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We all want to live happier and more fulfilled lives. Today I want to share a simple little tool with you that can help with this endeavor. It’s a gratitude journal and it can be a powerful way to increase how you feel about yourself and what you do. If becoming a happier and more content person is one of your personal self-improvement goals, this is something you’re going to want to try.

The Power Of Gratitude

Why does gratitude have such a beneficial effect on our health and mental well-being? Study after study shows that when we spend time contemplating the things we are thankful for, we increase our level of contentment. But it goes deeper than that. Practicing gratitude has been shown to lower blood pressure, and even reduce physical pain and anxiety. The end result is that we feel better all over. In addition, practicing gratitude helps us focus on the positive. It’s nice to review the good things that are happening to us on a daily basis. Our brain tends to have a negative bias. This means that we’re more likely to remember and think about negative thoughts and events. Gratitude helps us bring balance by focusing our thoughts and intentions to the positive.

Why Write In A Journal? 

We’ve established that becoming more grateful is good and something that can help us increase our overall happiness. The question now is how can we make it a regular habit. That’s where the journal comes into play. It’s a physical reminder to focus your thoughts each day. Get in the habit of writing three things you’re grateful for. This could be done first thing in the morning, or as part of your evening routine. Find a time and place that works for you and make it a daily habit. When we vow to think about something grateful every day, it’s easy to forget or do it without real effort. Writing it down focuses our thoughts and makes us really think about the people and things we’re grateful for. You can’t jot down a fleeting thought. You have to put some effort into formulating it. The physical act of writing it down enforces the thought and makes it stick out in our memories. You’ve experienced this fact when you’ve written down a grocery list and forgotten it at home. It’s much easier to remember the items on it when you’re at the store than if you’ve been trying to compile a mental list.

Last but not least, keeping a gratitude journal creates a lasting record of everything you have to be grateful in your life. It’s nice to go back and read some of your past entries. After a few weeks of writing in it regularly you have a powerful and lasting proof of everything good and positive. It will be a great resource to lift your mood and increase your contentment on days when it’s hard to feel happy otherwise.