Gratitude can change your life forever!
| The Benefits of Keeping a Gratitude Journal
Honestly, when I first began to write down my joyful experiences, I was going through one of the darkest times of my life. I was living with a toxic person in a city far away from my loved ones, I had no money and I had health problems as well. One day as I was walking to the train station from work, I came across a second-hand book store and decided to go inside to take a look around. I found a copy of the book "The Secret" by Rhonda Byrne.
As I flipped through the pages, I read little extracts promising life-changing transformations through the power of positivity. I had nothing to lose, so I decided to buy the book and give it a go. As I absorbed the book over the following weeks, I came across a part where the author suggests writing down things to be grateful for everyday. I decided to give it a try, and every morning I would wake up a little earlier and write down everything I could think of that I had to be grateful for.
The more I thought about it, the more I could see that there was so much to be joyful about. I had a roof over my head, a bed to sleep in, a wonderful and kind boss and a job that I enjoyed. These were big and stable factors in my life, but the day to day happenings started to become more apparent as I kept up my practice of writing down the joys. Things like seeing a rainbow, or meeting an interesting person in passing became more meaningful.
In time I began to notice that there seemed to be more and more joy to be found. I was still experiencing all of the same struggles, and yet my outlook on the world had changed. I would get excited and inspired more easily, and even grocery shopping became a time where I would experience amazement and wander at the discovery of an exotic-looking vegetable.
Writing down your joys everyday is a life changing practice. You don't have to write a whole list like I did, you can begin by just writing down one or two things to be grateful for each day. It is not time consuming, it is a quick and easy practice that can be done in any spare moment. Keeping focused on the positive promotes a grateful and enthusiastic attitude in life, and helps to keep us motivated. Even when times are tough, this little ritual can help to combat depression or a sense of hopelessness by reminding me that it is not all bad!
Our repeated thoughts and behaviors form pathways in the mind. It's encouraging to know that we can re-route these pathways with mindfulness. Basically, we are able to rewire our brains to create new habits and more helpful thought patterns. With repetition of any thought, we can turn neural pathways into neural highways where thoughts and behaviors flow naturally. The scientific word for this phenomenon is Neuroplasticity.
Keeping a gratitude journal, even if you only spend 5 minutes a day writing in it, will positively affect all areas of your life including: relationships, work, health, emotions and your personal aura. In fact, gratitude has been scientifically proven to improve long term well-being by 10 percent! Research has found that it has the same effect on health and happiness long-term as doubling your income would!
When we experience hardship, it is very easy to slip into the illusion of thoughts that accompany unpleasant emotions. Maintaining a positive perspective can help to get us through anything. We cannot change the things that happen to us, but we can change the way we react to them. They say that life is what you make of it, so it is your choice to see the glass as half empty, or half full.