Did you know that gratitude journaling is more than just a trendy fad? In fact gratitude practices are scientifically proven to improve our overall health and well being.
But knowing how to practice gratitude can be tricky if you’re brand new to the idea.
That’s right! The science of gratitude helps us physically, mentally, emotionally and even spiritually. Practicing gratitude means making space for appreciation. It is focusing on what you have to be grateful for in the present, which can help you feel more balanced, resilient, energetic, motivated, and at ease. The appreciation you feel can be rooted in the people in your life, your career, your experiences, or even an appreciation for yourself and what you have accomplished.
What is gratitude and gratitude journaling?
Gratitude is something you intentionally choose to spend energy on and it’s more than something you feel, it’s something you practice. Therefore the practice of gratitude journaling is writing those feelings down. So before you write it of as “witch craft” or “woo woo”– get this:
The effects of gratitude on the brain
have been shown to:
– reduce stress
– boost positive emotions
– lower blood pressure
– enhance mood
– increase empathy
– strengthen social relationships
– greater sleep quality
– reduce depression
– promote stronger self-esteem
The list goes on and on! Studies show that even just expressing more gratitude is linked to higher activity levels in the hypothalamus, a part of the brain involved in everything from metabolism to emotions and sex drive.
So the next question is, how to practice gratitude in a meaningful and effective way?
There are many ways, such as through meditation, walking in nature, or a common one you might’ve heard us praising before…gratitude journaling!
The benefits of gratitude journaling include much of the above list and bonus, your journal also becomes a fun way to reflect on your life experiences.
Here’s how to get started with gratitude journaling – our outline for a gratitude journal template if you will:
GRATITUDE JOURNAL TIP 1
Carve out at least 5-15 minutes a few times a week for this activity. You can even physically pencil it into your calendar.
GRATITUDE JOURNAL TIP 2
If you’re not sure where to start, begin by writing about the basic human material needs for which you are grateful—such as having a roof over your head, a warm bed, food, clean water etc. Then, try to shift the focus to the people, places, experiences, and situations that bring you joy and happiness.
GRATITUDE JOURNAL TIP 3
Instead of making a grocery-type list of good people and things in your life, reflect deeply on each person/thing and the feeling (i.e. joy) they bring to your life and what your life would be like without them.
GRATITUDE JOURNAL TIP 4
Try to find something to appreciate in the people and things you don’t like as much. Focusing only on the goodness will help shift your perceptions and bring you more happiness.
GRATITUDE JOURNAL TIP 5
Lastly, don’t forget to be grateful for yourself and your abilities! Appreciate all that your mind and body can do. Whether it’s your morning workout, the time and effort you put towards your kids, the meals you cook or the healthy habits you’ve been changing to enhance your health and vitality!
Gratitude and wellness go hand in hand
The benefits of gratitude journaling are truly great. Here at TMB we practice gratitude regularly as part of our own personal wellness care.
If you give this a try, take a photo and tag us on Instagram @themovementboutique. We would love to see and celebrate your wellness win! Happy gratitude journaling!
TMB WELLNESS STARTER KIT
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