There are so many benefits to keeping a gratitude journal. Focusing on being thankful for what you have in your life and for the everyday moments that make life special not only increases happiness, but also helps to cultivate more positive thoughts and a lighter mindset.
Whether you write every day or just once a week, it is the seemingly inconspicuous moments in life that you can be thankful for. Being thankful for quotidian things, such as a friend popping around to say hello, soaking up some sunshine in the park, or even enjoying a juicy piece of fruit.
Practising gratitude by physically putting pen to paper allows you to realise the gifts in your life and take nothing for granted. Enjoy the emotions that come from reflecting on people in your life, detail of specific moments, experiences, surprises, and achievements. You can find so much satisfaction in your day if you reflect on the good in everyday situations.
How Does Gratitude Journaling Affect Our Brains?
There is indeed some neurochemical science behind-the-scenes in the act of putting pen to paper. In fact, neuroscientists have found that writing brings information to the front of your brain, triggering you to pay closer attention and really absorb and remember the points you are making.
Studies have also found that gratitude journaling significantly reduces materialism and increases generosity in adolescents - a good practice to get kids into while they are young.
Psychologist Dr Laurie Santos explains how gratitude can give us hope. "The research shows that focusing on the positive, in addition to the negative, can boost our mood more than we expect," says Santos, who teaches a course on the science of wellbeing and happiness at Yale.
I found this research paper from UC Berkeley fascinating: The Science Of Gratitude. It is such an insightful read that explains gratitude, social and cultural factors, social and individual benefits and interventions.
Gratitude Journal Tips
For me, I keep my gratitude journal on my bedside table. I try to carve out ten minutes in each day where I reflect with a cup of tea and write down the everyday experiences that have meant something to me. It is such a lovely personal practice to make a routine around and reflect on life overall and can really put things into perspective.
Gratitude journals also make a great little gift for friends and family.
Shop Everyday Gratitudes including our range of journals that can be used to keep gratitudes here.