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The Benefits of Gratitude Journaling

Simply writing down your thoughts on what you are grateful for can have beneficial effects on your mental and physical well-being. Keeping a gratitude journal can help you focus on the positive aspects in your life by encouraging you to express and document the many things you appreciate. We somehow have no problem dwelling on the bad stuff that goes on in our lives, but a gratitude journal can help us recognize the good things. And that’s a good thing. 

Keeping a gratitude journal does not have to be a huge commitment. An entry can be one sentence to remind you about something positive that happened. If you have the time, you can recount a story about a person or experience that made you feel good. If you’re just getting started, try searching for prompts to get you motivated or give you a place to begin writing.

The act of writing itself can have a calming effect on your mind. Using a journal as an outlet can help redirect perspective. You may initially feel like you’ve had a bad day, but once you start concentrating on the positive things that happened during the day, it helps you realize things aren’t as bad as they seemed, which often creates a calmer, more content and satisfied feeling. The consistent use of gratitude journaling can help you build a better defense against negativity and stress triggers. It can make you more optimistic and put your mindset in a better place.

Once you get going, you’ll be more cognizant of what gives you gratification. You may find yourself putting less importance on material items and appreciating the people and experiences that bring you positivity and happiness. Plus, it’s always nice to look back at your journal to remember even the small things that made you smile! 

This collection of feelings will ideally contribute to your good overall health, as stress can have many negative effects on the body. Reducing that stress through journaling can even help alleviate anxiety. Additionally, feeling gratified and calmer can help you sleep better at night and reduce symptoms of depression. When you physically feel better your mental well-being improves as well. You may even notice your self-esteem rise and the way you interact with others resulting in better relationships. 

Keeping a gratitude journal might seem like a daunting task to take on, but the benefits often prove to be worth the time and effort.

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