Do you have a daily gratitude practice? Many of the top health and wellness experts have shared the scientific benefits of expressing gratitude every day. Not only does it make you feel awesome to think about the good things in your life, but expressing gratitude can positively change your mindset to expect and attract good things to happen in the future.
Have you heard that what you focus on expands? This is something I remind myself of all the time because it’s so true! When you focus on what’s going wrong in your life, you feel frustrated, disheartened, sad, and unworthy. You then attract even more people/circumstances/opportunities into your life that makes you feel frustrated, disheartened, sad, and unworthy. But if you show up each day feeling positive, thankful, and in service to others, then you naturally start to attract people/circumstances/opportunities that make you feel even more positive, thankful, and in service to others. It’s a beautiful cycle if you let it be.
Research by UC Davis psychologist Robert Emmons shows the hugely valuable benefits that come from keeping a gratitude journal. In a series of studies, he found that by keeping a regular practice of writing in a gratitude journal, people experienced a multitude of benefits, including:
• Stronger immune systems
• Less bothered by aches and pains
• Lower blood pressure
• Exercise more and take better care of their health
• Sleep longer and feel more refreshed upon waking
• Higher levels of positive emotions
• More alert, alive, and awake
• More joy and pleasure
• More optimism and happiness
• More helpful, generous, and compassionate
• More forgiving
• More outgoing
• Feel less lonely and isolated.
It almost sounds too good to be true. But similar to the benefits of daily meditation, having a regular gratitude routine in which you reflect on and express thankfulness for the positives in your life can greatly increase your sense of purpose, inner peace, happiness, and overall wellbeing.
So what’s the challenge with all of this? Resistance. Like any new habit that we want to develop, it takes effort and consistency to develop a regular practice of gratitude journaling.
Here are a few tips to help you easily and effectively make gratitude journaling a part of your daily life:
Decide why you want to start a gratitude journaling practice. Which of the above benefits is the most valuable to you? Why does that particular benefit matter to you? How will improving that specific area of your life change your relationships, your inner peace, and your overall wellbeing? Focusing on your “why” behind any new habit or goal will bring your mind back to the reason you started in the first place. This is the most important step to master!
Determine a time of day and place where you will write in your gratitude journal. Most people prefer mornings, as you won’t be distracted by thoughts of what happened earlier in your day. You’ll also set up your day for success by cultivating a sense of gratitude first thing in the morning. On the other hand, reflecting on what you’re grateful for before going to sleep at night is also beneficial. Decide what works best for you and commit to a certain time each day where you will devote 10-15 minutes to this practice. If it’s helpful, set a recurring alarm on your phone to remind you, or write your “why” on a sticky note and post it somewhere you’ll see it every day.
Download my Daily Gratitude Journal or use an existing journal as your space for this work.
Start where you are! Begin today with gratitude journaling and commit to doing it for a full week. At the end of the week, notice how you feel and what changes you’ve experienced from this practice. Share your experiences with friends, family, or on social media, and others will have you to thank for starting their own gratitude journaling practice!
By committing to a daily gratitude journaling practice, you are setting yourself up to receive even more abundance, positivity, and happiness in your life. Not only will you feel high-vibe but you’ll start to notice the benefits internally -- physically, mentally, and socially.
Do you have a gratitude practice, or have you recently started one? Comment below & share what your experiences have been, or any tips and tricks you might have learned along the way!