Sometimes people can get overwhelmed by the negativity in their lives despite plenty of sunshine and daisies outside. The problem with these cycles of sadness is they can become permanent fixtures in your personality library, meaning that it becomes challenging to experience any day without noticing its negative characteristics. While such an evolution sounds tragic, there is a straightforward practice you can incorporate in your day to improve mood and stave off pessimism: a gratitude journal.
Gratitude journals are only about accentuating the positives in your life. The best part, it's only a 15-minute practice. If you are not sure such a journal is right for you, consider the following five advantages.
1. Improves Self-Esteem
While it might sound strange, taking the time out of your busy day to acknowledge the good in your life can improve your self-esteem. When people spend too much time focused on everything wrong in their lives and the world, it is easy to begin thinking introspectively in the same way. Suddenly, the things you feel are flaws in your attributes get accentuated and hard to ignore, even when everyone else sees you as beautiful.
By writing and focusing on all that is good in your, the opposite happens. You see the positives, and any of those supposed flaws become an afterthought, a spec on an otherwise beautiful existence.
2. Creates a More Optimistic Worldview
In the same way that a gratitude journal can help you focus on positive attributes and bolster self-esteem, it can also broaden and create a more optimistic Worldview. If you surround yourself with everything ugly, concentrating purely on discouraging news, the positive stories and influences become buried and challenging to uncover. By writing for 15 minutes a day about things that you are thankful for, that make you happy, you begin to rewire your brain to find more of those feel-good things. In a way, gratitude becomes like an addiction, but with positive effects.
3. Reduces Stress and Anxiety
Most of the time, stress and anxiety are amplified when people focus too much on the negatives or problems they are facing in life. By shifting focus to positive experiences and feelings, your problems begin to take up less space in your head, and you begin to calm down and enjoy living.
In a way, a gratitude journal is meant to overwhelm your brain with positivity. It helps you psychologically push negative thoughts and emotions out of the way to make room for happiness and motivation. While gratitude will eventually make you a more joyful and relaxed person, it is a process and requires deliberate practice.
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4. Improves Quality of Sleep
Many people feel that nighttime is the worst time for worry and anxiety. Their homes are quiet, with nothing but their thoughts to fill the void. Unfortunately, it doesn't take long for work or relationship problems for many people to start bouncing around in their heads.
A good way to silence these problems is through journaling. Instead of watching TV or browsing the social media rabbit hole before bed, spend 15 minutes with your gratitude journal. Spending that time with positive thinking can make sleep more comfortable and more sound.
5. Makes You Happier
What a gratitude journal comes down to is positivity. By focusing on the good in your life, you can become a happier and more fulfilled person.
Do you use a gratitude journal? If so, how has it affected your mood? Leave a comment below.