Practice #10: Increase your happiness with a gratitude journal. Writing down what you’re grateful for reinforces your awareness of the positive things in your life. Research has shown that this simple action has been found to be one of the key habits to create happiness in your life. A gratitude journal improves your outlook by emphasizing happy memories. Physical benefits include better sleep, and less illness.
How to keep a gratitude journal
There are two ways you can keep a gratitude journal. One way is simply listing five things you’re grateful for each night before you go to bed. You do not have to write copious amounts. Just jot down a short phrase.
As an alternative you can write once a week and go into greater depth about one or two things that made you feel happy or grateful. Notice which works better for you. If you feel having to do the list every night is a chore, and you’re not giving it much thought, you won’t reap the greatest benefits. Whichever frequency you choose, it’s important to make entries on a regular basis.
Emphasize personal relationships and personal qualities over material things. Your gratitude list may include the smallest moment or the biggest events in life.
How to record your journal
There are many gratitude apps and digital journals you can use. You can also keep your thoughts in a small notebook. Personally, while I’ve used an app, I prefer the notebook. It just feels more personal to write by hand right before I go to bed.
Are you keeping a gratitude journal? If you are, let us know how it’s made a difference for you. Share in the comments below.