By neglecting aspects of gratitude, or reasons to be thankful, in your life you could be jeopardising your own mental wellbeing, psychical health and overall happiness levels.
Gratitude is a vaccine, an antitoxin, and an antiseptic. —John Henry Jowet
Firstly, what is gratitude or gratefulness?
To quote a Harvard Medical School study, “Gratitude is a thankful appreciation for what an individual receives, whether tangible or intangible”.
But what’s the trick?
The trick to feeling content with life is to reap the benefits that practising the acknowledgement of gratitude and love. As Joshua Becker says from Becoming Minimalist, “A content heart is a simple heart… Gratitude opens the door to simplicity”.
Last week I published a post discussing how spring cleaning can be the answer to a simplified or minimalistic and therefore, happier lifestyle. It’s an active choice that you must make.
Finding gratitude and love in a world that is so negative might seem difficult. But you can actively seek it and choose to live a life full of gratitude.
I’d recommend four decisions that everyone is able to make/think about:
- Appreciate what you have and don’t focus on what you don’t have. You’ll never find true gratitude in materiality but in emphasising moments and memories over things. Don’t be picky, instead just learn to embrace, enjoy and utilise what you’ve already got.
- Learn to recognise that there will always be someone worse off than you. One suggestion of mine would be to share your sense of gratitude around with others, such as volunteering.
- Seek thankfulness in the bad times – it’s easy to remember the good but in times when life might be treating you not-so fairly, it’s even more important to focus on times or moments of happiness. It will be these moments that get you through. You must try to find contentment in your challenges.
- Always remember that you are no more or less than the person sitting beside you. We are equal and you should seek comfort in that fact.
Being glad about what you have is a difficult concept to master; but once you’ve figured it out, your life satisfaction will be increased.
Thanking yourself seems like an odd practice but it really does work; because “…With gratitude, people acknowledge the goodness in their lives. In the process, people usually recognize that the source of that goodness lies at least partially outside themselves” according to the Harvard study on gratefulness.
As a result, gratitude also helps people connect to something larger than themselves as individuals… In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships… Harvard Medical School.
So what’s the secret to locating feelings and recognition of gratefulness, love or self-appreciation?
My answer is bullet journaling.
Keeping a journal is great for mindfulness and personal mental wellbeing. It helps to clear your head as well as organising your life and setting forth future plans. However, a bullet journal is a useful tool for creating a gratitude log/diary. It means that your thoughts, feelings and day’s activities become committed to paper; they serve as a reference point for the future when you are feeling down.
I’d recommend journalling every-single day but that is not essential. Simply referring back to your journal weekly or once a month is worth doing. All you need to do is write down your positive thoughts or happy events from your day/week/month. Whilst committing your ideas to paper, you are able to think them through and reflect on that which made you feel a sense of happiness.
Here are some bullet journal gratitude log ideas to help you on your way:
Hopefully, you have been inspired to start showing gratefulness in your bullet journal or at least embracing gratitude in all aspects of life.
Don’t forget to leave a comment below containing all your ideas for fulfiling gratitude in the comments below!
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