Since my Intro to Mindfulness post earlier this month, I have been keeping a gratitude journal on my Day One app. This app allows you to separate your journals. For instance, I have my normal “diary” type journal and then I have a gratitude journal. You can toggle between all of your journals in the top left corner. It has many cool features, but my favorite is the ability to take a picture through the app or import from your phone and see all of them in a list view. So, every time I open the app, I can see all the things I have been thankful for over the week. You can find more helpful positivity apps from my Positivity App’s post. Without further ado, here are my top reasons why I think everyone should keep a gratitude journal.
Why Everyone Should Keep a Gratitude Journal
1. A reminder to appreciate others.
I have been thoroughly enjoying taking time out of my day to be thankful for someone in my life. It’s funny how when you stop and force yourself to consider those around you, you really do notice how much people have done for you when you take the time to consciously think about. As I have said in previous posts, I usually think of the negative first and if I’m lucky, the positive afterwards. The gratitude journal helps me highlight the good things because like the sign says, there is always always always something to be thankful for.
2. Alleviates lingering negative feelings from a bad day/week.
We all have them. Bad days, bad weeks, maybe even bad months. It’s easy to get caught up in a mini-pity party or just feel down from the negative experiences you may be going through. When I write my gratitude journal, it starts with an alarm vibrating on my phone telling me to log-in what I’m thankful for today. I take a couple of minutes to think about it and then I document it. I maybe spend all of 5 minutes in this process as part of my bedtime routine and the weight that is lifted lasts far longer.
3. Promotes a mind shift.
Like I said before, I’m generally a negative thinker, which I am actively trying to change in the positivity series here. Before starting this, I never even realized how often I have negative thoughts or actually complain about something out loud. Lately, after a couple of weeks keeping my gratitude journal, I’m starting to catch myself. I’m not quite as good as I want to be yet, but I will say something negative out loud and then I stop and think, that sounds horrible, so I’ll counteract it by saying something more positive right after it. That stress and weight of the world I hang around my neck is starting loosen, little by little.
4. Puts you in a better mood which leads to more positive interactions with others.
It’s that whole idea of being self-aware I was after in my March posts. The more I write down the positives of my day/week/month, the more I feel able to stop the grumpiness. I find after I write my journal entry, I remember to tell my husband I love him or text a friend I haven’t talked to in a while to tell them I miss them. The happier I am, the more I want to reach out and interact more with my friends and family, which has a whole other set of benefits I’ve been reading about in my book,
5. It’s fun!
You may not buy in yet, but I honestly think it is actually pretty fun. It’s become a good night ritual with my husband and I because while I am thinking about what I am thankful for, I ask him what he is thankful for, too. He’s not one for writing things down, but because I am actively keeping the journal, he gets to reap the benefits as well. Having even just part of my day centered around gratitude has made the sun a little brighter and my days a little sweeter.