My earliest memories of journaling go back to my purple fuzzy diary and our white desktop computer in the basement of my childhood home. This is how I entertained myself, more often than playing with toys and riding my bike. So a gratitude journal is only natural for me to gravitate to as a release as an adult.
This is something I always thought about doing but never did. Then, when my therapist recommended it to me, I had to listen. As someone that is self-critical, my brain isn’t wired to see the good in things. But I’m also generally positive and reflective. These qualities compete with each other and make gratitude a challenge.
Continue reading to learn more about my experience when I took the advice to use a gratitude journal.
I Feel Lighter
I’m a logical and analytical person. Because of that, I tend to be more serious than I would like to be. This means things are mostly heavy, whether they’re good or bad. Since using a gratitude journal, I’ve been taking things less seriously and am more open to the fun stuff. I also think benefits like this have a ripple effect on my overall well-being, in conjunction with other steps I’m taking.
My Mood is Better
Having chronic pain alongside anxiety and depression can put you in a bad mood (shocker, lol.) Specifically, I’ve been feeling more like myself and less agitated. This is a relief to me and I’m sure everyone around me.
I’m not saying this doesn’t take a lot of hard work and that it always works, but the effort is worth it. And for the times when it doesn’t work, I’m able to be more gracious with myself because of the work I’ve already done.
I Can Sense my Frame of Mind Shifting
There was a point in my life where I was exactly where I wanted to be mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I don’t know how it happened, or exactly how I moved away from it, but my gratitude journal is helping me return.
As humans, we go through so many different things at once, and overtime, that shape our mindsets. I believe committing myself to a gratitude journal has allowed me to be in control of how my circumstances affect my life. And that is truly priceless.
Now that I’ve been doing this for more than a month, I can really feel the differences. When I’d usually get frustrated, discouraged, or negative, now my mind doesn’t naturally enable those reactions. Instead, I feel a quick and automatic pause as my mind rewires itself to be thankful.
Sometimes you need an outside perspective or to hear from someone else how something has made a difference. I hope I could offer that to someone with this post. And even if it’s not to use a gratitude journal, I hope it plays a part in moving you toward better self-care…whatever that means to you.