Welcome to Gratitude Week Day 5! Hope you had a great Thanksgiving, enjoy this last day of gratitude inspiration!
Today, we’re talking about one of the easiest ways to cultivate gratitude in your life that’s also the easiest- gratitude journaling. In just 5 minutes or less a day, taking a quick note or two about why you’re grateful is not only a way to reconnect and decompress, but an easy, fast way to create a journaling habit you’ll actually keep.
Sound good? Read on…
The art of journaling is something most of us wish we’d do, but rarely make time for. Journaling, or even any act of writing something down, sends powerful signals to the brain to create memory and reroute habits. When you write something down, it not only makes a mental note, but the physical act of writing triggers something in your noggin to help you better retain and interact with the intentions being placed on paper.
I rarely find the time to paper journal any longer, but one thing I absolutely love doing is to take 5 minutes a day and take notes on gratitude. While journaling can be time consuming and sometimes only be a way to let out intense emotions; fear, anxiety, anger or elation, gratitude journaling is far less intense, but just as meaningful.
Gratitude journaling is done daily, in less than five minutes and involves taking bulleted notes of why you’re grateful. It’s intended to be simple, but cataloging your intentional gratitude is a powerful way to live intentionally and ground yourself in the moment.
Many of us pine away at what we “should” have or what we “shouldn’t” have done. Often, journaling is a way to cope with the “shoulds” of life. By contrast, gratitude journaling is here, now and what “is.” You simply take a moment to look around and write it down.
Over the years, I’ve had several gratitude journals. The idea was given to me by a dear friend and mentor of mine, Margaret, who is a cancer survivor and the best “Mary Kay lady,” I’ve ever met. Even through life’s ups and downs, she radiates gratitude and as she coached me through some personal hardships of my own (such as the caring for and loss of my dear Gram, transferring college and a devastating breakup all within a few months), she instilled in me the notion that to get through life’s storms, you must be anchored in gratitude.
Perhaps, that’s why when I went through some more turbulent personal times earlier this year (the loss of my mom, quit my job and got engaged in a very emotionally charged 7 days… story here) I was able to sail through it with less personal suffering. Life will bring you pain, that is true- but what I’ve learned through gratitude is that there is a difference between pain and suffering. Pain happens, suffering (especially the prolonged kind) is a choice. For the sake of not being preachy, I will admit I’ve done plenty of self-inflicted suffering, belly aching, whining and blaming in my day- but thankful for me I have great mentors and patient friends.
Despite your busy schedule, taking 5 minutes a day for gratitude is do-able. You can put a small notebook by your bed, I got mine for about $1.99 at Target but any little blank book will do. When you wake up in the morning, or, what I prefer, before going to bed- jot down a few bullet points of gratitude down. You can set your standard to be 1 a day, a 5 or a full page, do whatever you feel will be easy to make a habit and go for it.
So in less than 5 minutes a day, 5 quick notes of gratitude (or 1) is quite a special way to reconnect and document your life.
Do you keep a journal? Have you ever kept a gratitude journal?
Be Sure To Check Out Other Participating Bloggers For Great Content This Week!: