A little self-help tip!
It’s no secret that this year has been hard on everyone physically, mentally, and financially. There’s no denying that everyone has felt some type of stress since the beginning of the pandemic. Mental health overall has seemed to deteriorate due to isolation in multiple lockdowns, and it’s hard to stay motivated. Some of life’s little complaints or everyday inconveniences seem to have grown into huge burdens. There is excess stress and anxiety over things that didn’t seem as stressful before, but that’s normal. It’s only human to go through ups and downs. So, whether you suffer from anxiety or you’re just feeling a little low, I found through research and personal experience a self-help tip that can help pick you right up.
A Gratitude Journal!
A gratitude journal is pretty self-explanatory. You keep a daily log of things you are grateful for. Start by naming at least three things you’re grateful for every day and watch your mood change for the better! This practice of gratitude and recognizing your blessings allows you to take stock of your life and come to realize you’re luckier and more blessed than you think! Often, when we are feeling down, it’s because we let negative thoughts rule our day causing us to moan and grumble about everything. What if we stopped and listened to the things in life we do have?
“I’m tired today”
How about saying – ‘I’m grateful I woke up this morning’.
“I can’t be bothered with work”
How about saying – “I’m grateful I have a job”
How about saying – “I’m grateful for another day alive, what will I do with my day?”
These are just a few examples of everyday complaints. Some of us don’t even realize it, but we wake up daily with these tiny bits of negativity that can cause us to have a bad day.
Research shows many benefits of gratitude. The first obvious benefit is positivity! Paying attention to what’s good in your life will improve your outlook on each day. Gratitude journaling also increases your psychological well-being. It can help with depression, anxiety, and it even reduces envy. Whether we like to admit it or not, we all get jealous of other people’s lives from time to time. But when we focus on the good in our own lives, we stop caring about what others have. Taking inventory of what you are grateful for can also improve your relationships. Improving and taking care of yourself enables you to care for those in your life better. When you’re grateful, you become grateful for the people in your life too and start to treat them better which in turn fuels their gratitude as well.
There are many ways you can record your gratitude – you can be as creative as you like. The most common way is to journal, but you could say it out loud, paint it, or draw it. This is not a cure-all, but it is something everyone can practice to keep life’s disappointments in perspective.
After personally practicing gratitude journaling, I noticed my mood improve. I realized how much I actually had. My days would typically start with the usual…”Urgh, I can’t be bothered with work, I’m tired, I ate too much last night, I feel fat in these jeans, my friends are annoying from time to time, I have nothing to wear tonight, I wish I had more money,” and so on, but this was soon to change. I logged all my thoughts – this made the gratitude list easier. I’d turn each moan into a positive. Then after a few days, I would add more positives about things that I’d not even complained about. Eventually, I was grateful for everything – waking up each morning, taking a warm shower with clean water, having food on the table, going to work, and even hanging out with my sometimes ‘annoying’ friends.
My gratitude journal taught me that in life, it’s the little things that matter! Even if you’re not a writer, say it! Sing it! Draw it! Think it! Whatever works for you, try it out.
After writing about my blessings every day, I became grateful for everything. I felt more positive, more productive, and saw everything in a different light. It gave me the motivation to start seeking out the little everyday things that I had wanted to try before like experimenting with new coffee orders in the morning or taking a walk around my neighborhood. I started waking up in a happier mood. I began to feel, show, and share how grateful I was every day, and that’s why I wanted to share it with you. I am forever on a mission to make people’s days a little brighter!
I hope you have a grateful day today!