BRAIN HEALTH | 12.18.2017 | BY ABBIE ELDRIGE, MS, CCC-SLP
There are many benefits to practicing gratitude. As Heidi shared in her Community Story post on 12.16.17, keeping a gratitude journal has been a positive component of her healing.
“I started writing a gratitude journal during my recovery. Five things I am grateful for each day. It’s a simple way to reflect, and I find that on bad days it helps me remember all the little blessings I have in life, like a hug from a friend or listening to a favourite song.” (Heidi V.)
Why is keeping a gratitude journal beneficial? Researchers believe that writing down your reflections (or even saying them aloud) makes you more aware of your thoughts, resulting in a deeper emotional impact than just the act of having positive feelings.
The following are suggestions to help you begin or enhance your journaling practice:
- Bring intention to the process. Make the decision to celebrate gratitude before you start writing.
- Focus on the meaning of what you are grateful for rather than the number of items that you write down.
- Write 1-2 times per week. Though some people prefer to journal daily, studies suggest that writing less frequently may have a deeper impact.
If journaling doesn’t feel like the best fit for you, there are lots of other ways to feel and express gratitude, including pausing and paying attention to the positive influences in your life or thinking about someone who has made a difference in your day.
“Thank You”, Heidi, for sharing your personal story and this valuable lesson with the LYB Community!