There are many different types of journaling practices, such as simply writing in your journal every day or maintaining a bullet journal. Whatever your style, journaling every day may have positive effects on your life, both in your everyday life and overall wellness.
One type of journal that’s becoming increasingly popular is the gratitude journal, which you recount things that you’re grateful for every day.
Keeping a gratitude journal is good for you simply because expressing gratitude is a positive thought process to have. According to Inc., scientists have proven that expressing gratitude helps numerous facets of everyday life including sleep, pain tolerance, and depression. Alex Korb, a UCLA neuroscientist, explains that being gracious activates one’s hypothalamus, and one of the hypothalamus’ functions is regulating emotions (via Inc.). With your emotions regulated, you’re less likely to struggle with your mental health and you’re likely to sleep better. A gratitude journal then is the perfect venue to channel this gratitude into.
Here are some tips on how to effectively gratitude journal
When keeping a gratitude journal, you must be self-aware of your practices, especially if you want to reap the most benefits.
Greater Good Magazine explains that you should be thoughtful with your daily entries rather than going “through the motions.” Thinking deeply about what you’re grateful for and being attentive will yield better results because it’s more authentic, which leads into other advice from the magazine. It’s better to think deeply about one or two things for which you’re grateful instead of writing very briefly about numerous things. The quality of your thoughtfulness will be reflected in your journal if you focus on fewer things, and this will help your benefits from being gracious as well.
Greater Good Magazine also suggests thinking about how your life would be without certain things. This tip is especially poignant if you’re struggling with what to write about as it can help generate thoughts and ideas. If you do all of these things and maintain the journal every day, you may find yourself in a better mood than ever before, especially if you do your daily writing routine in the morning (via Inc.). You’ll kickstart your day in a positive state of mind due to dopamine being released when we’re grateful, which will help each day be better than the one before.
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