Dos and Don’ts of Keeping a Gratitude Journal

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gratitude journalIf you don’t already have one, now is the perfect time to start a gratitude journal. Taking just five minute per day to write about what you’re grateful for can increase your long-term wellbeing by more than 10 percent, according to researchers.

And if that’s not enough to convince you, studies also show that participants who keep a gratitude journal

  • Spend more time exercising
  • Sleep more and better
  • Have less physical aches and pains
  • Bounce back from stress easier

Making gratitude a daily practice is great for your recovery, helping to make friends and deepen existing relationships, reduce feelings of envy, increase optimism and spiritualism and make you more likely to seek social support in times in need.

Here are a few guidelines to help you get started.

  • Do savor every word. Keeping a gratitude journal shouldn’t feel like another chore. In fact, experts say that just making a list of things that make you feel grateful should make you feel grateful!
  • Do have fun with it. Get creative and include everything from lists, to inspirational quotes to photos – or whatever helps remind you of the good in your life and the world.
  • Do give it time. Try it for at least three weeks and then decide if it works for you. After all, it takes 21 days to form a new habit, according to experts.
  • Don’t obsess over the right timing. While journaling at the same time each day (in the morning or before bedtime, for instance) can help you to turn this practice into a habit, it’s okay to just write down a joyful experience straight away. This may even help to reinforce the feelings of gratitude you felt.
  • Don’t just go through the motions. Similarly, don’t force yourself to write in your gratitude journal because you think you should. Try to be thoughtful and truly feel what you write.
  • Don’t be too regimented. Try to find a healthy balance that works for your life – whether you fill a page one day and only write a sentence or two the next.

Grateful for Beautiful Boulder Valley
Credited for its scenic views, thriving college community and 300+ days of sunshine, Boulder’s charm is unparalleled. NorthStar Transitions gives clients easy access to bus lines, bike trails and a vibrant recovery community where sober adults can reinvent themselves. To learn more about our programs and services, call us today: 303-625-6335.

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