It’s part overthinking social media, and part being in the doldrums at the start of the year, but I’ve been consumed more about the things I don’t have, than the things I have. How awful is that? I have so much, but I often don’t recognise it as often as is fair, nor do I give thanks for it enough.
On a recent run, a woman told me that she had downloaded an app called Gratitude journal – private diary & daily quotes (available on Google and iTunes), and that she was using it daily to acknowledge things to be grateful for, and for a dose of positive affirmations.
I downloaded the app, and I can’t say that it’s changed my life (yet), but it’s helping me acknowledge my abundance, and daily small-big things like the rain, and great wifi at home. As we all know, thoughts are powerful, so if you choose the more positive ones rather than the negative ones when you can, well, that makes a significant difference.
I’ve set up the app to get a reminder once a day to chart what I’m grateful for, and in the morning I get an affirmation.
One could of course easily keep a gratitude journal and write in it every day, but I quite like this method – it’s convenient, there are prompts, and heck, I’m on my phone all the time anyway. One of the many cool features of the app is that you can send gratitude letters to people in your life – I haven’t done this yet, but I will.
According to the app, keeping a gratitude journal and being thankful for small little things could have tremendous benefits on your quality of life.
Many therapists recommend keeping a Gratitude journal to help us calm our anxiety, manage stress, have a better and deep sleep, improve our focus and concentration, break addictive habits and improve mindfulness levels at work. Research reveals Gratitude has significant benefits:
1. It opens the door to more relationships. Taking a moment to thank people and relations that matter to you definitely goes a long way to increase our happiness levels.
2. Improves physical health. Lower levels of stress and mindful about surroundings including mindful eating improves physical strength.
3. Improves psychological health. Gratitude directly impacts well-being, increases overall happiness and reduces depression.
4. Enhances empathy and reduces aggression. Gratitude enables us to forgive and forget grudges or negative people, helps control our anger.
5. Grateful people sleep better. Expressing and writing grateful thoughts before sleep leads to better and quality sleep.
6. Improves self-esteem. It’s human nature to complain about things that we lack or compare ourselves with another. Gratitude makes it easy to let go of unwanted things and builds our esteem and confidence.
7. Gratitude makes us more mindful and increases mental strength. Gratitude not only reduces stress, but plays a major role in overcoming trauma.