There are some pretty impressive benefits to journaling, but did you think that it could increase thankfulness? Sure, getting out all your frustrations on a piece of paper can be therapeutic, but most people expect paybacks like better sleep, gratitude, and less sickness. It turns out; research has found that when you journal, it increases your thankfulness for your life and the things around it.
Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D., is an expert in the field of gratitude, and his wisdom was used to write an article on Greater Good Magazine. He authored many books, including The Little Book of Gratitude. He states that you get the greatest psychological rewards when you journal.
Emmons believes that you release gratitude as you get personal with your feelings when you unlock this door. You’re forced to “relish” and “savor” everything in your life, and you become more aware of your emotions. Writing your life story helps to create meaning to your very existence.
Fifteen Ways Journaling Can Increase Thankfulness
The social, psychological, and physical health benefits of journaling are hard to deny, but if you want to increase your thankfulness, then here are 15 ways this task can help.
1. Dedicate Time in Introspection to Increase Thankfulness
If you’re like most folks, you struggle for time by yourself. While it’s not always easy to carve out time to journal, it’s worth the effort. Committing this task forces you to dedicate time for introspection.
It’s pretty scary to tap into your thoughts at first, but soon you will uncover both the strengths and weaknesses you possess. You must learn to love yourself and all you have to offer to your family, friends, and job. Part of this deep introspection is being thankful for the gifts you’ve been given.
2. You See What an Abundant Life You Have
Try each day to write down a few things you’re thankful for in your life. Now, choose one of those things for the next day to deliberate your gratitude towards. For instance, you can be thankful for the family you’ve been blessed with, and dedicating your gratitude towards them will ensure you don’t take them for granted.
It’s always best to start journaling with your gratitude list, and it will keep you centered and remind you of your abundant life.
3. Remember Important Things You Might Forget
Part of your journaling each day should be to keep a calendar of sorts. This will help you to be a better planner, and you won’t forget the dates that are so important. When’s the last time you forgot a birthday, anniversary, or another special occasion because you were so busy?
These dates are an essential part of giving thanks to the Universe for your blessings. An anniversary commemorates another year with your spouse, and a birthday celebrates another year your child is alive and thriving. So, calendar keeping is another way to be thankful that you can reach milestones and honor them.
4. Concentrate on Yourself and Bring Things Into Focus
Journaling puts you in the driver’s seat, and you get to be in control of your life. Since being on earth can sometimes feel like you live in the fast lane, it’s nice to take a breather and be in control for a change. Did you know that one of the main reasons people struggle with mental health disorders like anxiety is their lack of control?
According to Personality Growth, when you start to accept the things you cannot control, you can manage your anxiety. Having just a tiny amount of time to reflect on all the good things, and stop dwelling on the bad ones, can help your thankfulness increase. Who doesn’t need help with anxiety from time to time?
5. Enhanced Accountability in Life
You should keep a list of the essential tasks in your life in your journal, as well as running through the events of yesterday. This helps you to be more accountable. Your time is a precious gift you should be thankful for, so there’s no need to waste one minute.
6. Focus On the Present
How often is your body present in one location, but your mind is a million miles away? Being present in the moment is a big challenge for many, but journaling can help. How many beautiful things do you miss in life because you’re not truly present?
You’re missing out on the simple things about your life that are so beautiful and good for you. Thankfully, taking your thoughts from your brain to paper forces you to be in the moment and not let the little things pass you by.
7. The Creative Juices Flow So You Can Increase Thankfulness
Most folks go through life in a hurry, focused on getting all the things done they need to accomplish. Sadly, you’re not allowing room for your creative juices to flow. Your mind is cluttered, and it’s keeping you from creating space that will enable you to generate room for new and fresh ideas.
You’re brilliant, and you can realize this and be thankful for it once you declutter your headspace with journaling.
8. Distractions and Worries Are Minimized as Gratitude Takes Over
Do you bury your feelings in the business of the day? Some things distract you from your goals, and you should write them down and acknowledge them. The good news is by identifying your worries and any red flags. You can deal with issues before they get out of control.
There are so many things that steal your joy in life. Thankfully, you can call them out and deal with them before they become an issue.
9. Sleep Without Worry
You must get adequate rest. During the night hours, your body regenerates itself. How can you be positive and have an attitude of gratitude if you’re sleep-deprived?
When you journal, you’re forcing yourself to spend time planning, in deep introspection, organizing thoughts, and being accountable. This allows you to go to sleep without worrying as you’ve already dealt with all your troubles.
10. Promoting Gratitude and Positivity Promotes and Increases Productivity
An increase in productivity is something to be thankful for to the busy person. Journaling can be motivating, primarily if you use it to keep a to-do list that transfers from day today. Getting things done, having more time with family and friends, and impressing the boss will increase your gratitude as well as your attitude.
11. Master Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence is about self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management. It’s challenging to master these skills as a busy person, but journaling can help. Your emotional intelligence can help you understand your thoughts and feelings, so you can handle them better when stressful times come.
When you manage your stress, you’re calmer, easier to be around, and don’t have those feelings of angst tearing you apart. It’s hard to be thankful for all your gifts and blessings when you’re a ball of nerves, but journaling can help.
12. New Found Patience and Calmness
Everyone has frustrations and disappointments, but you can highlight specific nuances by using your journal. This will allow you to tackle patterns in yourself and others so that you can alter things. You’ll learn to handle things much better when you have more patience and are calmer.