6 Life-Changing Benefits of Keeping a Gratitude Journal
Especially with the past year the world has had, there seem to be many negative things to focus on. But don’t fall into that trap! The things you focus on in life, you tend to get more of. So instead of focusing on all those negative things, start focusing on the positive things! And nothing helps you maintain a positive focus more than the life-changing benefits of keeping a gratitude journal.
Taking the time to write something down in a journal helps to etch it more permanently in your mind. So, if you take the time each day to keep a journal of things you realize you are thankful for, the benefits of thankfulness will begin to find their way into your life. What are these benefits? We’ve put together just a few of them for you.
Here are 6 life-changing benefits of keeping a gratitude journal:
1. Helps you take better care of your health and your possessions
One of the most important life-changing benefits of keeping a gratitude journal is that it will help you take better care of your health and your possessions.
When you are grateful for something you will take better care of it. Focusing on gratitude every day will help you realize how thankful you are for the simple things like your health, a reliable roof over your head, and the things you are lucky enough to own. Meditating on the things you have instead of the things you lack is a gateway to taking better care of yourself and your surroundings.
When you are thankful for your health, you will take better care of it. You will begin to make better, more health-conscious choices for your body. You will allow yourself to make your health a priority because you will realize how valuable it is.
Similarly, when you begin to focus on being grateful for the things you own, you will take better care of your things, too. You will begin to realize that it adds value to your life to take care of and keep only the things that bring you joy and part with the rest. Decluttering your space will help declutter your mind as well.
2. Makes you more successful
Another life-changing benefit of keeping a gratitude journal is that it will actually make you a more successful person.
There might be a lot of things you don’t like about your job. But when you stop focusing on those negative aspects and start writing about all the things about your job you are thankful for – that it provides you an income, allows you to pay your bills, and allows you to be productive – you will be a better employee and perform better.
Even if you don’t have your dream job right now, succeeding in your current job should always be a goal. You will teach yourself discipline, build upon your character, and make yourself an asset to your company. When you are operating on that level, more opportunities can come your way, whether from within your company or through people you meet.
When you are able to welcome and be prepared to accept opportunities when they come, you will be a much more successful person.
3. Improves confidence and self-esteem
Another one of the life-changing benefits of keeping a gratitude journal is that it will eventually improve your self-esteem.
As mentioned before, focusing on being thankful for your health will cause you to make better, more health-conscious choices. When you do this, you will experience an overall improvement not just in your physical health but also in your emotional health.
Taking care of yourself will give you confidence. The confidence boost added to the physical benefits of taking care of yourself will not only make you feel like the best version of yourself, but will make you look like the best version of yourself, too!
To summarize: when you are thankful for yourself you will value yourself. And you take care of the things you value. And as you take care of yourself as something you value, you will become the best version of yourself inside and out. This will give you confidence and improve your overall self-esteem, how you view yourself, and how you interact with others.
4. Makes you more positive and happy
Becoming a more positive and happy person is one of the best, most life-changing benefits of keeping a gratitude journal.
Writing something down in a journal and meditating on it helps to magnify it in your life. When you magnify something, you increase the importance and the effect of it and make it larger in your life. You choose every day to magnify either negative or positive things by what you focus on.
When you choose to focus on things you are grateful for and write them down in a journal every day, you are choosing to magnify the positive things. And when you do that, you are increasing the effect of the positive aspects in your life. When you finally begin to see everything in your life in this more positive light, you will be a more positive and happy person.
5. Reduces stress and helps you sleep better
One of the most significant health benefits of keeping a gratitude journal is that it reduces stress and helps you sleep better.
When you’re just starting out getting into the habit of keeping a gratitude journal, you should make time to write in it at least once a day, either first thing in the morning or before you go to bed. But ideally, you should write in your gratitude journal two to three times a day – at least the first and last part of the day and once in the middle of the day, especially if it’s a significantly tough day. This helps to manage your stress levels.
Focusing on what you are grateful for will reduce stress. Sometimes people have so much on their mind from what’s going on in their lives that they wake up stressed and operate the entire day from that mindset. That sets them up for failure. If you wake up stressed, make the morning the most important time to think of things you’re thankful for and write them down in your journal. This will calm you and put you in a better frame of mind to start your day.
Likewise, many people suffer from chronic insomnia. One of the main contributors to insomnia is stress or anxiety. If you have too much on your mind that is stressing you out, you will have a rough time achieving a restful enough state to actually fall asleep. Then your body will be stressed from not resting, and it begins the cycle that makes your insomnia a chronic issue.
If you are affected by this, try writing in your gratitude journal before you go to bed. Having a calmer, clearer mind after focusing on the things you are thankful for will reduce your stress levels and help you achieve that restful state so you can finally fall and stay asleep.
6. Improves and heals relationships
The last and perhaps the most rewarding of the benefits of keeping a gratitude journal is that it helps to improve and heal relationships.
In the same way that being grateful for ourselves and our health helps to improve ourselves, being grateful for the people in our lives adds more value to them and makes us take care of those relationships better.
When we value others more, we begin to operate less from a selfish perspective and more from a selfless one, emphasizing others. When we do this, other people can sense it and will reciprocate.
And the best part is that when gratitude helps us love our loved ones better and improve and heal our relationships, that, in itself, is something to be grateful for.