In my previous article, I discussed the idea of gratefulness and how it can shift your view of the world, and life in general, for the better. I know from experience that life is not always fun, but taking steps to find the positives in life will not only make you feel happier, but also healthier.
I was a skeptic at first, but then I began to write in a gratitude journal and found my perspective and attitude on life was indeed changing. I have not been writing in the journal for a long time, but long enough to see the changes.
Several people suggested I write in a gratitude journal, including a professional psychologist. She told me there was science behind gratitude, and, as my previous article discussed, there really is!
She suggested that I should try to write on a regular basis and write often; at least once per day. Of course, the more you can find to be grateful for the better. But even if you can only find one thing each day, go for it.
My advice is to write every day, even if you don’t feel like it. In fact, writing on your worst days, is even more beneficial than writing on your best! It will force a shift in your outlook away from the negative and towards the positive. Over time, it will become that much easier to find the positives in life as your perspective begins to change. Eventually you will find yourself writing more and more in your gratitude journal and you will be well on a course to more happiness and self-contentment.
Your first entries do not have to be long. They can just be a sentence, or even just a few words. I guarantee that the more you do it, the easier it will become, and the more you will find to be thankful for in life. Even little things like the warmth of the sun, or that the sun came up this morning, will work to start the process off. If it’s a cloudy day…the smell of freshly washed laundry, or the sight of something beautiful. Really, anything at all that makes you feel happy. These little things will allow you to see how important life is and how many different things someone actually has to be happy about.
Eventually, you can go a step further, dig deeper, and write why you are thankful for that particular person, thing or action. Doing this will keep you from only having a journal of nice thoughts, and turn it into a full-fledged gratitude journal.
When you write in the journal don’t sweat the details of grammar and punctuation, go for the thoughts and actions that made you grateful in your life. Remember, no one will see the journal unless you want them to.
You are in this for the long run. The more you write or record your thoughts, the more you focus on them. Soon you will no longer be a glass half empty person, but a glass half full kind of person.
Hopefully, you have seen the benefit of a gratitude journal and have decided that it’s worth a shot. It’s never too late to better yourself and I only hope you decide to start sooner rather than later.