What is Gratitude Journal?
Gratitude journaling is the habit of recording and reflecting on things that you are grateful for on a regular basis.
In essence, you are rewiring your brain to focus more on the positive aspects of your life and build up resilience against negative situations. Keeping a gratitude journal is a popular practice in positive psychology – the scientific study of happiness. It’s commonly also referred to as “counting your blessings”1.
What are the benefits of gratitude?
Recent research in positive psychology suggests that practicing gratitude may increase overall feelings of happiness and reduce depressive symptoms. One of the most commonly cited research papers relating to gratitude journals is by Robert A. Emmons and Michael E. McCullough2. They ran three studies in which participants were instructed to record daily experiences:
“The gratitude-outlook groups exhibited heightened well-being across several, though not all, of the outcome measures across the 3 studies, relative to the comparison groups. The effect on positive affect appeared to be the most robust finding.”
Though you may start feeling the effects of keeping your gratitude journal early on, some research suggests that the benefits only become significant after a month of journaling and increase over time2. An initial happy “boost” may relate more to the excitement of starting a new habit; learning to focus on the good things requires a bit more time. Try to be patient with the process.
How to Use this Gratitude Journal
1.Plan to write in your gratitude journal every night or morning Set an alarm reminder on your phone or schedule it in your calendar. It just takes 10-15 minutes.
2. Keep your gratitude journal by your bed side so you will see it before going to sleep and remember to jot down what you are thankful for.
3.Your gratitude journal doesn’t have to be deep. What you are thankful for can be as simple as “ chocolates”, “Coffee”, “Mom visiting me”, “the article I read”, “the video clip”.
4.Remind yourself “ the benefits really are worth it.”
5.Push away your negative emotions and focus on the blessings. On days when you feel blue, read back through your gratitude journal to re-adjust your attitude and remember that you have great people and things in your life
6.Two Formats are given in this Pdf. If you are short of time you can use the Second Page which just takes 2 minutes to fill.