Stress, work, relationships, and routine can make us feel tired and get us in a pattern of negative thinking. Finding ways to focus on the positive can help reprogram your brain and break this cycle. Keeping a gratitude journal is one of the best ways to train your brain to focus on the positive things in your life. Psychology studies have shown that keeping a gratitude journal has many benefits. For example, a study from the University of California showed that participants who kept a gratitude journal complained of fewer physical symptoms related to stress than those who did not. Results also showed these individuals were happier and more optimistic about their lives, and therefore were better able to meet their daily goals. Now, here is how to make your own gratitude journal:
Choose your journal–this is the easy part! Go to your nearest supply shop and find a journal that you like. Maybe your favorite color?
Personalize your journal. Attach or paste photos that make you happy on the cover or on random pages–make a collage. Draw photos of the things you are grateful for. Write inspirational quotes or mantras in the margins, or even on the cover itself.
Be consistent. Write in your gratitude journal EVERY day. If you would like to start your day on a positive note, write in your gratitude journal after you eat breakfast. If you want to use your gratitude journal to reflect after a long and stressful day, write in your journal before you go to bed. Writing in it the same time each day will make it become a habit. You will be less likely to forget about it. 🙂
Write at least 5 things you are grateful for each day. You can write them in list or paragraph form, whatever you like best. Reflect on each. Remember, the key here is to get yourself to notice all the little things in your life you have to be grateful for.
Turn negatives into positive. For example, say you and your boyfriend break up. Yes you can reflect on your sadness and disappointment that the relationship did not work out, but also share your gratitude for what you learned from the relationship.
Although it may seem difficult and unnatural at first, keeping a gratitude journal and learning to focus on the positive in every situation will help become a happier person. You will begin to appreciate more in your life than ever before. It is easy, too. All you need is a notebook and paper. Enjoy!