It's digital detox time! What is gratitude journaling? How is it beneficial and most importantly how is it practiced?
What is Gratitude Journaling?
To understand gratitude journaling and its benefits, it's first necessary to answer the question: what is gratitude?
Simply, gratitude is the quality of being thankful and appreciative. So really gratitude journaling is taking time to reflect and write down things that you feel thankful for.
This helps you to focus on positive people, things or moments in your life, that you might otherwise take for granted somewhat.
One thing we can all agree on is that most of us need some downtime from our screens, and what better way to practise this than to take out your journal and pen and start putting thoughts on paper?
What are the benefits of gratitude journaling?
Studies by positive psychologists (people who study happiness) have found that practising gratitude regularly can significantly improve your mental wellbeing. Simply, it helps you to feel more positive emotions, and by doing so build up mental resilience against negative situations. Additionally it is also shown to open the door to more relationships, enhance empathy and altruism, and reduce aggression. Also, as a healthy mind = a healthy body, practising gratitude is beneficial for your physical wellbeing too, and improves sleep.
How to practice gratitude journaling
The great thing about gratitude journaling is that it is relatively straightforward to practice. Normally it’s writing down three to five things that you feel grateful for on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. It’s not recommended to try and practice every day because it can become either too much of a chore, or too “normal”, and diminishes the effectiveness.
According to a research by a professor at the University of California, Davis, these are the top tips for getting the most out of gratitude journaling:
- Be mindful and prepare mentally for the task. Taking the conscious decision to become more thankful and happier increases the efficacy of journaling. Rather than rush through, take time to prepare before opening your journal and open yourself up to it.
- Go for quality over quantity. Focusing on a small number of things, 3-5, in detail is more beneficial than a long list.
- People over things. It’s found that focussing on people you are grateful for is more impactful than things you are grateful for. Also, let them know!
- Try subtraction as well as addition. Try to imagine life without certain people or things rather than just adding them up.
- Savour surprising moments as these invoke stronger feelings of gratitude.
- Don’t overdo it. As mentioned above, it’s best to limit to once or twice per week.
What to use to gratitude journal
Gratitude journals come in all shapes and sizes. There are digital apps as well. We’re grateful for nature, especially trees, which is why we developed our range of stone paper notebooks, pocketbooks and journals. They’re made without any trees, harmful chemicals or water.
Stone paper also has magical properties: it's waterproof, tear resistant and wrinkle free. And it's a dream to write on! Check them out here.