(For those of you who did not see the original post of what a gratitude journal is and how to keep one, click here to learn more.)
I have spent five minutes a day for the past three weeks, sometimes first thing in the morning and other times at the end of the day, making a list of at least five things for which I was grateful for that day (or the previous day). I have come to the conclusion that YES, it is worthwhile and unbelievably beneficial to keep a gratitude journal, and I will continue to keep up with it.
One thing I have considered while keeping this gratitude journal is whether I need to write an entry everyday. After the first two weeks of daily entries, I was feeling happy and centered, so I thought perhaps I didn’t need the daily gratitude journal entries. However, just after Easter, I hit a slump for a couple of days. The excitement of preparing for the family get-together was over, so I had to work through re-setting my brain for the normal grind of day-to-day living. During these days, I noticed I had to dig deeper find a list of five things for which I was grateful.
Feeling “back to normal” after a day or two, I realized it was my positive reinforcement – the gratitude journal – that helped get me there. Not only did I spend a few minutes each day focusing on that which I was grateful for, but I also had a reference to what made me feel good over the past several weeks. On the “down days,” I flipped through my gratitude journal in search of what made me happy only days earlier. Knowing this helped remind me of things I should add into my daily or weekly activities to keep my spirits up.
After this three-week experience, I would recommend that it is important to keep a gratitude journal everyday. Life will always have ups and downs, and most difficult is our ability to predict these ups and downs. Additionally, when we are down, it is tough to remember how to lift ourselves out of the slump. Spending just five minutes a day assessing that which we are grateful for can only do good. Again, it is only FIVE minutes a day!
For those of you who have joined me on this journey – thank you and good for you! If you are seeing this post for the first time, I hope you decide to start a gratitude journal of your own.
If you have kept a gratitude journal, please feel free to share with us your experience in the comments section.