How gratitude journaling can help boost your mood and create a positive mindset
We can dream of the places we’d rather be, look back on fond memories and long for the people that we miss and aren’t able to see right now, but what if we paused and thought of all the things we can do?
Whilst these uncertain times mean our day-to-day lives have dramatically changed, there are still so many positive things to be grateful for and reflecting on these elements, through gratitude journaling, can give a much-needed boost to your mood and wellbeing.
By asking us to focus on the positive elements in our lives, rather than those we miss or long for, gratitude journaling helps us to come back to the present day. During these unusual times, it is particularly important that we appreciate the good things in each day, not only to uplift our mood, but also to keep our minds balanced and enhance our overall wellbeing.
Taking just five minutes to reflect on your day and write down three or four things you are grateful for may not seem as if it would have a high impact, but the benefits, both short-term and long-term, have been proven to be significant.
Starting with the most obvious benefit, practising gratitude helps create a positive mood and increase happiness as it encourages you to focus on the good things in life. When done in the evening, it can help improve sleep by steering you to think about the positive elements of the day, rather than focusing on factors that may cause worry or concern. As you include your daily achievements in your journaling, you’ll help to increase your self-esteem as you recognise all of the wonderful things you are doing each day. In the long run, the positivity that practising gratitude can bring also helps reduce stress levels, which, as we all know, can have a significant impact on our physical wellbeing, alongside our mental.
With all of these benefits, plus more, it has never been a better time to begin gratitude journaling and to help you begin, we’re sharing some of our top tips:
How to get started with gratitude journaling:
- Find a notebook that you love
By now you have probably cleared out each cupboard and drawer, finding a few unused notebooks that were perhaps bought for a particular intention. You may never have gotten around to starting that diary or sketchbook, but now you can put that beautiful book to good use by making it your gratitude journal! The first page could even include being grateful that you found such a perfect notebook…
- Start small, dream big
It may seem difficult to be grateful at the moment with the effects of the pandemic, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t lots of little things in your daily life to be grateful for. Is the sun shining? Did you have a great workout today? Ate a delicious breakfast? Maybe your favourite song came on the radio and made you feel happy, or you managed to squeeze in a video call with a friend in between home-schooling and working from home? Finding little moments to cherish will help you to stay in the present, increase your positivity and avoid drifting off into potential worry zones.
- Stay present, but reflect
Once you have gotten into the habit of jotting down your daily gratitudes, start looking back every so often and appreciating all of the wonderful things you have in your life. You’ll gradually build up a book of wonderful thoughts and happy memories that you can use to perk yourself back up again during some of the down days. It is the perfect way to remind yourself that there have been, and will continue to be, lots of things to be grateful for, even if some days it’s just the weather!
- Keep it somewhere in sight
Keeping it in a place where you’ll see it daily, particularly when you are first starting out, helps to remind you to get journaling and form the habit of doing so. If you’re looking to incorporate it into your early morning or night-time routine, then your bedside cabinet can be a great place to keep it.
- Practice it daily
Incorporating gratitude journaling into your daily routine not only helps to form a habit of it, but also helps you to maintain a positive mindset and reap the long-term benefits. Setting aside a certain time in the day or point in your routine can help ensure you remember to journal.