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The Benefits of Keeping a Gratitude Journal

23rd June 2017
5 Benefits to Keeping a Gratitude Journal

Focus on the joy

I used to spend much of my time counting down the days until the weekend. I was always looking forward to the next big thing, event or holiday.

This changed when I let go of my life laundry, stopped buying unnecessary stuff and learnt to be present. Over time, I noticed my gratitude for the simple everyday things grew and I spent less time considering the future.

I began to reflect at the end of each day, focusing on my achievements and the things that made me happy. A time to give thanks to the people and moments of joy, and to consider what worked well and what I’d do differently. After all, none of us are perfect!

With so much recent sadness in the news, my practice has been more valuable than ever. So today I’m sharing a few of the benefits I’ve found from keeping a gratitude journal. And just to add, the practice doesn’t need to consist of writing, you could simply take the time to reflect or share your thoughts with others.

‘Everybody in the world is seeking happiness – and there is one sure way to find it. That is by controlling your thoughts. Happiness doesn’t depend on outward conditions. It depends on inner conditions.’ Dale Carnegie

5 Benefits to Keeping a Gratitude Journal

The benefits of writing a gratitude journal..

1. Helps us to appreciate our lives just as they are

Gratitude has been shown to have many benefits in terms of our happiness, health, life satisfaction and the way we relate to others. Apparently keeping a gratitude journal can increase our long-term well-being by as much as 10%! (source)

Being grateful is a wonderful feeling and an appreciation of what we have can enable us to get the very best out of life just as it is. After all, there’s no better time to be grateful than in the present moment because happiness is our daily journey, not a destination.

2. Enables us to become more mindful

Taking a moment to consider the things we’re grateful for can stop us moving through life in autopilot. This can help us to become more aware of our lives as we’re in them. This may sound like a simple concept but when we stop dwelling on the past or thinking about the future, we’ll undoubtedly take more enjoyment from the small everyday moments. Instead of rushing to get to the next thing in life.

3. Encourages us to see the glass half full

Life will always be filled with challenges, but by taking the time to actively seek joy we can approach the difficult times more positively. Even on the harder days, there will always be a glimmer of joy – noticing the beauty of nature, a message from a friend and so on. So, by taking the time to actively celebrate these moments we’re less likely to be consumed by our troubles.

4. Helps to identify what makes us happy

Keeping a gratitude journal enables us to establish what makes us happy and with this, we can identify if any themes are emerging. Happiness triggers may be as simple as going for a walk or relaxing with a book, once you’re aware you can make space for them and ensure they’re always present in your life.

5. Provides a daily moment of calm

Many of us lead busy lives with limited time to relax and reflect, but by keeping a gratitude journal, we can create a positive daily habit giving ourselves some much-needed attention. This is especially beneficial if we spend our time helping others because it gives us a moment to look inward. Personal reflection can be extremely insightful and it enables us to get the very best from our lives.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you have a gorgeous day!

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26 Comments

  • Avatar
    Reply Sue 23rd June 2017 at 9:40 am

    I might start on if these. Lovely to look back on too

    • Natasha
      Reply Natasha 23rd June 2017 at 10:22 am

      It is a nice habit to start and it only takes about five minutes. I hope you have a lovely day!

  • Avatar
    Reply arianna 23rd June 2017 at 10:00 am

    Lovely post and all so true! Love that quote xxx

    • Natasha
      Reply Natasha 23rd June 2017 at 10:22 am

      Thanks so much, Arianna!

  • Avatar
    Reply fashionforlunch 23rd June 2017 at 10:38 am

    I love this post so much Natasha! And it’s such a good idea. Why are we spending our time keeping journals of to-dos when we could keep them of joy?!

    • Natasha
      Reply Natasha 23rd June 2017 at 10:40 am

      Thanks, Kirsty. Journals of joy – how lovely! I hope you’re having a gorgeous day!

      • Avatar
        Reply fashionforlunch 23rd June 2017 at 11:56 am

        Journals of joy!!! We should invent that!

        • Natasha
          Reply Natasha 23rd June 2017 at 12:56 pm

          ‘This time next year, we’ll be millionaires!’ 🙂

  • Avatar
    Reply Cate St Hill 23rd June 2017 at 11:25 am

    I’ve never thought about writing a gratitude journal but as I make the change to being freelance maybe it would help me find a moment of calm in the day! x

    • Natasha
      Reply Natasha 23rd June 2017 at 11:49 am

      Congratulations on going freelance! Writing a gratitude journal sounds like the perfect way to find a moment or two of calm. Enjoy your day!

  • Avatar
    Reply Emma Brooks Design 23rd June 2017 at 1:23 pm

    A lovely post. Mindfulness, gratitude and compassion are a daily practice in our house, my partner has just spent three days at a Buddhist Conference with the focus on mindfulness.
    I’d also love to remember to journal more often as I enjoy it so much when I do. Do you use a notebook or an app of any kind?

    • Natasha
      Reply Natasha 23rd June 2017 at 2:17 pm

      Thanks Emma for stopping by. I bet the Buddhist conference was great. I use a notebook and I jot things down in bullet points – I like to keep things simple! I hope you have a gorgeous day.

  • Avatar
    Reply Joscelyne Williams 23rd June 2017 at 2:38 pm

    These are all the reasons why I try to mention things I’m happy about or thankful for in my diary. It isn’t only for showing gratitude but I think it’s very helpful for being satisfied in my life and focusing on the positive 🙂 Thanks for reminding me!

    • Natasha
      Reply Natasha 23rd June 2017 at 4:09 pm

      Thank you, Joscelyne. I hope you’re having a great day!

  • Avatar
    Reply kate 23rd June 2017 at 5:00 pm

    That sounds like such a good thing to do, and would be the perfect use for all those beautiful notebooks I have stockpiled on my desk! x

    • Natasha
      Reply Natasha 23rd June 2017 at 5:19 pm

      Thanks, Kate. It’s a good excuse to stockpile pretty notebooks! 🙂

  • Avatar
    Reply Carole King 23rd June 2017 at 5:13 pm

    Lovely post hun. I’m feeling inspired to start writing these things down daily. Thanks for the reminder to not take happiness for granted.

    • Natasha
      Reply Natasha 23rd June 2017 at 5:20 pm

      Thanks so much, Carole. I’d love to know if you start a journal! I hope you have a lovely weekend.

  • Avatar
    Reply Fritha Tigerlilly Quinn 24th June 2017 at 3:13 pm

    I absolutely love this, I always feel better about the day if I count all the thinks to feel thankful for rather than focussing on the negative! X

    • Natasha
      Reply Natasha 1st July 2017 at 12:55 pm

      Thanks so much, Fritha!

  • Avatar
    Reply Lazy Daisy Jones 25th June 2017 at 9:12 pm

    A super idea Natasha, as it is so easy to forget the small things that make us happy!
    Have a super week
    Ash xxx

    • Natasha
      Reply Natasha 1st July 2017 at 12:55 pm

      Thanks, Ashley. Yes, it serves as a good reminder!

  • Avatar
    Reply Lori 27th June 2017 at 11:58 pm

    This is such a fab and simple idea! I’m going to try it this week and see if I notice a change x

    • Natasha
      Reply Natasha 1st July 2017 at 12:56 pm

      Thank you, Lori. Fantastic – I’d love to know how you find it!

  • Avatar
    Reply Living WellBee 29th June 2017 at 8:58 pm

    Love it! Sometimes I might take some essential things as granted. I think this diary will help to keep me grounded.
    Thanks for the idea 🙂

    xx Raquel

    • Natasha
      Reply Natasha 1st July 2017 at 12:57 pm

      You’re welcome. Thanks so much for stopping by!

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