If we sit down and take an audit of our lives, we can list off pages of everything we take for granted. We're not thankful for much anymore. We, as a society, used to show appreciation for the smallest of things.
Now, we've been conditioned to believe we need grand gestures for someone to deserve a "thank you" for something they've done for us or have given us. Some people go their entire lives with the most grateful of dispositions. Every small thing makes them emotional, and they reciprocate with truly gracious thanks. Those are the types of people we need to emulate in our lives, but how do we do it? We can become more grateful people by keeping a gratitude journal.
Keeping A Gratitude Journal Clears Our Minds Before Bed
When we lay our heads to sleep, our minds are often racing from everything we’ve experienced that day. However, we often linger on the negative. We don’t spend enough time thinking of what we were grateful for. One of the first (and best) points to write down every night before bed is the fact that we have a bed in the first place to rest our heads at night. We’re grateful for another day. When we flood our minds with positive thoughts as we’re writing in our gratitude journal, it makes less space for negativity and worries.
Keeping A Gratitude Journal Keeps Us From Comparing Ourselves To Others
One of the worst things most people do in life is continuously comparing themselves to others. This constant need to socially compare ourselves and our lives to someone else keeps us from being grateful for what we do have. We may envy someone's bigger home or their careers. That will often make people not appreciate where they live or what they do for a living.
The drop in gratitude will cause a decrease in self-esteem. A gratitude journal is the best way to improve this self-esteem. Writing down all of your individual achievements, regardless of what other people are doing or what other people have, helps you appreciate who you are.
Keeping A Gratitude Journal Lowers Anxiety
Many of us suffer from anxiety because we don’t know what’s around the corner. We don’t know how our actions will affect tomorrow or if the decisions we’ve made are the right ones. Every decision we make in life opens different paths. Along those paths are positive points we’ve picked up along the way.
Accepting one job over the other opened the opportunity to meet the love of your life. Choosing one gas station over the other gave you a scratch card to win a thousand dollars. Unfortunately, we forget how these decisions have done well for us by focusing on the bad. We are anxious about making the wrong decisions and lingering on the "what ifs." Keeping a gratitude journal keeps us from overthinking.
Keeping A Gratitude Journal Improves Our Relationships
Think about every gift you've ever received. Sometimes our families or friends don't have the disposable income for extravagant gifts. They'll make it for us or get something that means something to us. Unfortunately, we've gone through our whole lives expecting to get things we cannot get for ourselves to the point where we don't want it if we don't attach a dollar value to it. This could make someone more reluctant to give you in the future. Keeping a gratitude journal helps you appreciate the small things.
Keeping A Gratitude Journal Makes You Happier
Finally, tie everything you’ve learned about keeping a gratitude journal together. What is the common outcome of everything? Happiness. Cultivating stronger relationships will lead you to be happier. Lowering your anxiety levels improves your mood. Not comparing yourself to others and getting better sleep helps you be happier and healthier.
The end goal for keeping a gratitude journal is: improving your happiness for a more fulfilling life.