What if there were a simple practice that could potentially help you sleep better, experience a more optimistic outlook, and even feel more deeply connected to the people around you? Research suggests that keeping a gratitude journal has the potential for a number of physical, psychological and social benefits. Read more about this here.
What is a Gratitude Journal?
A gratitude journal is a place to keep a record of the benefits, experiences, and gifts that you experience on a daily basis. Another way of expressing this concept is “counting our blessings”. When we take a few minutes each day to write down the highlights of our day and reflect on them, we are cultivating a deeper sense of awareness and gratitude.
Getting started with your gratitude journal is really easy. All you will need is:
- something to write with
- something to write in
You can write with pen or pencil in something as economical as a spiral bound notebook; or more classic, like a beautifully bound journal. To get started, just choose whatever options are most comfortable to you and make the decision to journal for even just five minutes at a set time each day.
What to Write About
Ideally, you will want to carve out a few minutes before going to sleep when you can write down the things you’re most grateful for from your day.
You don’t have to write a novel; just jot down between three to five special moments. Some people find it easier to keep their journal with them and to just write down the moments as they happen during the day!
Were you surprised by the fragrance of a beautiful flower? Delighted by the kindness of a stranger? This practice invites us to focus on the surprising, beautiful moments that may otherwise pass us by unnoticed or be easily forgotten by the end of the day.
Since this is the season when giving thanks is at the center of our social gatherings, we hope you find that keeping a gratitude journal will help you deepen your awareness of the graces presented to us every day, to appreciate them more deeply, and to begin to experience the benefits of developing a gratitude practice!
Donna Stephens, BCN, CNHP, LDHS