A gratitude journal is something relatively new to me. I think I first got the idea from Chloe Brotheridge’s book, The Anxiety Solution (full review). This book is full of great advice for anyone suffering from anxiety or even struggling with stress, but the gratitude journal was something I particularly wanted to try.
The premise is that at the end of each day (or whenever you want) you sit and write down what you have been grateful for. Obviously, there is going to be some repetition, such as if a particular friend is helpful a lot, but I think the idea is to try to find more particular things to avoid that. What I try to do is rather than write ‘family, friends’ etc every day, I write why I have been grateful for that person in particular on that particular day. Also looking at things other than people is really good. Feeling grateful for the attributes you have been given can be helpful, such as strength and determination or whatever it is that is helping you to be you. You can write whatever you want, it is totally up to you and what you feel grateful for.
The aim of keeping a gratitude journal is to make you see the positive things and hopefully you will find it easier and easier as you go along to see those things because you will be noticing them much more. You should start noticing the smaller positives too which can add up. This should then all have a positive impact on your mental health as you will find yourself seeing far more positive things in your life each day and will see and focus less on the negatives.
I think I keep my gratitude journal a bit differently. As well as writing what I am grateful for each day, I also write about what I have achieved that day as this is another positive thing to look at because when you are having a tough day you can see the good coming through. Additionally, if I am feeling low or having a tough time, I take a page of my journal to look back on a longer time period than a day and write all of the good things that have happened and how much I have improved personally. This can help on a larger scale and every now and then I find it helpful.
So far, I have enjoyed keeping a gratitude journal and it means at the end of the day I can look back over my day and instead of focusing on any negatives I can look at what has been positive and sometimes end up seeing the day in a new light. I think I have also learnt to be more appreciative from this exercise which I am pleased about.