The Benefits of Keeping a Gratitude Journal

A gratitude journal is an accessible, inexpensive, and rewarding practice that has incredible
physiological and psychological benefits.

There’s something magical that happens when you begin feeling more grateful each day.
We all have our difficulties and stresses, and while gratitude doesn’t take away these issues,
choosing to focus on the good— what is working for you right now, and what already exists that
you can appreciate— can dramatically improve your well-being and outlook on life.

It’s this shift in your mindset and energy that will also attract more positive experiences into your life.
While gratitude can help you adopt a fresh perspective on life, it’s not always easy to
automatically shift into a state of gratitude. Some sources even suggest that humans are
hardwired to focus on the negative, so training yourself to shift into a state of gratitude every day
can take practice. This is where your gratitude journal comes in.

What is a Gratitude Journal?

A gratitude journal is simply a book or notepad where you write down all of the things you love
and appreciate about your life, in this moment. What you’re grateful for could be something as
simple as having two legs to walk on, or your eyesight that allows you to observe the beauty of
life.

We recommend writing down at least ten things you’re grateful for when you wake every
morning, to start off your day on a positive note. While writing down what you’re grateful for is
important, it’s more important that you feel the feelings of gratitude as you write— this is where
the love, healing, and “magic” happens.

Believe it or not, there are also health benefits you can experience from keeping a gratitude
journal. Let’s take a look at what those are.

Top 5 Benefits of Keeping a Gratitude Journal

1. Reduce Stress Levels

We all encounter negative stress at some point in our lives, especially with the modern
day chaotic lifestyle. Stressful situations produce negative emotions, and believe it or
not, research shows that negative thoughts and emotion get stored in your body,
which can create energy blockages, and eventually manifest as physical health
problems— such as panic disorder, depression, anxiety, and PTSD.
In fact, stress is said to be the number one culprit behind most Western illnesses and
diseases, including cardiovascular disease (1).

As you can see, the mind and body are not separate, but work together as one. Writing
down what you’re grateful for is an easy way to switch your mindset from negative to
positive, and encourage the release of negative emotions by focusing on what you do
love about your life.

2. Gain a New Perspective on Life (Which is the Catalyst for Change)

If you want more success and better results in your life, you have to do what you’ve never done
before.

Even if you’ve kept a gratitude journal in the past, you may be surprised to how the
circumstances in your life begin to change once you begin to write down what you’re thankful for
consistently. Once your gratitude journal becomes a daily ritual, feeling gratitude becomes a
habit— and these feelings are the ultimate catalyst for positive change in your life.
You may be surprised at how you begin to view challenges and obstacles, which previously
caused you stress. They’re no longer problems, but opportunities for growth. Yes— a gratitude
journal can even help you feel grateful for anything that goes “wrong” in your life!

3. Improve Your Self Esteem

It’s easy to feel down on yourself when you focus on the negative, but a gratitude journal
should also include all of the things you love about yourself. How often do we give ourselves
credit for what we’re doing great at?

We tend to be so hard on ourselves that we forget how far we’ve come, and what we have
accomplished. Make it a goal to write at least 5 things you love and appreciate about yourself in
your daily gratitude practice, and this will help you create more confidence in all areas of your
life.

4. Attract More of What You Want in Your Life

Writing down the things you’re grateful for in your journal may also help you gain insight into
what’s really important in your life. Take note of what you’re continually writing down. Perhaps
you’re most appreciative of moments with family and friends, and in this case, you may choose
to carve out more time in your life to experience more of these moments. Remember, everything
is energy and focusing on what you love will inevitably bring you more of it.

5. Helps You Practice Self-Discipline

Keeping a gratitude journal is a practice that, like anything, requires dedication and consistency
to shift your mindset and experience transformational results in your life.

If you’re keeping a daily gratitude journal, you will undoubtedly have challenging days where
cultivating an attitude of gratitude may be tough, or you may feel resistance to writing . Writing
down what you’re grateful for despite being in this mindset can function in two ways: 1)
reminding you to take stock of the good things in your life, 2) helping you learn self-discipline by
following through with an important task, even if you aren’t necessarily in the mood to do it.

As you can see, keeping a daily gratitude journal offers countless benefits for your mental,
emotional, and even your physical health. When you improve the relationship with yourself and
your own well-being, this is reflected back to you in all areas of your life!