FOCUS ON THE JOY
I used to spend much of my time counting down the days until the weekend. I was always looking forward to the next big thing, event or holiday.
This changed when I let go of my life laundry, stopped buying unnecessary stuff and learnt to be present. Over time, I noticed my gratitude for the simple everyday things grew and I spent less time considering the future.
I began to reflect at the end of each day, focusing on my achievements and the things that made me happy. A time to give thanks to the people and moments of joy, and to consider what worked well and what I’d do differently. After all, none of us are perfect!
With so much recent sadness in the news, my practice has been more valuable than ever. So today I’m sharing a few of the benefits I’ve found from keeping a gratitude journal. And just to add, the practice doesn’t need to consist of writing, you could simply take the time to reflect or share your thoughts with others.
‘Everybody in the world is seeking happiness – and there is one sure way to find it. That is by controlling your thoughts. Happiness doesn’t depend on outward conditions. It depends on inner conditions.’ Dale Carnegie
KEEPING A GRATITUDE JOURNAL
1. Helps us to appreciate our lives just as they are
Gratitude has been shown to have many benefits in terms of our happiness, health, life satisfaction and the way we relate to others. Apparently keeping a gratitude journal can increase our long-term well-being by as much as 10%! (source)
Being grateful is a wonderful feeling and an appreciation of what we have can enable us to get the very best out of life just as it is. After all, there’s no better time to be grateful than in the present moment because happiness is our daily journey, not a destination.
2. Enables us to become more mindful
Taking a moment to consider the things we’re grateful for can stop us moving through life in autopilot. This can help us to become more aware of our lives as we’re in them. This may sound like a simple concept but when we stop dwelling on the past or thinking about the future, we’ll undoubtedly take more enjoyment from the small everyday moments. Instead of rushing to get to the next thing in life. Further reading: how to be mindful in everyday life.
3. Encourages us to see the glass half full
Life will always be filled with challenges, but by taking the time to actively seek joy we can approach the difficult times more positively. Even on the harder days, there will always be a glimmer of joy – noticing the beauty of nature, a message from a friend and so on. So, by taking the time to actively celebrate these moments we’re less likely to be consumed by our troubles. Further reading: six mantras bringing positivity to my life.
4. Helps to identify what makes us happy
Keeping a gratitude journal enables us to establish what makes us happy and with this, we can identify if any themes are emerging. Happiness triggers may be as simple as going for a walk or relaxing with a book, once you’re aware you can make space for them and ensure they’re always present in your life. Further reading: five everyday rituals for a calm and mindful day.
5. Provides a daily moment of calm
Many of us lead busy lives with limited time to relax and reflect, but by keeping a gratitude journal, we can create a positive daily habit giving ourselves some much-needed attention. This is especially beneficial if we spend our time helping others because it gives us a moment to look inward. Personal reflection can be extremely insightful and it enables us to get the very best from our lives.
Thank you for stopping by. I hope you’re well and I wish you a gorgeous day!