As we approach this season of giving, I thought a topic worth sharing today was that of a gratitude journal. A gratitude journal in an excellent act of self-care allowing you to give back to yourself and others through a small effort of jotting down a few things that you are grateful for each day.
A single item of gratitude doesn't have to be anything extravagant and can range from something like a good nights sleep to a home-cooked meal to passing an exam that you have been studying for. And, the number is up to you. Write down one thing, three things or as you'll see what I'm doing currently, ten things. Most of the items I write down daily are pretty simple in nature but when added up together, I often realize that I have a lot to be thankful for.
I first learned of a gratitude journal from a fellow blogger, life and business coach, Taylor Simpson, a couple of years ago. Taylor ran a Mind & Body program at the beginning of the new year and a key component of that program was writing daily in a gratitude journal. I felt so many good vibes from practicing this each day and as I would fall in and out of the habit over the course of the year, the idea of journaling would stay on my mind as something I knew I wanted to continue.
Just recently I set a goal for myself in October to pick back up my gratitude journal and write down three things daily. When I heard of Rachel Hollis' #last90days program and one of the five goals was writing down ten things daily that you are grateful for, I decided to up my October goal from three to ten. I am excited to say while not perfect (I'm only human!), I have done my journaling almost every day this month!
There are numerous benefits to gratitude journaling so dedicating just five minutes can have a lot of upside to the rest of your day. I know that when I keep up with my practice I'm more optimistic, happier and generally appreciate life just a little bit more. You realize that when a bad day or occurrence gives you the impression that things just aren't going well for you, a quick look back in your gratitude journal can remind you that it's never as bad as it may seem and, in fact, life is pretty good.
If you are considering starting a gratitude journal, check out this article from Forbes magazine that highlights seven proven benefits (think better relationships, improved physical health, better sleep, increased empathy, improved self-esteem) that will motivate you to keep up with your journaling all year round.
After reading the article myself, I feel even more empowered to keep going past my October goal. I am definitely going to try for the full last 90 days of 2018 and if I can do that I'm hopeful that I can keep this practice going well into the new year and beyond. It's definitely worth it. Just five minutes that you can dedicate for a little self-love today will have an lasting impression on the rest of your life.