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How are you feeling? How gratitude journaling can help transform our thinking

At the moment a lot of us may be feeling flat, it’s January, Christmas is over and we are still very much having our day to day lives affected by covid. January can be a long month at the best of times and these are certainly times that have there own unique set of challenges.

Writing a daily gratitude list can help refocus our minds from the stuff that we can’t change or we aren’t happy with to the positives that are in our lives already. Working on gratitude and being grateful can have a positive affect on both our mental health and physical wellbeing.

Gratitude journaling can:

Lower stress levels

Make you more aware of what you are grateful for in your life

Make you feel calmer and more grounded

Make you more aware of the good things that you are happening in your life

Make you learn more about who you are

Make you realise what or who you value in your life

Draw more positive and good opportunities to you.

Change your mindset

First thing in the morning can be a good time to write your gratitude list as this can help to re-frame your day, focusing on the positives and feeling grateful rather than being weighed down by the negatives right from the outset. Or just before bed is another good time to write your gratitude list as it can help to make you feel calmer and get a more restful nights sleep. Making a commitment to writing your list at a certain time also helps with keeping the commitment that you have made to yourself and helps create a sense of ritual. Whenever you are able to make time to write your list it is a great practice to incorporate into your life.

You may wish to buy yourself a gratitude journal or notepad so that you have special dedicated place to record your gratitude list and cultivate a feeling of gratefulness. On harder days it also gives you something to look back on, all the things that you are grateful for.

Your daily gratitude list doesn’t have to be long, start with a list of 5 things and if that’s hard perhaps write 3 things that you are grateful for and build from there, no pressure and no judgment, be kind to yourself. Or the list of what you are grateful for may freely flow and you might wish to write everything that you can think of that you are grateful for, do what feels right for you.

A few examples that you could choose to add to your list are:

Where you live

Your health

Your family

Your friends

A special someone

Any pets that you have

Your job

Being able to go outdoors for a walk or a run

Having set aside this period of time to reflect on your life and what you are grateful for

Anyone that you are grateful to, maybe they helped you in some small way or maybe in a much bigger way.

The smell and taste of that first cup of coffee in the morning

Being able to hear the birds singing

The view from your bedroom window

A yoga pose that you have mastered

Our brains have a tendency to focus on the negatives so by actively practicing gratitude on a daily basis we can help to retrain and refocus our minds, after all we have the power to create our own reality.

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