There is no lack of research on the healing power of gratitude journaling. According to a 2014 study published in the Journal of Applied Sports Psychology, gratitude journaling increased athlete’s self-esteem, an essential component to an athlete’s optimal performance. Other studies have shown that gratitude journaling reduces social comparisons. When we are grateful, we are less likely to experience feelings of envy and resentfulness towards people who appear happier, more accomplished, and apparently have better jobs than we do (especially while scrolling on our social media pages). This drastically reduces our self-esteem. When we are grateful, we are truly happier for other people’s successes and accomplishments.
For years, research has shown that gratitude journaling can help our mental state by reducing stress and panic attacks. But, new studies show that gratitude can help foster resilience in post-traumatic events such as the terrorist attacks on September 11. Even in the most traumatic events, we can find something for which to be thankful. It can help us find meaning and help us build our own resilience.
Studies have also shown that gratitude increases happiness, enhances empathy, reduces depression and aggression, improves relationships, and promotes better sleep and overall health. So if there is overwhelming research on the positive effects of gratitude, why don’t we practice it more?
We can all cultivate gratitude by simply taking a few moments to focus on what we have and not on focusing on what we don't have, and how we deserve more. If we want to improve our general satisfaction with life, we ought to practice gratitude journaling on a daily basis.
Let me share what I practice daily that I believe helps me develop an attitude of gratefulness.
MY DAILY GRATITUDE ROUTINE
Write at least 3 things you are grateful for.
Write at least 3 affirmations (read My Affirmation Tree).
Write at least 3 things you did well that day (or a previous day).
Write at last 3 small joys you have experienced that day.