I was on Snapchat a few days ago exploring the stories of my friends and I came across an interesting snap. One of the sweetest people I know decided to share 5 things she was grateful for on her story. Immediately, I told her how much I loved her idea, but it reminded me of how I used to practice gratitude on a consistent and daily basis. Right then, I began to reflect on the difference between now and then.
I am going to be honest with you. Lately I have been in such a funk. I became distracted and allowed negativity to consume me. I was not focused. I complained so much I was annoyed with myself. I could not recognize the beauty and love around me. Sounds crazy and sad, I know, but this was my reality (and I am still dealing with it, but I am stronger and wiser than yesterday).
Thank you sweet friend for sharing your snaps of gratitude. I was reminded of the power of perception and mindful living. To live and experience is a blessing within itself. Why not appreciate what is already here? I believe that life is a gift. I savor it by documenting the blessings of life – big and small- in my trusty gratitude journal. That pink book you see above is filled with blessings, lessons, and expressions of joy. As I thumbed through the pages of past writings, my heart was full from memories. I am blessed and humbly grateful for every experience, every person, and everything.
It serves me pleasure to tell you that I am writing in my gratitude journal again everyday and it is very rewarding. I find myself reflecting more on my purpose, refocusing on my goals, and embracing my humbling journey. Listed below are a few awesome benefits and valuable tips that have made a significant impact:
Benefits of Gratitude Journals
- Reduces stress.
- Helps with focusing on what is truly important to you
- It is a safe space! You are writing in a no judgement zone
- Gain a better understanding of your thoughts through self-awareness
Tips for Writing/Beginning a Gratitude Journal
1. Reflect. Before you begin to write, stop and reflect. Decide consciously what you are going to write. Make sure there is motivation behind your words – not just random and rushed thoughts.
2. Quality over quantity. Sure, you have so much to be grateful for and your list can go for dayyyssss; however, incorporating details about a person/place/thing provides more of a meaningful and deeper insight rather than a list of people/places/things. Does that make sense? *Which brings me to my next tip…*
3. Be real. Be authentic. Get personal. This is YOUR journal of YOUR thoughts. Like I mentioned earlier, this is your safe space – a judgement free zone! This does not have to be broadcasted across the world (not unless that is you want, which is fine). There is no shame in something you find to be a blessing to you. Do you, boo.
4. Take baby steps. You do not have to write 1o things you are grateful for on a daily basis. This should be a voluntary and relaxing practice. There are plenty of studies on the web that show results of people who wrote in their journal once or twice a week and reported a boost in their happiness. Start small and keep going. I am confident you will find yourself writing more because you will began to focus on the quality of life and all of its gifts.
Gratitude journals are more than just pages filled with cheerful thoughts and satisfying experiences. They present to us what life is truly about and why every single day matters. We become aware of our emotions while deepening them. Yes, this is another task to add to your to-do list, but it is so important. All things considered going on in our lives, it is imperative that we take special care of our emotional and mental health even if it takes a few moments out of our day.
Praying and hoping the best for you,