The Benefits of Keeping a Gratitude Journal - Natasha Denness Coaching - (Photo of 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 all changed when I simplified my life, stopped buying unnecessary stuff and learnt to be present. Over time, I noticed my gratitude for the simple everyday moments grew.

Practicing gratitude

I began to reflect at the end of each day, focusing on my achievements and the things that made me happy. The practice became a time to give thanks to the people and moments of joy and to consider what worked well and what didn’t. So, today I’m sharing some of the benefits I’ve found of keeping a gratitude journal. A gratitude practice doesn’t need to consist of writing, you could simply take the time to mindfully reflect or share your thoughts with another person.

The Benefits of Keeping a Gratitude Journal - Natasha Denness Coaching - (Photo of pink roses and a blue sky)

The benefits of keeping a gratitude journal..

1. It 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. Keeping a gratitude journal can increase our long-term wellbeing by as much as 10%! (source)

Being grateful is a wonderful feeling. It helps us to appreciate what we already have and to enjoy our lives just the way they are. There’s no better time to be grateful than in the present moment because happiness is not a destination.

2. It enables us to become more mindful

Taking a moment to consider the things we’re grateful for can stop us moving through life on autopilot. This may sound like a simple concept but when we stop dwelling on the past or thinking about the future, we will undoubtedly be more present. Enjoying the moment rather than rushing to get to the next thing is a calmer and more mindful way to live.

3. It encourages us to see the glass half full

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

4. It helps to identify what makes us happy

Keeping a gratitude journal can enable us to establish what makes us happy and identify if any themes are emerging. Happiness triggers may be as simple as going for a walk or relaxing with a good book, once we’re aware of what makes us feel happy and content we can ensure there’s an abundance of it!

5. It provides a daily moment of calm

Many of us live busy lives with limited time to relax and reflect, by keeping a gratitude journal, we can create a positive daily habit giving ourselves some self-care. This is especially beneficial if we spend our time helping others because it gives us a moment to connect with how we’re feeling. And in this fast-paced world a daily moment of solitude is a wonderful thing.

Further reading

Simple everyday rituals to support your creative work and life
How personal reflection can guide you in life and work
Identify your passions and do more of what you love

Thank you, as always, for stopping by. I hope you have a wonderful day. Until next time, I’ll see you over on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

26 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Sue 23rd June 2017 at 9:40 am - Reply

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

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

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

  2. Avatar
    arianna 23rd June 2017 at 10:00 am - Reply

    Lovely post and all so true! Love that quote xxx

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

      Thanks so much, Arianna!

  3. Avatar
    fashionforlunch 23rd June 2017 at 10:38 am - Reply

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

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

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

        Journals of joy!!! We should invent that!

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

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

  4. Avatar
    Cate St Hill 23rd June 2017 at 11:25 am - Reply

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

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

  5. Avatar
    Emma Brooks Design 23rd June 2017 at 1:23 pm - Reply

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

      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.

  6. Avatar
    Joscelyne Williams 23rd June 2017 at 2:38 pm - Reply

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

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

  7. Avatar
    kate 23rd June 2017 at 5:00 pm - Reply

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

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

  8. Avatar
    Carole King 23rd June 2017 at 5:13 pm - Reply

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

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

  9. Avatar
    Fritha Tigerlilly Quinn 24th June 2017 at 3:13 pm - Reply

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

      Thanks so much, Fritha!

  10. Avatar
    Lazy Daisy Jones 25th June 2017 at 9:12 pm - Reply

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

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

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

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

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

  12. Avatar
    Living WellBee 29th June 2017 at 8:58 pm - Reply

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

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

Leave a Reply