Have you guys heard about gratitude journaling before? It’s an amazing exercise that only takes about five minutes a day, and it has tons of benefits for your life.
The basic premise is that you write down what you’re grateful for that day. Easy, right? You can write down people who made your day better, fun things you got to do, food that made you feel amazing. You can even be grateful for yourself! At the end of this post, I’ll take you through a quick gratitude journaling exercise to help get your gears turning if you’re feeling overwhelmed.
But here’s the real magic. Taking just a few minutes to reflect on the things that went well in your day can do some serious good for the rest of your life. Studies have shown that people who regularly fill out a gratitude journal have improved physical health, mental health, can sleep better, and can recover better from difficult events in their lives. So let’s get started!
First step, buy a new notebook! Just kidding, you can totally use whatever you have lying around or even your laptop. But if you’re a notebook junkie like me, it’s a great excuse.
Next up, pick a time to do your gratitude journaling every day. I recommend setting yourself up to do it before bed, because in my experience it helps put my mind at ease and makes it easier to sleep. But if you do better with morning journaling, or even a little lunchtime reflection, absolutely go for it.
Lastly, write down what you’re grateful for! Here’s the structure that I normally like to follow.
- Name one or more people you are really grateful for today, and write how they helped to make your day better.
- Name one thing that you did today that you’re proud of, and start your sentence “I’m grateful for ME because I….”
- Name one tiny thing you can be grateful for in your worst situation of the day.
A typical journaling post would look like this:
6 June – I’m thankful for the health insurance lady, because she took an incredible amount of stress away as I try to navigate getting my own health insurance. I’m grateful for myself because I put away all the dishes in the dishwasher even though I didn’t want to. And even though I haven’t heard back from someone I’m collaborating with, I’m grateful that the experience has helped me to feel more self reliant and confident in my own decisions.
The whole exercise only takes about five minutes, and you will seriously start to notice changes in your attitude and in your life. Try it and let me know your journaling successes in the comments!