The latest research has revealed that keeping a GRATITUDE journal significantly increases quality of life and happiness.
And that the simple act of writing down three things per week that you are thankful for can substantially boost your mood, your love life, relationships and self esteem – not to mention your overall perspective of life in general.
The Gratitude Journal has been linked to life transformation.
In one study scientists performed an experiment in which they asked one group of people to write down the things that they were grateful for on a weekly basis, while the other group recorded hassles or neutral life events. Here’s how the folks who kept gratitude journals measured up to their negatively focused counterparts:
Gratitude Journaling Candidates:
- exercised more regularly
- exhibited enhanced immune system and reported fewer physical symptoms
- felt better about the quality of their lives as a whole
- were more optimistic about the future
- experienced better quality sleep
- healthier marriage
- deeper relationships
- increased productivity
- increased energy
- better goal achievements
The simple act of recognizing what’s good in your life helps us release negative thoughts that keep us stuck mentally, emotionally and energetically.
I can attest to the ways of living gratefully… aaaand during the most challenging of times – this is indeed the true test. This seemingly non eventful practice of writing down what you are grateful for – no matter how small it may be, i.e. I’m grateful for my hot chocolate in the morning, not only gives one a moment to find lightness in the dark times, but an awareness that despite when crappy things happen, somewhere there’s a beautiful gift.
Even if the gift is not apparent right away…eventually it reveals itself.
I know, hard to imagine at times – trust me, I understand. Going through my battle with cancer while caring for my eighteen month old and newborn was excruciating. To be away from them both while I was in the hospital, to this day I still manage feelings of guilt. As well now transitioning to being a working mom and juggling what seems to be e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g (and many times not getting to myself at the bottom of the list). It’s easy to lose track of yourself and get steamrolled by the deafening noise of ‘urgency’….but alas, this is when the solace of carving out space, for what’s good in your life, makes you feel human, appreciative, energized and loving again.
A bonus gift: reading back through your journal – all the things that made your day, week, month, lifted you up, or were just little moments of quiet happiness. Doing this – especially when you’re feeling down – can be the shot in the arm you need to recognize that hard times are temporary, and if we focus our energies on what’s good, it makes the bad days oooooh so much easier.
Of course, ultimately, the ‘attitude of gratitude’ is truly one of the most effective ways to soften ones heart – making it receptive and ready to give love and receive love – and for that I am so very grateful.
Start Today: At the end of each day, write down 3 things you appreciate about yourself and 3 things that you’re thankful for. This shouldn’t take you more than a few minutes. I do this at night, in bed, right before I turn out the light. That way I always end the day on a good note and hope the good vibes will seep into my dreams.