Research shows that people who focus on the positive things in their life have better overall outlooks on living and are actually healthier and happier. Another random study grouped people together into 6 therapeutic intervention modalities, gratitude journaling being one of them.
Out of the six modalities, the act of doing gratitude journaling everyday, writing down 3 things they were grateful for in their lives, gave the longest lasting results. The participants had increased happiness scores which continued to increase the more they did the journaling. The study was so successful, in fact, that many of the participants decided to keep doing the journaling after the study ended.
Proponents of gratitude journaling say that writing down several things you’re grateful for each day can change your life forever. The exercise helps you become more aware of the positive things going on in your life, however, small that you’ve likely overlooked. Becoming more aware of them can help you find a better balance and be happier – like good things do happen to you; you just have to take note of them. In the words of one gratitude journaler, Melody Bealy, on Simple Abundance.com, “Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
What’s a gratitude journal look like? Well, you can use gratitude journaling for just about anything you want to accomplish – feel more happy, lose weight, reach a career goal, banish fears, improve relationships, etc. A gratitude journal can be as simple as a small dollar-store notebook you keep in your purse, or shirt pocket, that you take out to write in when something positive happens – something you’re grateful for.
For example, when you got up today, you were dreading the repair person coming to assess the damage to your AC that went out recently. But when they got there, you discovered that what you thought might be a $1,000 or more repair only cost you the price of a blown fuse. Remember how relieved you felt? Like a huge weight was lifted from your shoulders? That was gratitude and that feeling made the rest of your day go much better didn’t it? Remembering that feeling by putting it into words can help train your mind to look for the positive instead of dwelling on the negative.
There are now even apps for smart phones so you can do electronic journaling, adding photos, or other graphics to whenever or wherever the gratitude strikes you.