An Attitude Of Gratitude Can Change Your Life
With the beginning of the new year upon us, I began thinking of the past year, and all that has happened. 2017 has been a particularly trying one for my family. From the loss of a job to a diagnosis of cancer, it has been hard to remain positive and grateful.
I am normally such a positive person, but this year I have found it more difficult to be so. I have had to consciously think about it and of ways to keep myself positive with so much negativity hiding in the shadows. Positivity used to be something that just happened within me, but now it is something I find myself fighting to achieve.
One of my goals for the new year is to pay more attention to my own happiness, and the things that are important to me. So, I decided that to achieve the goals I have set for myself, I needed to find something that would keep me motivated in my pursuits.
I sat down and thought about ways I could achieve more happiness in my life. The first thing that came to mind was starting a gratitude journal. For a while now I have thought about starting one but never seemed to get around to it. I realize now that this is the first step I need to take, and one that will help me to bring more happiness into my life.
This got me thinking about whether a gratitude journal would help, and as with most things, I went on a hunt for research. I am a bit of a nerd that way. I was surprised to find the scientific studies that have been done on gratitude and the benefits of being grateful. For instance, did you know that “Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships,” according to Harvard Health.
Just something like keeping a gratitude journal has benefits one couldn’t imagine. In a study done in 2003, participants reported that keeping a gratitude journal caused 16% less physical symptoms, 19% more time spent exercising, 8% more sleep, and 25% better sleep quality. It was also reported that depressive symptoms were reduced as well as systolic blood pressure reported by Happier Human.
This is the just the beginning. Gratitude is known to strengthen our emotions, help to develop our personality, and makes us more optimistic. It can help our career, allow us to become more spiritual, and helps to increase self-esteem.
These are just some of the benefits of how being grateful can impact us on so many levels, so it makes complete sense to keep a gratitude journal. Aside from the actual cost of the journal, it is free. I think spending a few minutes each day writing in a gratitude journal is time well spent.
Most research recommends that spending just five minutes each day writing in a gratitude journal can have overwhelmingly positive effects on your overall physical and mental wellbeing, so get out your journals and be grateful for the things in your life, no matter how small!