Mental Health Benefits of Gratitude Journals
At some point in their life, many people will face a mental health crisis. Perhaps it is the stress from a separation or divorce, anxiety from a move, starting a new school or new career, the challenges of new parenthood, grieving the loss of a loved one, or the discovery of a scary health diagnosis. There are numerous ways we can tackle a crisis to make our entire well-being a priority. But one method that not nearly enough people speak about is gratitude.
Gratitude, or a feeling of thankfulness, can instantly and dramatically change your mood. Ashley, Creator of Faithfully Planted explains,”Choosing to be grateful for any part of a negative experience makes it better. This perspective shift of finding a positive outcome in a negative situation makes what we have been through and endured worth it.”
When one is feeling grateful, it is shifts our focus to all that we do have instead of what we don’t have. It leads to being more generous, energized, empathetic, and resilient.
And while you can easily think about all of the things you are thankful for, one idea we love in our practice is when clients write them down in a journal.
Here are some of the mental health benefits of keeping a gratitude journal:
It Helps Us Feel Valued
When we recognize how many blessings we have been given, it is natural for the perception of our own value and worth to increase. As Ashley states, “Trading pity or worry for gratefulness can combat stress, anxiety, depression, comparison, isolation and can even improve your sleep.”
It Minimizes Negative Behaviors
As I mentioned, when we are focused on the positive, it is almost impossible for us to think about the negative aspects of our lives. This focus on positivity translates into better choices and behavior. We become kinder as well as more empathic and generous. These new ways of feeling and being continually perpetuate goodness coming into our life. And the new cycle continues.
It Helps Motivate Us
When we allow ourselves to feel grateful, we begin to feel more and more inspired. This newfound inspiration ignites our inner passion and motivates us to become our best selves.
We can remember God’s Goodness
Scripture is full of verses that tell stories of people giving thanks to God. Not only do we have great examples of gratefulness, but the Bible also points us to all the reasons we can give thanks, even in hard seasons. By writing Bible verses in our journal and memorizing them we can remind ourselves of God’s goodness all throughout the day and when challenges come along.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.
We cannot recommend gratitude journals enough. We have seen them perform wonders in our clients’ lives. If you need some help getting started on your gratitude journey, get in touch with us. We would love to discuss more how gratitude journals, counseling and life coaching, may be able to help you with the challenges you are facing.