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The New Stress Reliever

 

 

Stress is something that absolutely everyone has experience with. Whether it be an unfortunate test grade or bombing a job interview, we often find ourselves focusing on the negative events in our lives. It’s easy to get caught up in wondering about where we went wrong and we eventually start forgetting what it feels like to be truly happy.

 

 

This is where a Gratitude Journal comes in.

The main premise behind a Gratitude Journal is to remember the moments in your life that you feel grateful for, thus reminding you that there are still reasons to be happy.

So put your obsession with cute stationary to work. It’s easy, fast, and functional.

 

How To Start

Make It an Event

    You only need to write an entry once or twice a week. That’s it. In fact, research by psychologist Sonja Lyuomiersky and her team shows that journaling any more than that has a regressive effect. If we write down every single moment, then our brains learn to adapt to these happy events, thus making them less impactful.

Quality Over Quantity

    It’s always better to focus on the quality of your entries rather than the amount of entries. Etching out the details of a few grateful events helps you appreciate the events even more and it strengthens the emotions tied to them. This technique also aids in memory retrieval once you look back on the journal on a rainy day.

Focus On People

            Focus on the people that make you grateful rather than inanimate objects. This allows a shift from focusing on materialistic cravings to strengthening interpersonal relationships. So, the subject of your happiness is less oriented on things and more oriented on your friends and family. This helps you create a more long-term positive environment as objects are easily broken whereas people are not.

 

 

At a school like Carnegie Mellon University it’s easy to start questioning your place there. I recently started my own Gratitude Journal after finding out about my less than stellar results on my first round of midterms. You can imagine how much I began doubting my academic abilities and how many negative thoughts swirled around in my head.

However, my Gratitude Journal helped keep me sane. By forcing myself to look at the positives of my week, I allowed myself to look past numbers on a page. This pushed me to focus on the future and on how to improve my abilities.

My Gratitude Journal became my new stress reliever, and I’m much happier because of it.           

 

 

Shreya is a sophomore at Carnegie Mellon University. She is pursuing a major in Economics and Statistics and an additional major in International Relations and Politics. She is a Chapter Correspondent and contributing writer for Her Campus. Shreya loves all things makeup, Marvel, dogs, public speaking, and speech writing.
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