, though, then write them down. Don’t pressure yourself too much; fill the pages with the joy you feel and enjoy the process.
3. Appreciate someone rather than something
Yes, you may have a new phone, a new car, or maybe a new house. However, wouldn’t it be better if you had new friends or the presence and love of your family? Which would make you feel more grateful? Write down the people who you are grateful for having in your life and the reasons why.
4. Narrow your thankworthy entries down
Instead of writing, “I’m grateful for my wife” write: “I’m grateful for my wife, who always listens to me and cooks my favorite lasagna.”
Be specific, and focus on the positive things these moments offer. In that way, you will appreciate the details of each moment.
5. Keep it positive
Seek positive things in every negative situation. Dwell on the possibility of a positive outcome in tough times.
I’m feeling sick and can’t work today, but I’m still grateful for my husband, who is always there to take care of me.
Instead of worrying and overthinking, extract positivity from negative situations and you will see the brighter side of life.
6. Make gratitude journal writing a habit
Writing special moments in your gratitude journal helps cultivate greater optimism in life. You can visit your journal every day reading what you wrote, and writing things that you are thankful for. You can do this before a good night’s sleep, listing all those thankworthy moments of that day.
Make this journaling a part of your routine and after a weary day, you’ll still be thankful for the gifts of life and love.
Lastly, what are you grateful for? Ask this question from day 1 to day 30. Then after 30 days, read what you’ve written. Reflect on these moments of gratitude and savor each word. You can choose to continue writing in your journal, or simply keep this one and go back to it often to give yourself a boost in happiness.
About the Author
Erin Scott, a marketing specialist, helps run the LitFire Publishing blog. She is a passionate reader and an active writer. She shares tips from writing to self-publishing to marketing. You can follow her on Twitter @erinscottlf.
Download our Free Gratitude Report!
Discover the life-changing benefits of practicing gratitude with our free report, 12 Ways to Practice Gratitude for Health and Happiness. Sign-up now and receive it in your e-mail inbox today.