Achieve More Happiness with a Gratitude Journal

gratitude journals lead to increased levels of happinessAchieve More Happiness with a Gratitude Journal

Often we find ourselves with a lot of negative energy. We get tired, angry, sad, mad, etc. If we let these feelings fester inside of us for too long they start taking over our lives too. We lose sight of what is really important and what will actually make us happy.

It can be extremely hard to pull ourselves out of this pit. We start feeling as though being angry or sad is normal. But we don’t have to feel this way! There is a way to change your perspective without spending a lot of money or having to travel very far. In this post, we discuss the Gratitude Journal and how you can incorporate it into your life today for a happier more positive you!

What’s a Gratitude Journal?

Gratitude journals are a way for you to list all of the things that you should be happy about, or be “grateful” for in your life. They are simply a compilation of thoughts and experiences that make you feel good about your day, or make you realize what you may take for granted.

Gratitude journals are a diary of sorts where you can focus solely on the positive things in life. Journaling has long been a popular activity among all walks of life and it can be done almost anywhere. In your car, on the bus, laying in bed, relaxing in your apartment, or even on your phone. It doesn’t matter where you write, or what you write on, a gratitude journal is a sure way to help yourself become happier.

The Benefits & Science Behind The Gratitude Journal

By beginning the practice of keeping a gratitude journal you are starting something that will impact all areas of your life. There have actually been studies on the effects of increased or renewed feelings of gratitude in relation to a person’s everyday living.

Gratitude or “gratefulness” is not the same as feeling indebted. Indebted is when your boss lets you take an extra vacation day, and then you have to work extra long hours when you get back. Whereas gratefulness is when your boss lets you take that extra day of vacation, and you still work normal hours when you get back, because your boss recognizes how hard of a worker you are, so you are grateful for that recognition.

Various studies on the effect of gratefulness have been conducted with amazing results. Not only does gratefulness have many psychological benefits, but it also initiates interesting physical changes in your body as well.  Would you like to learn more about the benefits of gratitude?

Scientific Results and Benefits of Increased Gratitude:

● Improve goal attainment abilities

● Increased feelings of empathy

● Increased forgiveness

● Decreased envy

● Decreased materialism

● Decreased negative thoughts

● Increased success in daily trials

● Increased success in work

● Increased optimism

● Decreased depression

● Better health

● More likely to exercise

● Increased happiness

● Healthier sleeping patterns

Scientific evidence on the benefits of gratitude

Gratitude Journal Therapy And How To Start 

Anyone who has access to writing materials can make a journal. Journals are not just for people who feel sad, or who have “problems”. Journals are for anyone who wants to record their lives and make a positive impact on their future.

Starting a gratitude journal is actually pretty easy. It’s the keeping up with it every single day that is the hard part. There some essential things you need to know in order to make a gratitude journal work properly for you.

When Starting Your Own:

  1. Don’t just “write a journal”, make the conscious choice to become happier by using your journal as a tool.
  2. Don’t be afraid to get personal.
  3. Don’t go overboard, try not to make it so that you dread writing in it. Spending 5 minutes each evening before bed, or added to your morning routine can be more than enough.

There really is no “right” way to keep a gratitude journal. So at the end of the day, just do what feels right. All you really need to write a gratitude journal is a willingness to change and a goal in mind to improve your own happiness and mental health.

While journals are kept by people from allover, there are also many celebrities and historical figures who have kept and maintained journals. Such figures include Ralph Waldo Emerson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Richard Hammond, Frida Kahlo, and Virginia Woolf.

Oprah Winfrey is a great example of a celebrity who speaks highly about her gratitude journal. She kept one for well over a decade and is a fierce advocate of their benefits and positive impact on daily life.  She started hers with a simple ritual of writing down at least five things that she was grateful for every single day. After she started slacking at writing in her gratitude journal (she became incredibly busy for years) she realized that the joy she felt at little moments had began to wane. It took randomly opening her old journal up to a page of simple gratitudes to make her realize what a positive impact it had had on her own happiness.  Now she is back at it, she journals every single day (electronically) and noticed immediately how much happier she became just by picking up the practice of keeping her gratitude entries up to date once again.

Why Write One?

Gratitude journals can be an essential tool in forging your pathway to happiness. Your journal will offer you a daily look at all of the positives in your life that we seem to often forget. By starting one you are taking the first step towards understanding yourself better, and improving your mental health. Becoming a grateful person is a good thing, it means you are humble, empathetic, you try not to take anything for granted. These people are the ones we so often seek out in life, the ones we trust and love the most because they in turn have a positive impact on our own lives. The science supports it, the benefits are real, and the people who use them strand behind them 100%.


Achieve More Happiness with a Gratitude Journal