Photo by My Life Journal on Unsplash
Gratitude is something that has become even more important this year. Practising gratitude is not only a source of positivity but it can help improve your mental health. There are plenty of ways you can practise gratitude and keeping a gratitude journal is one of those great strategies.
A gratitude journal is a diary where you can write what you are grateful for, it is that simple. Gratitude journaling allows you to focus your attention on positive areas of your life and appreciate what you have. Journaling in general has so many mental health benefits. If you are struggling with your mental health keeping a gratitude journal can help improve your self-esteem and ensures that you are focusing on positive feelings and thoughts.
Setting up a gratitude journal is really simple and a tool you can start using right away. I have broken down setting up your gratitude journal in 4 easy steps.
1. Select your journal
When you are selecting your journal you are going to want to choose a journal that is visually appealing to you. You want to love your journal. You can even choose plain notebook and decorate it to make it your own. You can use stickers or photographs of loved ones. You want to pick up your journal and enjoy writing in it. The market is saturated with a variety of different journals with dotted pages, lined pages, squared or plain. It is what you prefer ad wear you feel comfortable writing in.
2. Create a ritual
Consistency is key. By using a ritual and repeating this it will help that consistency. You can create ritual habits to get your body and mind ready to focus on gratitude. You can do things like light a candle, have a warm drink, meditate or even play one of your favourite songs. You want to make it an enjoyable experience and not feel like a chore.
3. Expressing your gratitude
When you are writing about gratitude you may want to record your thoughts differently. You do not necessarily have to write a paragraph of text, you could use any desired format. You could write in the form of a list, you can draw images, use a collage of photographs or even a write a poem about your thoughts. All of these will help you capture and motivate your gratitude. It is a great process to be able to reflect on your journals especially when times are difficult and you can help to bring positivity.
4. Write at the end of the day
Keeping your ritual with nightly writing in your gratitude journal is important because it allows you to close your day on a high note, going to bed positive can help you have a better nights sleep. It is a calming activity that can help you de-stress and relax which will help with your mental health and benefit your physical health.
Setting up a gratitude journal might be the easy part for you, committing to writing in your journal may be more of a difficult task. Here is how you can ensure you are consistent:
Writing daily is the way to reinforce the habit
To help with the daily repetition you can set an alarm every night and you can remind yourself of that commitment before you go to bed. Rewarding yourself after you have written can be very helpful, immediate reward can be key to keeping this journal habit.
Photo by My Life Journal on Unsplash
Write at least once a week
If you feel writing daily is to hard to keep up with you could commit to writing once a week. It is an easier commitment to make and there is less pressure put on you. You can use the same reminders as daily journalling. The less frequent writing may help you feel it being less like a chore and it will be helpful and more enjoyable. Writing weekly can also be beneficial if you have a busy schedule, you can use that short time in your week to look after yourself. If this is your first time using any sort of journal, starting off only writing once a week could be beneficial and then can progress your journalling habits to a daily occurrence.
Writing has been proven to boost your mental wellness, your memory and your self-esteem. Writing in a gratitude journal in which ever desired format you prefer will help change your mindset and allow you to appreciate the smaller things in life.