My 3 Best Ways to Level Up in LIfe with a Gratitude Journal
Keeping a gratitude journal helps you to quiet the noise and busyness from your daily life. It's a beautiful way to focus on your blessings, reflect, and celebrate how far you've come.
When you choose to focus on gratitude, even for just a few minutes each day, you will see that it has a profound effect on your life. It can train your brain to release more "happy chemicals," help you sleep better, and release your anxiety. But that’s just a few of the benefits you’ll enjoy.
Keep reading to find learn more about why maintaining a daily gratitude journal practice as part of your self-care routine is a must if you truly want to level up and enjoy more satisfaction in your life.
Life-Changing Benefits of Using a Gratitude Journal
Your mindset determines how you experience yourself and the world around you.
It is the thing that makes people either shrink themselves to go unnoticed or makes them feel confident enough to fully express who they are without apologies.
From the way you eat, to the things that make you laugh, to the way you love, everything about you and the way you live your life beings and ends with your mindset.
So, if you want to change something in your life, your mindset is the best place to start.
Want to shift to a more positive, abundant, and loving mindset? Writing in a gratitude journal is a fairly quick and simple way to achieve your goal.
Here are some examples of how:
1. You learn how to accept love and support.
I was raised to be independent to an unhealthy extent. I would err on the far side of choosing my own suffering over allowing someone who truly loved and supported me to help me in my times of need.
When I started reflecting on gratitude, I began to feel more worthy of receiving good things. This is because my daily gratitude journal practice gave me the space to acknowledge that I've always been loved and cared for, even when I felt like I was alone.
Gratitude showed me that I can accept kindness without being perceived as weak. And letting kindness in won't bring out the worst in people (You know, folks saying you owe them?) as I thought before.
The people who love me want me to call them when I'm down, the same way I want them to call me. It feels good knowing that you can give advice or make your loved one laugh when they need it.
And while I still pride myself on being a badass independent woman, I now know how to work smarter and not harder.
My life is a lot more balanced now that I'm allowing that energy to flow both ways.
2. You feel more motivated and capable of reaching your goals.
Most of us don’t take the time to celebrate ourselves and our accomplishments. There’s a sense of guilt and the word “selfish” comes up a lot when this idea is presented.
Celebrating yourself isn’t dirty or shameful. It boosts your self-esteem, shows you your strengths and capabilities, and motivates you to keep moving toward your goals. It can even help you to feel more confident and take action in situations where you were once afraid and stagnant.
So, make sure you’re looking both inward and outward when you’re writing in your gratitude journal. And make it a point to include things that you are grateful for within yourself.
What you write can range from being proud that you showered today or that you kicked ass during an interview for your dream job. Seriously, nothing is too big or too small!
Having “proof” that you’re doing an amazing job and sitting with those feelings while journaling can pay off big time. When I started writing these celebratory gratitude journal entries, I was excited to go to bed just to see what I’d accomplish the next day.
More importantly, I felt more motivated, confident, and powerful than I ever had.
3. You can overcome your negative thought patterns and stop worrying so much.
Everyone has some kind of trauma from a situation where they felt emotionally or physically hurt and out of control. And with these experiences, it’s totally natural to do whatever we can to avoid them from happening again.
This is why it’s so common to fall into repetitive loops of negative thoughts and worry, even when there isn’t a real-life threat present. When you are in a situation like this, your daily gratitude journal practice can ground you in the present moment where you are safe by giving you an opportunity to observe the facts of your situation.
After living through an abusive childhood and carrying abandonment issues, depression, and codependency into my adulthood, I became a magnet to heartache and bad relationships.
And although I spent two years healing myself and letting go of my old bad habits before we met, I still felt freaked out by how easy, kind, and drama-free my current boyfriend is. I had also become a closeted commitmentphobe.
He didn’t display any shady behavior and there weren’t any red flags in sight, but I still insisted on waiting for the other shoe to drop until I started to wear myself out from being so on edge.
So, I journaled. I wrote about the things that were happening in my relationship from one day to the next and I realized that I was pretty much writing gratitude essays.
There was nothing wrong. I was just writing about how I was afraid of this sweet, attentive, supportive man, who consistently put in the effort to show up for me.
He is the equivalent of a puppy that magically produces cupcakes. What is there to fear?
My paranoid, flighty, behavior was replaced by calm confidence shortly after I started this particular gratitude journal exercise. Because whenever I did it, I was given several reasons why this relationship is completely different from my past ones.
I had proof sitting in front of me, written in my own words from my real experiences and it all told me that I was loved and safe.
I developed a firm grip on logic after that. I accepted reality instead of fighting an enemy that didn't actually exist.
Our relationship has significantly improved now that I’m present and fully involved. I’m able to appreciate him and express that appreciation without needing to write it down.
How to Find the Best Gratitude Journal for Your Journey
The best gratitude journals for women have unique inspirational designs that showcase your individuality and need for self-expression.
They are small enough to toss in a bag for easy travel so that you can carry your favorite self-care tool with you wherever you go. Because let's be real, you never know when you will feel inspired to write out what's on your heart. And it would be a shame to wait until you've gotten home to your gratitude journal to try and recapture a feeling that passed hours before.
On that note, you will also want to make sure your gratitude journal is durable. I don't know about you, but my bag can get cluttered and paperback books have been known to get a little bent.
Another thing to consider when choosing the best gratitude journal is how you plan to dive into your gratitude journey.
For example, you can buy a great gratitude journal for women that allows you to simply fill in the blanks or respond to a writing prompt. These are perfect when you’re in a rush and you want to get your daily dose of gratitude in.
Then, there are gratitude workbooks that will guide you through your gratitude journey as a beginner.
The most important piece of advice I can give when it comes to picking the best gratitude journal is to take your personality into consideration before you choose one.
For example, I know that I'm a free spirit and the way I practice gratitude journaling will change depending on my mood. So, a preset template would cause more harm than good in my gratitude journal journey.
Since they are usually structured for gratitude lists or a few short sentences each day, I would regularly run out of space and feel frustrated.
I don't want to be confined to a short gratitude list when my spirit is calling me to write a gratitude essay or self-love note of gratitude.
Also, I know that digging into my feelings and cultivating more self-awareness is always a goal of mine. So, I naturally write longer journal entries as a result.
If you relate, a blank-lined gratitude journal for women with a fun cover will be more your speed.
The spiral-bound gratitude journals I designed for my store have plenty of blank space for you to freely express yourself. Plus, the covers are both durable and super cute, with gratitude affirmations on the inner front cover as not to disrupt your writing space.
No matter which option you choose, try to commit to making writing in your gratitude journal a daily self-care practice. And when you do, thank yourself for making your happiness a priority.