I expect you've often been told to be thankful for what you have when something awful happens. Research has shown that being thankful is a beneficial habit. Keeping a gratitude journal is an increasingly popular tool used by those seeking to improve themselves.
Five reasons to keep a gratitude journal are:
1. Changing Thought Patterns: studies have shown a strong mind-body connection. When we are feeling stressed, anxious or another negative emotion it can have a negative effect on our physical health. By considering those things, events or people you are thankful for you are creating positive thoughts and feelings which will help reduce stress levels. It will also remind you that whatever happens to you there is always something to feel thankful for.
Your commitment to your gratitude journal refocuses your mind on positive events, conversations and relationships. This enables you to see more than just those negative ones that tend to fill your mind and dominate your thoughts when they happen.
Another way your thought patterns will change is that you will find that you start pushing boundaries and removing limiting beliefs. This will happen as you not only keep your gratitude journal but also review it. You will find that your mind opens to new possibilities and you gain in self-confidence and knowledge.
2. Improve Your Health: the fact that there is a mind-body connection means that by focusing on positive thoughts and feelings in your gratitude journal you are helping to improve your physical and mental health. Studies have shown that regular gratitude journaling can:
- Relieve stress and anxiety
3. Create Optimism: some days it's just too hard to see the wood for the trees. You'll find yourself focusing on something that has upset you and that troublesome thought will nag away at you constantly. Taking some time to sit quietly and think about something you are grateful for will help reduce the negative thoughts and feelings and replace them with positive ones.
4. Improved Sleep: regardless of whether you feel the need for eight hours sleep each night your body and mind do require a regular amount of sleep each night for optimal mental and physical health. Keeping a gratitude journal is fun, calming and a positive activity that promotes happy thoughts and feelings. By replacing worry and stress, you can sleep more peacefully and have happier dreams.
5. It's Fun: keeping a gratitude journal should be a fun enjoyable experience; something you look forward to. It doesn't matter whether you use a plain notebook or a really fancy one, you can jazz it up by using different colored pens or pencils, or even decorating the pages.
If you want to create a positive change in yourself and your life, then keeping a gratitude journal may just be the tool you are looking for. It's cheap, easy and very beneficial to your physical and mental health.