Unlocking Happiness: Keeping A Gratitude Journal Can Transform Your Outlook On Life

Unlocking Happiness: Keeping A Gratitude Journal Can Transform Your Outlook On Life

It's no secret that starting your day with gratitude is an essential tool for unlocking happiness and abundance in your life. No matter what season of life you are in, there’s always something you can jot down to be grateful for and in most cases, only takes a few minutes of your day to do.

Writing in a gratitude journal allows you to keep track of an ever-growing list of all the things that you’re thankful for and even sets your mind up to receive things you haven’t gotten yet. From the time you wake up, or go to sleep, the moments, people, and connections that make your day worthwhile are all worth documenting. In doing so, you train your brain into putting the focus on positivity and redirect you from sinking into a rut or bad mood.

Studies show that our brain is wired to fixate on negativity bias, meaning, instead of noticing the good, we tend to pick up on the bad first. That’s just a way our brain tries to protect us and recognize potential threats, but it also means that it takes a little bit more effort to place the focus back on the beauty in our life. And that’s where gratitude journaling comes in.

To assist in getting your brain on the right side of positivity, we’ve compiled a list of reasons you can benefit from keeping a gratitude journal and how it can open up a world of abundance in your life.

Improve Your Positive Emotions: 

Writing down things you are grateful for can enhance positive emotions such as happiness, contentment, and joy. By focusing on what you have rather than what you lack, you can cultivate a more positive outlook on life. Studies have shown a link between writing down notes of gratitude to more optimism and an overall better feeling about life. In other words, you may just be a page away from an instant mood boost.

Intelligent Change, The Five Minute Journal: A Happier You in 5 Minutes a Day, $29.00

Stress, Be Gone: 

Focusing on the positive aspects of your life can help reduce stress and anxiety. By taking a few minutes each day to reflect on what you are grateful for, you can cultivate a sense of calm and peace. Research suggests that implementing a regular practice of gratitude into your day can have positive effects on the body inside and out. When we worry, it can put unwanted stress on our hearts (physically), so learning how to cope with the pressures of life as it comes—because some days aren’t perfect—can help you level and be steady when the waves come.

Your Mental Health Will Thank You: 

Studies have shown that practicing gratitude can improve mental health and reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. Keeping a gratitude journal can be a helpful tool in managing your mental health, adding that studies have even shown that “people who consciously count their blessings tend to be happier and less depressed.” While the act of writing down three things you’re grateful for or sending yourself a voice memo of a moment that made you smile during your day can give you a fresh perspective on your circumstance and serve as a reminder that even the darkest of days get brighter.

Happy Journal, Happy Life: How drawing your day ignites creativity, boosts gratitude, and skyrockets happiness, $14.99

Get a Boost in Self-Esteem:

Reflecting on your achievements, no matter how small, can help boost your self-esteem and confidence. You can build a sense of pride and self-worth by acknowledging what you have accomplished. Keeping promises to yourself, prioritizing your wellness, and implementing acts of self-care, are all fuel to boost your overall self-image, so don’t forget to make a note of it as you show up for yourself.

Improve Relationships: 

Did you know that how we feel about ourselves can show up in the way we relate to others? When we express gratitude for our partners, friends, and family, it can improve our feelings of connectedness and satisfaction within these dynamics. By acknowledging the good things about the people in your life, you can strengthen your connections and build more meaningful relationships.

An Increased Resilience: 

Cultivating a practice of gratitude can increase your resilience and ability to cope with difficult situations. Gratitude acts as a defense against the challenging moments that may come about within your day. When we approach the day with what we can control, it helps us balance our emotions and build up our tolerance to manage uncertainties and setbacks.

Papier, Gratitude Journal, $35.00

Develop Mindfulness:

Gratitude journaling can be a form of mindfulness practice, helping you to be more present in the moment and appreciate the beauty of everyday life. By noticing and savoring the small moments of joy, you can cultivate a deeper, more profound sense of appreciation for life.

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Featured image by Cavan Images/Getty Images

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