8 Benefits of Keeping a Gratitude Journal

Did you know that according to some research, a five-minute daily gratitude journaling session can increase your long-term well-being and happiness by more than 10 percent? That’s the same impact as doubling your income!

With November being the month set aside for expressing thoughts of gratitude and thanksgiving, taking time to reflect and journal about the various things you’re thankful for has never been more seasonally appropriate. But we’re not just doing this to “stay up” with the season. Nope! We’re challenging each of you to adopt the habit of gratitude journaling to bring about the following eight life benefits.

  1. Lifted spirits on bad days. Having one of “those” days? We all do! But by reflecting back on your gratitude journal, you open the doors for an attitude adjustment. Not to mention, reflecting on all of the good things, awesome people, and great experiences you’ve had previously will essentially bring you comfort and motivate you to snap out of it, and look forward to better days ahead.
  2. A designated safe zone. Your gratitude journal is just that – yours! Be confident in knowing that you can express the experiences that you’re grateful for without judgment from others or the possibility of anyone else finding out what’s important to you.
  3. Longer and better sleep. If this benefit doesn’t win you over and get you that “nudge” to start a gratitude journal, we don’t know what will! Research has shown that those who spent just 15 minutes jotting down a few grateful sentiments before bed helped them to sleep better and even rake in some extra Zzz’s. Yes, please!
  4. Increased mental strength. Not only does gratitude and the recording of it reduce stress, but it’s said to play a major role in overcoming trauma. By having a documented record of all you have to be thankful for, even in the worst times of your life, you can ultimately foster resilience.
  5. Increased clarity. By jotting down the things that you’re grateful for, you are essentially selecting those things, people, or experiences that you deem as important, valuable, or enriching. This subconscious selection process simply helps you to gain clarity on what you can eliminate in your life and what you want more of.
  6. Reduced materialistic and needy attitude. This one is simple. When you focus on and document the things you have, you lose sight of the things you “lack”. This isn’t to say that there is a problem with wanting more, but by shifting your focus, you gain an increased ability to appreciate what you already have and move forward with more momentum and motivation to progress.
  7. Reduced doctor visits. Bear with us on this one because it’s quite mind-blowing, and yet, it’s actually simple and completely understandable. It is common knowledge that positive emotion improves health. Thankfulness is a positive emotion. With that, some recent science shows that those who engage in gratitude practices (such as gratitude journaling) have been shown to feel less pain, go to the doctor less often, have lower blood pressure, and be less likely to develop a mental disorder.
  8. Enhanced romantic relationships. It’s no question that many romantic relationships start to suffer when passion fizzles, appreciation decreases, resentments grow, and nagging skyrockets. When you take time to think about what you’re grateful for in your partner, you are choosing to support, encourage, and express appreciation. You are choosing to find the good amongst the inevitable “annoying crimes” your partner may commit – ultimately generating positive thoughts and expressions.

There you have it! Eight life benefits of possessing a grateful heart and documenting it using a gratitude journal. In our opinion, there’s really no valid excuse to NOT keep a gratitude journal, especially with all of these benefits at your beck-and-call. So with that – get to it with JRNL!

Research Sources:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lauren-jessen/gratitude-journal_b_7745854.html

http://happierhuman.com/benefits-of-gratitude/

This post is written by guest blogger Rachael Mollison-Read. She’s a Canadian writer; born and raised in Calgary, Alberta. Check out her website at rsmollisonread.com or follow her on Twitter at @rsmollisonread.

For a long time, I did not keep a journal. Oh, I would start them often, write for a few weeks, and then I would go back, read one of the entries, and be so horrified by what I had written (and usually how poorly I had written it), that I would vow never to keep a journal again.

In the last several years, however, I have found keeping a journal to be very beneficial for a number of reasons. Journaling allows me to have a thorough record of all of my thoughts and ideas. This is so helpful for my writing because even passing thoughts can spark creativity. I’ve also found journaling to be very therapeutic; allowing me to get thoughts out of my head and down on paper. It is helpful for me to review my previous entries, and remember how I felt or thought about a certain event. Keep Reading

Meet my great, great, great grandfather Axel Hayford Reed. On August 5, 1861 he enlisted as a private in Co. K, Second Minnesota Volunteer Infantry and fought in “the war of the great rebellion” as he termed it. The history books show that he was placed under arrest, lost his right arm in battle, and is a Medal of Honor recipient, but because he kept a journal and passed it down, I have learned much more.

I’d like share some tips that I have learned from my grandfather that are worth considering when it comes to journaling for family history purposes.

axel-hayford-reed Keep Reading

Amy-and-Carol

Every person who journals, has their own reasons for how and why they keep their journal the way they do. To be honest, I didn’t start keeping a traditional journal until I started working for JRNL.com. I journaled in other, more non-traditional, ways: Facebook, writing a column for my father’s newspaper, blogging, but I didn’t keep a true journal.

Once I started journaling, I found that I really enjoyed cataloguing my life and the adventures that come with being married to your high school sweetheart and sharing three children together. But in late 2015, my motivation for journaling changed.

Keep Reading

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