Happiness Habits – Day 25: Keep A Journal To Practice Gratitude
I’ve mentioned in earlier posts that feeling grateful and acknowledging all the good things in our lives boosts our overall feelings of happiness. Of all the habits highlighted in this Challenge, showing and experiencing more gratitude raises mood faster and more durably than nearly anything else.
However, like all habits, it’s all well and fine to resolve to feel more gratitude and become happier. Putting it into action might be a little easier said than done. Thankfully (yes, pun intended!), I can recommend a simple little tool that will help you stay on track – a gratitude journal. A gratitude journal is a wonderful thing and something that can have a surprisingly big positive impact on your life. Best of all, you don’t need anything fancy. Grab a notebook and a pen, or if you prefer, boot up your computer and open up a document using the program of your choice.
Each day, you simply write for a few minutes about the various things you feel grateful for. Think back on anything that made you happy throughout the day, or feel free to add to it as gratitude strikes you. By listing all the positive things in your life, you’re putting them into the forefront of your mind. That alone is bound to increase your mood and make you feel happier and more accomplished. (Hint: also feel free to use color and stickers, to add extra happiness-boosting fun!)
It’s Like a Happiness Savings Account
Not only will your journal help you right away, as you compose each daily entry, you’re also creating a great memento of your gratitude and happiness journey. Pull out your journal and read through it whenever you need a little boost of happiness. Seeing, in print, how far you’ve come throughout the past weeks, months, and even years is truly amazing.
As you re-read about the events and people that you felt grateful for in the past, you start to relive those memories, and with it those feelings. Think of your gratitude journal as a happiness savings account. You’re depositing your good feelings in an account that allows you to withdraw them at will, which compounds your interest. Every time you access your account, you become richer in happiness!
And Extra “Matching Funds”
In addition, writing and reading your gratitude journal regularly will help you form new positive habits. You’ll start to have a more positive outlook in life, and since the journal forces you to think of and find the things and people you’re grateful for in any given day, your brain will automatically start to look for the positive instead of the negative. If you remember my previous post, you can easily see how that can have a beneficial impact on your life over time.
If you’re ready to practice gratitude and work on increasing your happiness, start writing a journal. You won’t regret it.