Gratitude in 5 Simple Steps, Revisited
One of most difficult thing that you may struggle with is finding joy and increasing long-term happiness. That’s why we’re visiting one of our more popular blogs, and one I often find myself pointing clients too. Gratitude is often the key to longterm happiness and joy. You may not realize it, but by focusing on positive experiences in your past, you’ll be better able to create more posivite experiences in your present. That was the subject of this blog way back in 2017. We’ve decided to revisit and update it, as a lot can happen in four years.
5 SIMPLE STEPS ON HOW TO CREATE A GRATITUDE JOURNAL AND INCREASE YOUR HAPPINESS LONG-TERM
Building and holding onto the positive emotions about your past is a vital aspect of building your happiness today. Normally, your tendency as a human being is to focus on your past with an eye to what has gone wrong, not worked, or has been unfulfilling. It’s easy to fall into that trap. However, you get more of what you focus on in life. Therefore, when you focus on regrets and negative experiences, you experience more negative emotions and unhappiness.
Gratitude Journaling is a strategy for training your mind to focus more on the good things and what is working well in your life. This not only builds more positive emotions about your past, leading you to feel happier and more fulfilled in the present, but it also opens your mind to new ways of thinking about and remembering all aspects of your past. In addition to all of that, it gives you more hope and optimism about the future. So without any further ado, here are the five simple steps you can take to begin gratitude journaling NOW to increase your happiness.
SIMPLE STEP #1
Find Your Spot.
It is essential to have a quiet, reflective place to go daily. It’s important to make that spot something special for yourself, so you know you can go to it whenever you need a moment to be reflective. This spot could be a comfortable chair in a quiet room, a favorite place in nature, or at your favorite coffee shop or cafe. Your spot will allow you to focus and reflect on the past day and once you find it, you’ll know it’s the perfect spot for you.
SIMPLE STEP #2
Get a notebook or journal.
This is where you will record your thoughts about gratitude. Writing down the things for which you are grateful will amplify them in your mind and provide you a record of all the blessings in your life. Whenever you need to lift your mood, you can review your journal and you will be reminded of all these good things. Over time, you might even try personalizing it with stickers, drawings, or little notes to yourself.
SIMPLE STEP #3
Take 15 Minutes every 24 hours to reflect on the past day, noticing only the good things small or big. Use your mind’s eye to go back through your day seeing, hearing, tasting, and feeling those good moments again. If challenging or unhappy moments come to your mind, you can briefly notice them, decide what you can do to change them tomorrow, and let go of the things you can’t change while focusing only on what moves you forward.
SIMPLE STEP #4
Write in your journal at least three good things for which you are thankful. Maybe it’s having a confidant and best friend. Maybe it’s your health. Be specific and detailed. Then, reflect on what caused them to happen. If it was something you did or have control over, then you can create these good moments again by doing more of that thing. If it was out of your control, then you can thank God again for the blessing.
SIMPLE STEP #5
Repeat this exercise daily. Through repetition, you will begin to create new neural pathways in the brain that lead to a habit of noticing the goodness in your day. After one month, review your journal and identify three major blessings in your life. This will help you to be more aware of how your life is improving and how God is working in your life.