Hi there! I'm Izabela, and I'm a 3-year International Tourism Management student from Poland. I'm passionate about travelling and all things around social media, including blogging!
You may have already heard a lot about gratitude journals, but why exactly can they be so important and beneficial in our lives? In this article, I hope to give you some insight into how regular journaling can improve our mental health and wellbeing 🙂
But firstly, let’s start with the term ‘gratitude’.
What is gratitude?
Gratitude is simply an act of being grateful for something. This could be literally anything and anyone – you can be grateful for your family, friends, your newest iPhone or a big car, but you can also be grateful for the very simple things, like having a cosy home or maybe your favourite coffee in the morning.
Gratitude is like an emotion, similar to appreciation.
“The appreciation of what is valuable and meaningful to oneself and represents a general state of thankfulness and/or appreciation” (Sansone & Sansone, 2010).
I highly recommend watching this video to understand why gratitude is key to overcoming dissatisfaction (which is something all of us feel from time to time), and as a result – maintaining a happy life.
Benefits of a gratitude journal
Researchers have been studying how expressing gratitude improves our well-being as a whole – they found out that not only does it lift our mood, but also has a positive impact on our sleep, health and so much more!
Sometimes it is easier for us to complain and focus only on our problems, instead of truly appreciating all the good things around. Having a gratitude journal will help you remember these positive aspects in your life and shift your mind towards positive thinking. Writing your feelings will also make you more aware of your emotions – it really does have a therapeutic power!
Here are some of the aspects a gratitude journal helped me with:
1. Boosting happiness
Whenever I feel sad or dissatisfied with my life, I reach for my journal and start writing all the things I’m grateful for. After this ‘journaling session’, I immediately notice that despite the hardships I sometimes go through, I still have so much to appreciate. It always reminds me of how lucky I am and after these reflections, I feel happier and more positive. It truly changes my perspective.
2. Reducing stress and anxiety
The simple act of writing my feelings and emotions on a piece of paper is a great tool when it comes to overcoming stress and anxiety. And when I combine it with writing the things I’m grateful for – I immediately feel much more relaxed and relieved. There’s just something calming about this process, so I also recommend practising journaling before bedtime.
3. Improving relationships with other people
Since gratitude has so much impact on our happiness, there is no doubt that it can also positively impact our relationships with other people. When I’m happy, I treat people around me better, they can feel my positive attitude and I also want to express my appreciation for them. We often take people around us for granted, whether it’s our family or friends, so practising gratitude will certainly make them feel more important in our lives.
There are way more benefits of a gratitude journal so if you’re interested, please have a look at the summary of various research findings 🙂