Be Grateful With a Gratitude Journal - Carson Tahoe Health

Writing in a gratitude journal keeps the spirit of thankfulness alive all year long.

A gratitude journal is a dedicated space for you to record what you are grateful for each day. Starting your own gratitude journal is a simple way to exercise thankfulness and reap the mental health benefits of focusing on positivity. People who take time to be grateful are often happier and less stressed. Expressing gratitude can help you recognize kindness in someone and, in turn, show more kindness to others.

Not only does feeling appreciative have positive effects on your mind, but it could also improve your physical health. Studies show that practicing gratitude can lower blood pressure and aid your natural defenses against infection and disease. You also may be more likely to stick to good habits, such as staying active and eating a healthy diet.

HOW TO START A GRATITUDE JOURNAL

  • Collect your supplies. The wonderful thing about gratitude journaling is that it’s affordable—all you need is a pen and journal. It doesn’t matter which style you choose, whether a leather-bound journal, hardback diary, or an unused composition notebook—just make certain it’s something you enjoy writing in.
  • Put it on the calendar. Set aside a few minutes in the morning or at night to write in your journal. Stick to the same time until it becomes a daily habit.
  • Start writing. Focus on things you may take for granted. Of course you are thankful for close family and friends, but what about your hot cup of coffee each morning? Or the birds chirping outside your window? You’ll be surprised how many smaller things you find.
  • Get more out of it. On days you have more time to devote to journaling, include a few extra sentences instead of writing a list. For example, expand on “walks” to add “My daily walks, because walking today helped put me in a better mood after work.” Challenge yourself to discover new things to be thankful for each day to keep your journal fresh and exciting. It can also make your journal more interesting to look back on in the future.
  • Don’t make it a chore. If your busy schedule makes journaling difficult, stash a notebook in your car or keep a list on your phone.

What Were You Grateful for in 2020?

2020 wasn’t an easy year for anyone; however, that doesn’t mean it didn’t offer anything to be thankful for. Did you have more time to spend with your family? Have you progressed in a skill? Have you created anything? Go ahead—jot down what you have been grateful for last year. Focusing on the good and less on the bad can help improve your overall health.

Learn more about Carson Tahoe behavioral health services.