How to Reduce Stress With A Gratitude Journal
Did you know there is a direct link between gratitude and reducing stress?
Psychology Today says there are many physical and mental health benefits to being grateful or thankful everyday.
Do you feel grateful?
What I mean is, when you are aware of your situation, or circumstances at any point during the day, do you feel grateful?
Perhaps you whisper prayers of thanks under your breath.
Or say it right out loud.
I do that often when I’m alone,
Or I write about what I’m feel particularly grateful for when I’m writing Morning Pages.
There are lots of ways to express your feelings of gratitude.
You really don’t have to do anything at all.
But on the off chance you are trying to reduce stress, or slow down, and simplify your life, keeping a gratitude journal can be huge in signaling to your sub-conscious – “hey, let’s pause a minute here.”
I want to show you how you can journal your gratitude-ness whenever it feels right. Could be every day, every week, what works for you right now. There are no wrong ways to keep a Gratitude Journal.
“Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.” —Zig Ziglar
There are even gratitude journal apps that you can download to your phone.
But please don’t.
Not for this exercise at least.
I want to show you the amazing benefits of regularly writing in a gratitude journal about what’s going on in your life.
This article is going to cover:
- What is a Gratitude Journal
- What are the benefits of a Gratitude Journal
- Isn’t this just like morning pages?
- How do I get started writing a gratitude journal
- Helping you with examples of what to write
- What will success look like for you? Will a daily gratitude journal change your life?
Let’s get started!
What is a Gratitude Journal
I expect you feel or express gratitude more than you realize.
Gratitude for (in no particular order)
- Your job
- Your spouse
- Your kids
- Your health
Isn’t this just like morning pages?
No. Morning pages are writing three pages every day, in the morning of anything and everything that comes to mind. Like a freefall.
A gratitude journal is a place to be thoughtful, to write down what you are grateful for on a particular day, week or maybe monthly.
How do I get started writing a gratitude journal
It’s helpful to know how to start, right?
Choose a time of day that’s best for you.
- Pick a pretty journal. We like the ones with lined pages. You can also add pages to your Bullet Journal if you have one.
- Be open to how you may feel as a result of writing in your gratitude journal regularly – daily, weekly, monthly.
- We think having a list of journal prompts that will take you through several weeks can be helpful.
- Be aware of any changes after one month, and then incrementally.
- Make of list of other things you can write about in the future, once you’ve used up your prompts.
What is the purpose of a gratitude journal?
Experts tell us that by expressing what we are grateful for each day, the gratitude reduces stress, aggression, physical ailments – quite simply it turns whatever is wrong in your life into joy. And I’m sure you would agree we can all do with a little more joy these days.
What can I write in my journal?
Anything at all really. It’s your journal. Remember the diaries we had as kids, that had a lock?
Think of your journal like that.
Helping you with examples of what to write
Where to start is something we all struggle with, myself included. So let’s look at some gratitude journal ideas.
As we discussed above, one of the more popular ideas is to work from a list of gratitude journal prompts. These can be ideas, or even questions.
Will a Daily Gratitude Change Your Life?
I think of journaling as my own personal therapist. Some may disagree, and use journaling as more of a chronology of events.
The thing is that how you journal, and when you journal is all up to you. But you will definitely find that whether you’re dealing with anxiety and depression, or simply going through a rough patch in life, keeping a journal can also help you.
What are the benefits of a Gratitude Journal
Creates A Sense of Mindfulness
Everybody is busy. Right? We all move through our lives, day to day without ever stopping to smell the proverbial roses.
Yest in doing so you may be losing an opportunity to feel and express gratitude for the many wonderful things that that are happening to you!
I find that when I journal I discover new things, especially new learning opportunities.
Writing in a journal forces you to stop and reflect on seemingly minor events that might otherwise go overlooked.
“Gratitude turns what we have into enough.” — Melody Beattie
This practice isn’t just about noticing the positive things in life either.
Keeping a gratitude journal can help you to identify problems or issues that you really weren’t aware of. By focusing on those issues, you can problem solve and reduce your stress levels as a result.
What you were stressed about just yesterday, now has a solution, because you took some time for yourself to write it out.
Reduce Stress with a Gratitude Journal
When you keep a journal, you have the power to fill it with anything that you choose.
Spending time alone to reflect on the small blessings in life can automatically move you from a negative and self-defeating mindset into a more positive and proactive one.
What problems are you facing today that you want a gratitude journal to help you with? Issues at work?
Or maybe you might be swimming in debt, ( I so know about this one!) struggling in your inter-personal relationships.
When all of these problems are weighing you down it’s hard to find your gratitude right?
Sometimes it takes a life changing event to wake us up
My life changing event was losing both of my parents to cancer. I don’t say this to make you sad, but to show how these two events made me realize just how short life was.
And that I had better not waste a precious moment.
You can start now. You have today and all the days going forward to make those changes.
Journaling your gratitude has the power to make significant changes for you.
You are enough.
Take some time to write out a list that you are more than enough when it comes to the problems and issues you are currently facing.
Your new Gratitude Journal will show you just how strong and smart you really are! Your resilience will become so clear to you.
Encourages You to Start to Form New Goals
Journals are also great tools for setting goals.
I don’t mean a To Do list for the week, but if you need that, then go ahead. Whatever you need to calm the crazys and reduce stress.
You know those people that look like they have it all figured out? They keep journals. Seriously!
Your journal is the best place to brainstorm your future goals, write them down, try them on, and maybe even cross them off.
That’s the best part!
Your journal is unique to you. Once you’re ready to achieve your goals, then look out!
I’ll be here, cheering you on.
A Gratitude Journal Can Enhance Your Creativity
I started journaling regularly when I discovered the power of Morning Pages.
I wanted to be a writer, so the act of writing every day was very helpful to get me into that habit. Letting the words freefall onto paper eventually became therapeutic as well.
There’s a whole world of imagination locked up inside each and every one of us. Sometimes the act of journaling can unlock your creative juices.
Remember you’re not writing a diary. You’re recording events that are happening now, to be sure, but you are also crafting your future, your goals and how you want your life to be.
If you’re a writer or aspire to be a writer, a journal gives you sufficient private space for writing without fear of judgment.
Helps You to Become a Better Communicator
Regular journaling has so many benefits, but did you know that it can improve your ability to communicate?
Consistently writing your thoughts and feelings helps to focus and clear away the clutter. I’ve been journaling for 30+ years and I can share that I just won’t start my day without it!
Journaling has save my sanity so many time, and I even think it’s saved my marriage on more than one occasion. When you don’t have someone to talk things over with, or they are just too sensitive to do, your journal can be your best friend.
Thank you so much.
For spending time with me and learning about the benefits of Gratitude Journal.
I hope that in some small way I have helped you to see the positive impact of journaling your gratitude can have.
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