Self-journal: How daily gratitude could change your life
September 18, 2017
A tiring commute, unkempt house and a dwindling bank account are all things that might contribute to a bad day – and sometimes, it’s a lot easier to remember the bad things than the good. However, always focusing on the negative aspects of life could take a toll on your mental health. If you’ve heard of the mind-body connection before, then you know that stressful thoughts translate to stress in your body, which only serves to perpetuate a harmful cycle.
What if we told you that changing your perspective could actually change your life? Instead of being annoyed that it takes you an hour to get to work, think of how lucky you are to have a job. Instead of stressing about a messy kitchen, think about how wonderful it is to come home to a loving family. Shifting your focus from the negative to the positive will greatly improve your mental health. If you want to take your gratitude a step further, try journaling.
Keeping a gratitude journal not only helps relieve some of the stress you’re experiencing by physically transferring your feelings onto paper, but also helps improve your outlook on life. Here are some other benefits of daily journaling:
Improve your sleep.
We have trouble sleeping when we have unresolved issues. Writing down your feelings will help you see your situation more clearly and might help you determine the next course of action. The act of releasing your negative thoughts and focusing on the good will help calm your mind, and in turn, your body.
Build up tolerance.
Do you find yourself flying off the handle
when things go wrong? Gratitude journaling can help you improve your patience and find a silver lining. Even though it might seem strange at first, daily gratitude will become a habit when practiced often.
Learn to let go.
Sometimes we believe things that limit the way we approach life and difficult situations. For example, if you are constantly telling yourself that your life is boring, then whatever comes next will likely be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Start reminding yourself of what makes life worth living and you’ll start to see things differently.
Find joy in the everyday.
Bad days are inevitable. It’s the way we view them that counts. At the beginning of every morning or end of each day, try to write down 10 different things that made you happy. This exercise will teach you to separate the good from the bad, and the more you do it the easier and quicker it will become.
Track your journey.
A year from now, the way you think will be starkly different. The future “you” may experience negative thoughts every so often, and it will help to be reminded of how far you’ve come. Daily journaling will provide a reference point if you ever find yourself slipping into negativity again.
The biggest takeaway of keeping a gratitude journal is that it will teach you to appreciate the beautiful, precious life you have. A positive outlook can make all the difference to our mental health and how we treat ourselves and others. It’s never too late to start!