12 Comments

  1. Rose

    This is a wonderful series. Some people may think that such things as keeping a gratitude journal is hogwash and doesn’t work. Not so. If you feel thankful, write it down, as it may be good for your health. I take that back. Not May Be but definitely.

    There’s a growing body of research on the benefits of gratitude. In a new study, high school students who were asked to keep gratitude journals also reported healthier eating. And I know that whenever I stop to dot things that I’m grateful for I feel a lot better, and often get out of whatever is weighing me down. Thanks for this nice post.

    • Hello Rose,
      Thanks for sharing the study on high school students and gratitude journals. I think the results make sense. If you take the time to be grateful for all the healthy foods that are available to you, then you’re likely to make healthier choices when it comes to eating. Also, if gratitude spreads to the other aspects of your life that can only make you a happier person. Thanks for checking in.

  2. Todd

    Very interesting and welcome post with all the negativity that sometimes seems to be around us. Consider this, there was a time when it made sense as a survival tool for us to prepare for bad things to happen. Writing a daily journal is powerful because it helps us combat the human tendency to fixate on the negative. Author Hara Estroff Marano writes, “Our capacity to weigh negative input so heavily most likely evolved for a good reason—to keep us out of harm’s way. From the dawn of human history, our very survival depended on our skill at dodging danger. The brain developed systems that would make it unavoidable for us not to notice danger and thus, hopefully, respond to it.” Your post made me think of this interesting aspect of human development. At one time our progress depended on ours looking our for things that could harm us and thus we had to avoid in our environment. Now our happiness and survival may depend on us understanding what we should be grateful for, and one of the best ways to do that is write it down.

    • Hello Todd,
      Very well said, and I love the point you make of how humans have evolved so that what was once needed for survival and progress is now considered a hinderance. Going it alone may have at one time been the best way to ensure our own survival, but more and more we are learning that a connection to community and one’s environment offers a better way to overcome challenges and achieve happiness. Thanks for checking in.

  3. Emily

    I have a dear friend who keeps a gratitude journal and every night she writes down at least five things that happened during the day for which she is grateful. She inspired me to begin doing the same, and I’ve found that this simple practice keeps me focused on what is positive in my life. Yap, gratitude journals work.

    • Hi Emily,
      Writing a gratitude journal is a great way to focus on what you have already been given rather than on what you don’t have. This is, as you point out, an effective way to remain positive. Thanks for sharing your story.

  4. Christine

    Today I was in my room and I was grateful. I took a few minutes to reflect in my gratitude journal how luck I am. I live in an apartment. It’s not big, but it’s currently home and cozy and it makes me feel safe. I spend a lot of time there. I don’t know what it feels like to not have a safe space, and I know there are many out there who don’t have that. A place to call their own. I want them to have similar rooms to go to–especially after the brutal cold spell that most of the country just went through. Thanks so much for sharing your compassion.

    • Thanks for the kind words, Christine. The great thing about a gratitude journal is that it forces us to think about all the things that we take for granted. Thanks for checking in.

  5. Baldwin

    This is an excellent post. I have to admit that at first I was a bit confused as to how a gratitude journal fits with chronic illness such as chronic back pain. But this makes perfect sense because so many people with a chronic illness are using a gratitude journal to help them overcome their negative mindset. A very insightful post that I hope a lot of people, especially those who may be depressed because of constant pain, get to read it.

    • Those who have followed my site know that I have written lots of posts about managing chronic back and other related pain. Well, I’m a big believer of the mind–body connection when it comes to dealing with the stress of daily pain. A more positive state of mind often results in faster recuperation. Thanks for checking in.

  6. Frank

    I used to thing that things like gratitude journals were just feel good gimmicks that didn’t really do anything–just a placebo. I’m happy to say I was wrong. I came across a blog post of a women with chronic illness and how using a gratitude journal played a huge role in helping her overcome her negative mindset. Since than I have done more research and I am now convinced that gratitude journals work. In fact, I started doing one myself and I can see the difference it has and is making. I am a more positive person. Keep passing the good vibes. I will make it a point to come back to your site.

    • Don’t feel bad, Frank. A lot of people have underestimated the healing power that counting your blessings can have. This is one of the reason decided to write a series on gratitude. Thanks so much for sharing how using a gratitude journal has helped you.

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