I’m always looking for simple and enjoyable ways to improve my wellbeing, and keeping a gratitude journal is a favourite. The easiest way to start is the Three Good Things exercise, which will bring you significant benefits for just 10 minutes a day. Why not try it for a week and see if it makes any difference?’
At the close of every day for the next week, write down three things you’re grateful for that day, briefly explaining why they happened. Writing these three things down is essential: Doing it on your computer or smartphone is OK, but handwritten is better. You can include small, everyday events or important milestones: You might include something as simple as enjoying the sun’s warmth on your face or the smell of freshly ground coffee. Of course, it’s OK to count more than three good things but keep to that as a minimum every day.
The hardest thing about this exercise is remembering to do it, so take a moment to think about a time that will work for you. Some people find writing the three things just before bed helpful: It’s a lovely way to end the day and help put you in a positive frame of mind for sleep.
To give this exercise the best chance of having a positive impact, stick to these guidelines:
“1. Start with a title (e.g.,” Beautiful Day” or”Compliment from my Colleague”).
2. Write down what happened in as much detail as possible: Where were you? What did you do or say? If others were involved, what did they do or say?
3. Take a moment to recall how you felt at the time and how this event made you feel later – including now, as you remember it. You might like to spend a moment or two savouring the memory.
4. Write down what you think caused this event – why did it happen? Even if it’s something as simple as enjoying the sunshine, something or someone enabled you to be out and about on a lovely day.
5. Let your writing flow naturally, and don’t worry about grammar or spelling. Detail is good, but go with whatever comes in the moment.
6. You might find yourself getting drawn into worries or uncomfortable feelings. If that happens, gently bring your mind back to the memory of that joyous event and the good feelings that came with it. This might take some effort at first, but it gets easier with practice and can make a real difference to how you feel.
Keeping a gratitude journal is a simple yet profound practice that can bring significant positive changes in your life. Regularly reflecting on what you’re grateful for will nurture a positive mindset, reduce stress, improve relationships, and enhance your overall emotional wellbeing. So, find a journal, set aside some time each day or week, and start experiencing the transformative power of gratitude.