There are many proven benefits that you can gain by keeping a gratitude journal. The time that you take to purposefully think and write down the parts of your life that fulfill you can pay substantial dividends.
Research-based tips and your favorite pen can help you create a gratitude journal. Here are five tips for maintaining a gratitude journal.
Tip #1 Make it a Routine
Scientists have extensively studied the science behind creating habits. Keeping a gratitude journal as a way to feel happier, over the long term, has to be a part of a daily routine. Select a time to write in your journal and plant cues to remind yourself to write in it daily. Write in the journal often enough to create a habit, but not so often that you become immune to the impact.
Tip #2 Write in Detail
Writing in your gratitude journal shouldn't be just another thing that you have to cross off your list. If you are approaching your gratitude journal in this way, your denying yourself the benefits that you can gain from the practice. Be present and conscious of the notations you are making. Be sure to journal in detail and think deeply about the things that have recently impacted your life.
Tip #3 Acknowledge the Negative
You will never be able to escape the challenges of life altogether. Any number of difficulties can affect our feelings of gratitude. However, if we try to rush through these struggles, or fight to find gratitude, we can end up fueling emotions of defeat and anxiety. So, when you are facing challenges allow yourself to feel the negative.
Tips #4 Uncover Gratitude in Unexpected Moments
Challenge yourself to find gracious qualities in your life's more difficult events. The purpose of having a gratitude journal is to help you savor the fruits of life, but there is more gratitude that you can uncover. For instance, were you getting ready to leave for work only to find out your car has a flat? Find gratitude in the fact that you weren't driving the vehicle when the tire gave out.
Tip #5 Practice Gratitude for the Right Things
People who are consumed with the accumulation of material acquisitions and wealth are less likely to be happy compared to those who are grateful for what they currently have, according to research. Rather than showing gratitude for the material things for the sake of ownership, focus on what you are afforded with those items. Keeping a gratitude journal will help you focus on the positives in your life and result in you being happier and overall, healthier.