Estimated Reading Time | 4 Minutes
“All I seem to do is complain and I feel like I’m not savoring life and I’m not being grateful enough for the things I know I should feel grateful for and I’m too stressed and I have negative thoughts all the time and feel the world is a pretty dark place but I just wanna feel happy and excited to be alive.”
Write a minimum of five things you’re grateful for in a journal every day for 30 days.
Benefits Of Writing A Gratitude Journal:
- Become less miserable and learn to appreciate what you have
- More time focusing on the positives and less on the negatives
- A more positive mindset welcomes new opportunities into your life
- Call bullsh*t on negative thoughts
- More appreciation of loved ones resulting in kinder actions and better relationships
- Improved understanding of what’s most important meaning you’re able to prioritise the best things in your life
- Better health
Scroll down to the bottom and click on the ‘Start Challenge’ button to take the challenge or read on to find out my experience and how it can improve your life.
Isn’t It A Bit Cringey And Self-Indulgent?
First off, can I say if anyone suggested one year ago that I’d be writing a gratitude journal I wouldn’t have believed them.
Perhaps you agree. In my eyes at the time, it’s the type of self-indulgent happy-clappy crap that only pseudo positivity gurus preach.
No place for a rugby-loving, beer-chugging oath like myself.
But after meeting a Californian with insanely white teeth and an equally glowing positive mentality, he suggested I try it. He was a genuinely nice, happy guy and I was inspired so I thought, “Why not?”
Writing a gratitude journal has helped me realise happiness is a skill. Just like playing an instrument, if you want to master it you must practice daily which takes dedication.
But by doing it daily, it really did change my life.
Here are the benefits:
1 Cut Out Negative Thinking
By focusing on the positive things in my life daily, I found less time for the negatives.
The negatives started to become insignificant, inconsequential and quite simply, a bad joke.
Then true power came when I developed the ability to laugh at them. They just didn’t seem important any more as I was too busy relishing in all the good stuff.
2 Enjoy The Positives More Each Day
When I started, it was difficult to think of the things I was grateful for.
It was unnatural to me. Like my brain wasn’t programmed to think positively.
However, the longer you write the journal, the easier it becomes to write things you’re grateful for.
Soon it was flowing because I had reprogrammed my brain to think ‘for’ me rather than ‘against’ me.
You will be able to use journals to develop an attitude that empowers you too.
3 Learn To Truly Appreciate What You Have
When you’re bombarded by negative thoughts you tend to live in your own head and not appreciate what you have.
My sin was I was too busy constantly pissing and moaning that I didn’t see the stuff my girlfriend was doing for me.
But by writing all the kind acts she did for me I realised I didn’t show her enough appreciation.
That thinking started to materialise into actions, kinder deeds towards her and a better quality relationship.
4 Improved Understanding Of What’s Important
At about the half-way point you can use the journal as a tool to decide how to improve your life.
I noticed I had written a lot about having my health and the ability to exercise and use my body.
I then came to the realisation that, considering it was clearly so important to me, I hadn’t been working out enough. So I made an obligation to myself to exercise more.
You can do the same, using the journal to better understand yourself and what means the most to you.
5 Better Health
They say you are what you eat but you’re also what you think. When you think negatively, your body releases a stress chemical called ‘cortisol.’ This can be detrimental to your health, causing sickness and fatigue.
Reinforcing positivity each day helps you become mentally healthier and, in turn, physically healthier.
It may seem sickly sweet at first and perhaps not something particularly ‘cool’ for a man in his thirties to do. However, writing a gratitude journal has had a huge impact on my mental health, happiness and overall well-being and has taught me to appreciate what you have.
So, why not give it a try and see what it does for you. Just 30 days and I guarantee you it will improve your mood and outlook on life.
Click the button below to try out the challenge: