Guest blog by: Katherine Boller
Sometimes putting yourself first can feel selfish, and even more so when you are a parent (that mom guilt is real!). But, just like any other person intent on improving themselves and their world I realized that I need to prioritize myself. One way I found to do this was to start journaling – more specifically journaling gratitude.
Journaling your gratitude is exactly what it sounds like – making space for writing about what you are thankful for daily. Some days are tougher than others, especially when you’re feeling down, but there is always something to be grateful for – be it a good friend, the sunset, a good book, or hey, even that journal you’re writing in.
Why consider a gratitude journal?
Before we get into the how, it is important to share the why. It may be hard to start journaling, especially if it is not a habit you have practiced before.
Consider these benefits:
- Gratitude can increase long-term happiness by 10% and decrease depression by more than 30%.
- Gratitude can improve physical health.
- Gratitude can improve sleep.
- Gratitude can improve relationships.
First, pick a journal, whether it is a physical notebook or an online app, it should fit you! It does not have to be lined paper; it could be a photobook or sketch book if you are more inclined to draw or photograph your gratitude. And if you would like, go ahead and add your why to the front page of the gratitude journal. It may add motivation on those days when things seem tougher than normal.
Next, pick a time that you can build it into your daily routine, and reserve that for your journaling. Remember it may take a couple of weeks to build it into your routine fully, and it is just as important to make sure your pre- and post-journaling routine aligns well for you. If that doesn’t work, switch it up until you find a time or routine that works! There is no requirement that it needs to happen at a certain time of day.
Once the journaling gratitude habit is established, enjoy reflecting on your journal! It is easy to reference your gratitude to lift you up from a particularly hard day, or when you are reflecting on your growth over time.
For those of you out there that are already journaling what benefits do you get from establishing this in your daily routine?