Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others

-Cicero

Keeping a gratitude journal has been proven to have positive impact on individuals. Unlike keeping a normal daily journal a gratitude journal requires just a few highlights from your day.

The benefits include*

  • Individuals exercised more regularly, reported fewer physical symptoms, felt better about their lives as a whole, and were more optimistic about the upcoming week.
  • Individuals more likely to have made progress toward important personal goals (academic, interpersonal and health-based).
  • With young adults-gratitude journaling resulted in higher reported levels of the positive states of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, attentiveness and energy compared to a focus on hassles or a downward social comparison (ways in which participants thought they were better off than others).
  • Individuals who kept gratitude journals were found to help others who had personal problem or offered emotional support.
  • With neuromuscular disease, keeping 21-day gratitude journal resulted in greater amounts of high energy positive moods; a greater sense of feeling connected to others; more optimistic ratings of one’s life, and better sleep duration and sleep quality*.

How to keep a gratitude journal

Each night before you go to sleep write down five items that:

    • make you happy or
    • have made you happy

These can be anything from small to big things e.g.

  • “Had a great meal”
  • “Saw Alice and Tim”
  • “I have two lovely kids who I love”
  • “The sun was out today”
  • “I helped a lady cross the road today”

You will repeat some of the items, but what is important is keeping that feeling fresh and alive.

Happy Journaling

* Research by Emmons and McCullon.