I have been practicing gratitude journaling for the last 3 months and in this post, I am going tell you how it changed me!
My gratitude journaling practice goes like this — I wake up in the morning and after a quick fresh up, I sit at my desk with a cup of coffee and open my journal and write 3 things which I am feeling grateful for at the very moment. This practice has helped me to change my overall attitude towards my life, my work, and the people around me.
I felt the need for this practice because I observed myself becoming a person with more of a negative vibe. But few years back, I was the guy who emitted tons of positive vibes! During that time my friends and colleagues enjoyed talking to me a lot. So many times, they just wanted to talk to me to come out of their negative moments or thoughts.
I committed to doing whatever I can to become that guy with a positive vibe once again. Out of all the things I tried, one habit which showed enormous result is “Gratitude Journaling”. It took many trials for me to get it right and I am writing this post, hoping that I might be of some help to someone out there who is trying to figure out the exact same thing.
In 1978 a research was conducted to find how an individual's happiness is affected when they win the lottery v/s not winning the lottery v/s being paralyzed in an accident. This gave a mind-blowing result that, winning the lottery did not increase happiness as much as others thought it would and the catastrophic accidents didn’t make people as unhappy as one might expect. Their happiness remained almost at the same level.
If you like to read more about the study, here is the link.
“One’s internal happiness is the basis for all of the external happiness.”
So how to increase one’s internal happiness? The answer is you don’t need to work on increasing the internal happiness, all you have to do is bring your happiness which you already have into focus, consciously.
Gratitude Journaling helped me a lot. Here are three ways it affected me -
- Setting the direction for my thoughts.
Every morning, I wrote three things I am grateful for before I do anything else. I did not stress out myself to write this, I never tried to write something very profound, all I did was just write three things which I felt grateful for, at that very moment. I wrote about being grateful for my coffee, morning whether, a good night’s sleep, being healthy, and sometimes profound things just came in.
Starting my days like this slowly changed my neural pathways and when my mind wanders it just finds things I am grateful for! Sometimes because of this simple habit, I would be feeling grateful and happy the entire day.
2. Sweet and happy emotions
We might think our thoughts and emotions are different but they are not. One’s thought directly affect one’s emotion. If you have happy, content thoughts you will feel happy. If you have nasty thoughts, you will feel irritated or angry.
The only difference between emotion and thought is that thought can change it’s direction faster than emotion. If you are able to generate sweeter emotion early in the day, most often your entire day would be sweeter!
3. Slow and solid progress in the level of happiness
Day by day, there is a little increase in the level of happiness inside of me, most of the days I do not have a reason to be happy but I am just happy. I can call this solid progress because if I can’t practice gratitude journaling for a day or two in between I am not falling back to older thought patterns. My thoughts would still run in the new neural pathways of me being grateful for something.
I would easily recommend Gratitude Journaling to everyone. I would say try it for the next 30 days and let me know in the comment how it worked for you? Or if you are already practicing it share your tips!
I hope this post helped you in some way! I wish you all happiness.
Take care. Stay safe, wear a mask. (Until we get a vaccine!!!)