How can keeping a gratitude journal improve our day?

A little thing that makes a difference

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Most often, we thank other people for their services or support, and this is considered a very common gesture. When was the last time you thanked a "higher power" or yourself for the nice things that happened to you, for the lessons learned and the little things that made your day better? A small notebook, a pen and thinking about what you are grateful for today can have a huge impact on your mental health and quality of life. All of this can be very easily incorporated into your everyday life in just a few minutes.

Research published in the journal Traumatic Stress revealed that writing by hand, unlike typing, especially during a stressful period of life, leads to a higher rate of of self-discovery and at the same time brings greater therapeutic benefits. Plus, it can be a time to finally step away from your cell phones and computers at the end of the day and do something that's really good for you.

To write your own gratitude journal, all you need is a notebook and a pen. You can start by each write down five things in the evening, for which you are grateful that day. Maybe the last piece of cake you managed to grab at the bakery, your child's first spoken word, etc. Try to be as creative and specific as possible so you don't repeat the same thing over and over again. You can also add drawings, make mental patterns.

Every night write down what you are grateful for, because success without gratitude is the greatest failure.
Photo: Rafael Leao/ Unspash

1. Change your perspective on your own successes

Psychologists believe that success without gratitude is the greatest failure of all. It happens that many times everything is good you take for granted and don't stop for a moment to be thankful for all the good things until something worse happens to make you think. Achieving the success you've worked hard for, whether it's a degree, publishing a book, writing articles, having a baby, or anything else, is a big deal and something to be grateful for. It doesn't matter if you're thanking the universe or the people around you, it's a good idea to put all your gratitude on paper.

2. Improves mental health

Have you ever met someone who thinks your life is perfect and envies you, but all you see in it is all the bad things that have happened to you? Such pessimistic thinking has a drastic effect on vmood and mental health. But writing positive notes in your journal and reading them afterwards will give you a clearer picture that you really do have something to look forward to in life. All of these can contribute to improving mental health.

3. Increases empathy and decreases aggression

A 2012 study conducted at the University of Kentucky found that people who are more grateful have more appropriate manners in public, they show empathy towards others more quickly and are less likely to show aggressive behavior in public and at home, even when they find themselves in negative situations.

4. Increases self-confidence

Self-confidence is defined in psychology as the image an individual has of himself based on appearance, abilities, knowledge, skills and external factors. Negative experiences can drastically affect the image, which you have about yourself, as well as what you hear about yourself from others. But it's the same with the positive things you hear about yourself, so it's a good idea to write them down.

5. Improves sleep

Some research has shown that just 10 to 15 minutes of keeping a gratitude journal before bed improves sleep quality. You will wake up less and sleep longer, which is essential for maintaining physical and mental health. Of course, other factors contribute to this, such as good food and good physical well-being.

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