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Gratitude Journaling: A Simple Habit That Will Boost Your Mental Health

The truth about gratitude journaling every empty nest solo mom needs to know.

Finding quick and easy ways to improve your mental health can be tricky for busy solo moms. But there are simple habits you can develop that can help you. One way is to combine gratitude with journaling. If you already keep a journal, consider adding what you’re thankful for as a regular practice.

Research suggests that gratitude writing improves mental health. Keeping a gratitude journal is an easy, effective way to boost your happiness. Expressing gratitude and journaling individually packs amazing benefits for your mental health. Combined in a daily habit, they pack a powerful punch in reducing negative emotions that affect your well being.

The act of expressing gratitude has been shown to lead to increased happiness and life satisfaction. Writing down what you’re grateful for has been shown to help develop better eating habits, among other things.

We often let our hectic schedules get in the way of appreciating just how blessed we are. Being too busy can make our lives a lot harder. We work, cook, clean, attend to our kids needs, and run errands, sometimes doing multiple things at once.

I encourage you to make time in your schedule for this one simple habit.

By combining the benefits of a journaling practice with gratitude you create a powerful way to increase your chances for improved mental health.

Gratitude journaling has been shown to increase the likelihood of feeling more positive emotions about the future, which can improve mental health by reducing anxiety and stress. Regular practice of gratitude journaling can help decrease depressive symptoms and promote overall well-being.

Together, these two habits combined in a gratitude journal help you improve your mental health when practiced regularly.”

How to start a gratitude journal

Just start writing. Write down what you are grateful for each day. If you find it hard to do at first start with small things.

Take a look at yourself. Wiggle your fingers and toes. Do they work? Breathe in deeply. Are you able to do that without difficulty? Get up from where you are and walk to another room. Did that work? If you are nodding your head. Then you have something to be grateful for each day.

Start with these simple things. As you keep this practice up you will find you want to add more and more things to be grateful for.

Don’t worry about buying fancy journals. Unless you want to. A simple notebook will do. You can also use an app like the Day One Journal. But nothing beats holding a pen or pencil in your hand and watching those words flow from your mind through your fingers and onto a page!

So write. The emotional impact of writing what you’re grateful for each day will create positive changes not only in your mental health but in your physical health as well.

Reflecting on the many blessings in your life might help soothe any unpleasant emotions, like anxiety or depression.

Benefits of a gratitude journaling practice

A 2009 study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology found that it takes an average of 66 days to form a new habit, and 18 to 254 days to make the behavior automatic. It goes without saying that in order for gratitude journaling to become natural for you, you will need to practice it regularly until it becomes second nature.

Here are several ways the regular practice of gratitude journaling impacts your mental health.

Gratitude journaling encourages healthy behavior in teens

Earlier this year, a study found that keeping a gratitude journal decreased materialism among adolescents and led to greater generosity.

 

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Gratitude boosts your mood

Gratitude is a powerful tool that can help you boost your mood and feel happier. And while it might seem like a simple thing, gratitude can also encourage you to be more connected to others and the world around you.

Daily gratitude practices couple with daily journaling is an excellent self care practice. It increases positive emotion which have a major impact on your overall health. [incl link to source]

And when it comes to dealing with negative emotions or stress, gratitude can really come in handy.

Gratitude helps you live in the present

Finding things to be grateful for ensures that you acknowledge the good in your life When you write it down, you’re able to focus on and truly feel the feelings of gratitude.

You might be thinking, “that sounds great and all, but I don’t want gratitude to be an obligation. If I have to write down what I’m grateful for, then it won’t feel genuine.”

But that’s the thing about gratitude: if you’re doing it right, it won’t feel like an obligation at all. Gratitude is a practice—not a destination. It’s not about the past or future; it’s about living in the present moment with intention and awareness of what you have in your life right now. And that can help focus your attention on all that is good in your life instead of being distracted by what isn’t going so well (or at least not as well as it could).

Gratitude makes you more optimistic.

When you’re grateful for what you have, it’s easier to see the positive in your life. You’ll begin to appreciate the good in others and yourself, and you’ll feel better about your situation. This can lead to feeling more optimistic about your future—you may choose to take on new projects or seek out opportunities that could lead to a brighter outlook on life.

 

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Gratitude helps you strengthen your relationships.

It’s one thing to be grateful for the good stuff in life, but gratitude can also help you connect with others. If gratitude helps you appreciate what’s around you and makes you feel more connected, it can also make it easier for others to feel more connected with you.

Here are some examples of how gratitude could strengthen your relationships:

  • When someone shares something they’re grateful for with an important person in their lives (like a spouse), this strengthens the relationship between them. What happens if that person stops sharing things? What happens if they don’t care about gratitude anymore? It’s not such a good thing then!

  • Gratitude can make even difficult people easier to relate to because it makes them seem more relatable (i.e., less difficult). If someone is always complaining about everything, complaining about nothing, or rarely puts anything positive out there at all—the fact that they’re willing to show appreciation for something means that maybe there are other ways in which we might get along too…

Gratitude helps improved self-esteem

Try not to dwell on feeling sorry for yourself or focusing on the negative aspects of your life. Challenges will come. Focus instead on your blessings and rejoice in the good things that have happened. Celebrate the wins!

Learning to be grateful for the good things in life helps you develop an attitude of thankfulness. Living with a low self-esteem can be really hard. Fortunately, studies show [include link to source] that boosting self-esteem can directly correlate to improving your outlook on life in general. 

In 2014, researchers published a study on gratitude. They discovered that grateful athletes trusted their teammates more. It turns out that their enhanced self-belief from feelings of gratitude caused them to trust their teammates.

Grateful people sleep better

Sleep is an essential part of your health, but it can be difficult to get the rest you need. Studies show that sleep deprivation can lead to weight gain, increased stress and depression, as well as a weakened immune system. In fact, one study found that insufficient sleep increased the risk of death by 28%.

Gratitude can help improve your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep at night. A study conducted by researchers at the University of California at Berkeley found that those who kept a gratitude journal reported falling asleep more quickly than those who did not write down their grateful thoughts before bedtime. This is because gratitude helps reduce anxiety and stress—two emotions linked with poor sleep quality—and increases positive moods such as joy and happiness.

Expert Tip! Keep your journal near your bedside and use the time just before bed to write down what you’re grateful for.

Gratitude improves your physical health

According to new research published by the American Psychological Association, giving thanks for the positive aspects of life can result in improved mental and physical health in patients with asymptomatic heart failure.

Gratitude is one of the most powerful ways to feel good, increase your happiness and improve your physical health.

As stated above, gratitude journaling helps you sleep better and reduce stress. Both can be a positive factor in improving overall physical health. Both stress and lack of sleep have been shown to contribute to weight gain, heart disease, memory loss, aging skin, and more.

In addition, Improve the immune system: According to University of California-San Francisco researchers writing in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology, “Individuals who have a strong tendency towards gratitude have higher levels of salivary immunoglobulin A (sIgA).” And according to Dr. Frank Lipman M.D., “Gratitude has also been shown to boost the immune system through an increase in antibodies that fight against viruses like colds or flu.”

Gratitude boosts your self-esteem and gives you a better perspective on life.

Gratitude also boosts self-esteem. When you’re grateful for what you have, it helps you see the good things in life.

  • You can learn to be grateful for what you have. Gratitude helps you appreciate the good things in your life, even if they are small.

  • Gratitude helps you see the big picture and not get stuck on the little things that don’t matter as much as they seem to at first glance (like a traffic jam on your way to work).

Gratitude journaling can make it easier to notice the good things in life, which is helpful for cultivating overall wellbeing.

The benefits of gratitude journals are clear. Here are a few reasons why you might want to keep one:

  • It’s a way to focus on the positives in your life instead of dwelling on what’s not going your way. If you tend to think that everything is terrible, or if you find yourself getting overwhelmed by negative thoughts, writing down what’s good can help remind you that there really is something good out there!

  • When we focus too much on our problems and struggles, it can be hard for us to see any other perspective besides our own—a gratitude journal allows us to get out of this rut by giving us opportunities throughout the day where we can reflect on all the things we do have going well in our lives.

Also available on Amazon

Want to give gratitude journaling a try? Get a free download of my 101-page My Gratitude Journal here.

Also, check out my free mini course The Grateful Life: Gratitude Journaling for Better Mental Health here.

Keep a gratitude journal to maintain a healthy mind

Gratitude journaling are a simple, effective way to keep the mind healthy and strong. As you go through your day, make note of things for which you’re grateful. The more you practice this, the more you’ll find that you have things to be grateful for.

Being grateful isn’t just a feel-good exercise; it’s actually good for our mental health. Studies have shown that people who express gratitude experience higher levels of happiness than those who don’t, and they also tend to be more generous toward others. In addition, people who maintain gratitude journals are less likely to experience depression and anxiety and have higher self-esteem than those who don’t.

Conclusion

The benefits of keeping a gratitude journal are numerous, and they extend far beyond the obvious ones. dIt’s hard to talk about the practice without discussing the many health benefits of this habit as shown in a number of studies.

Research shows that keeping a gratitude journal, writing thank-you notes and regularly expressing gratitude to others are effective ways to boost your well being.

By writing down what you’re grateful for every day—no matter how small or seemingly insignificant—you’re taking the time to notice what matters most in your life. You’re also cultivating an attitude that will help you be more positive overall, and that alone can have a profound effect on your health and well-being.

With all these benefits, it’s easy to see why gratitude journals should be an important part of everyone’s life—not just in helping them overcome depression or anxiety but also by giving them something to look forward to when times are tough. It may seem like only one small step toward improving your mental health, but if done consistently over time it can actually make a huge difference! So start today! Write down three things today that you’re grateful for

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