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There have been many instances where I’ve used journal writing to help me get through tough times and to develop a more positive mindset.
I can recall a time when my husband and I were stuck with a mortgage and paying rent for an apartment. The sale of our house fell through the day of closing.
That was a tough time for us financially which put a toll on our marriage.
I felt guilty because it was my idea to sell our house, and I was angry because the couple selfishly decided they didn’t want to purchase the house at the very last moment.
As you can imagine, it was a challenge to be upbeat, and I found myself wallowing in self pity.
Eventually, I decided to get my ‘happy” back. I wanted to appreciate and enjoy life as best as I could under the circumstances.
That’s why I turned to journal writing.
Generally speaking, writing can be therapeutic.
If you go to a therapist or a life coach, you will more than likely have several writing activities.
And I am sure you’ve heard that if you are angry with someone or if someone has hurt you, you should write them a letter, not necessarily for that person to read, but to get your feels “out in the open,” so to speak.
This allows you to release pinned up emotions and free your mind of negative thoughts in order to start the healing process.
That’s exactly what happened to me. Writing down my feelings, favorite quotes and affirmations, along with meditation, helped me to focus my energy on the positive things that were happening in my life. I was better able to evaluate situations and put plans into place because my emotions weren’t clogging up my thinking.
Having said all that, by now you should have put into practice the tips from the blog post 6 Tips to Practice Counting Our Blessings. Once you get into the habit of contemplating what you’re grateful for each day, it’s time to consider making it a written activity.
This can be intimidating for people who don’t like to write or who feel they may not have time to dedicate to such a practice. In all honesty, it really doesn’t take much more time to write it down than to simply think on what you appreciate, and you don’t have to have strong writing skills in order to jot down three sentences. This is where your Gratitude Journal/Planner comes in handy.
Let’s see if we can’t make the process seem less stressful. There truly are some amazing benefits that come from the physical process of creating a record of gratefulness.
More About Gratitude Journals
While it’s called a “gratitude journal,” it’s actually a tool or a record. You don’t have to write in a paper journal. The important part is that you take the time each day to record a few things that make you feel fortunate. Doing so can actually help to manifest more positive things.
Writing down what you’re appreciative of each day brings that sense of gratefulness to the forefront. It allows you to focus on the positive, helping you to spot opportunities you might otherwise have missed. Keeping a gratitude journal gives you a written record to pull out and look back on any time you’re feeling less than fortunate. It can provide you with motivation in the toughest of times.
Benefits of a Gratitude Journal
There are many benefits to keeping a gratitude journal. Instilling a writing practice in this way ensures that you maintain a focus on positivity.
Sure, sometimes bad things may happen, but this overall emphasis on finding the good can help to provide you with the resilience to keep going. Your stress levels will decrease as you begin embracing an attitude of gratitude.
As I mentioned before, the act of writing can be therapeutic in itself. Writing also helps to give you a different perspective on things that you might not see initially without engaging in the process. You can identify patterns and insight into your life that might help you to identify opportunities for growth and improvement.
Tips for Using Your Journal
The most important thing when it comes to a gratitude journal is consistency of practice. Some journal twice daily. Others prefer once. Regardless, it will only be effective if you use it regularly.
One of the best ways to help yourself want to use your journal is to choose a format you enjoy. Don’t force yourself to write in a journal by hand if you prefer to use electronic methods. You can keep your records in a simple word processing spreadsheet or use one of many apps that are available for this purpose.
On the other hand, if you are inspired by a beautifully-bound paper journal, find one that speaks to you and start writing your thoughts down immediately.
No matter what you use, keep it handy by your bedside or on easily accessed devices. Turn your routine into a ritual. Make it a process that feeds your soul. Incorporate your morning coffee into your journal writing or light a candle with a lovely aroma to accompany your routine. Just make it yours.
As you can see, a gratitude journal can be an insightful and life-changing tool. Remember, you only have to write three simple things you’re grateful for. There’s no need to make it complicated. Start your record keeping practice today and see what it can do for you.
Celebrating the life you have while creating the life you want.
Ode 2 the good life! It’s the only life you should live.