NOTE: This is a pre-written post in which I was able to include the prompt.
I’m a firm believer in gratitude, even for negative events that happen to me because I usually learn a lesson from them, and I’m grateful for that. Most nights, I carve out a few minutes of my time to post on the Daily Gratitude group in the free Insight Timer meditation app (I know I keep mentioning this app — I swear they aren’t paying me!). I started in October, and it only takes a moment.
The nice thing is that I’m able to see all of my own posts by clicking on a link if I want to review what I’ve been grateful for since I began my gratitude practice. That way, I don’t need to write them down in a journal, as well. Not that there’s anything wrong in keeping a paper gratitude journal. I just don’t have enough shelf space in my home!
My gratitude journal keeps me grounded, and reminds me of the things that are important to me, both positive and negative. And it wasn’t until I started keeping a journal that I realized that negative events or people can have positive impacts. I prefer to post the things for which I’m grateful at night rather than in the morning, so I can review how my day went. Some people do it in the morning.
What you post or write down doesn’t have to be profound. Sometimes I’m grateful for various flavors of handcrafted caramels from a local candy store! But I always begin by stating that I’m grateful for being alive, and my family. (For an example of what I might post in my journal, see my Thanksgiving post.)
“The 31 Benefits of Gratitude You Didn’t Know About: How Gratitude Can Change Your Life,” from the Happier Human blog, does a better job than I have of explaining why gratitude is important. Here are the 31 reasons:
- Gratitude makes us happier.
- Gratitude makes people like us.
- Gratitude makes us healthier.
- Gratitude boosts our career.
- Gratitude strengthens our emotions.
- Gratitude develops our personality.
- Gratitude makes us more optimistic.
- Gratitude reduces materialism.
- Gratitude increases spiritualism.
- Gratitude makes us less self-centered.
- Gratitude increases self-esteem.
- Gratitude improves your sleep.
- Gratitude keeps you away from the doctor.
- Gratitude lets you live longer.
- Gratitude increases your energy levels.
- Gratitude makes you more likely to exercise.
- Gratitude helps us bounce back.
- Gratitude makes us feel good.
- Gratitude makes our memories happier.
- Gratitude reduces feelings of envy.
- Gratitude helps us relax.
- Gratitude makes you friendlier.
- Gratitude helps your marriage.
- Gratitude makes you look good.
- Gratitude helps you make friends.
- Gratitude deepens friendships.
- Gratitude makes you a more effective manager.
- Gratitude helps you network.
- Gratitude increases your goal achievement.
- Gratitude improves your decision making.
- Gratitude increases your productivity.
In the post, these reasons, beginning with #7, are divided into categories: Personality, Health, Emotional, Social, and Career. Some of them seem a bit far-fetched, but the author goes into detailed explanations and provides infographics and links to science-based studies for each one. It’s worth checking out!
Do you keep a gratitude journal?