One of the many routine stress busters I use is to keep a daily gratitude journal. Although sometimes I let the distractions and busyness of life take me away from the act of writing down my thoughts, it has been a useful tool for stress reduction. Science has proven that you cannot feel both stressed and grateful at the same exact time and I’ve found that no matter where I am, if I simply pause and redirect my negative thoughts into positive thoughts about what I am thankful for in life, there is an instant calm that I feel not only in my mind but in my body.
How to Keep a Gratitude Journal?
I recommend buying a special notebook and keep it by your bed. Every morning (or evening) write down a few things that you are grateful for that day. I’m a morning person so I like to wake up, enjoy a cup of coffee or tea and use that quiet time to reflect. By writing down what you are grateful for in the morning, you can set the tone for your entire day. There are times, like I mentioned, that I may not actually write in my journal but I will mentally make a gratitude list at some point in my day. As I said, it is an instant stress buster. Also once you start the journal, it is fun to glance back and see all of the many things you have to be grateful for and it’s often a glimpse into your present moment. And these do not have to be deep thoughts either. For instance, today I wrote that I am thankful for my coffee and coconut milk creamer. Now I do go on to write about celebrating life and how I enjoy celebrating my life with the simple act of enjoying my coffee and creamer each morning. It really is about enjoying the simple things in life.
30-Day Gratitude Challenge
Now that you know the how and why to keep a gratitude journal I want to challenge you to do a journal for 30 days. With the upcoming US Thanksgiving holiday, November is a perfect month to practice gratitude. Feel free to share your thoughts on the Live the GoodLife Facebook page. Or snap a pic and share on Instragram @nansgoodlife.