Staying Thankful After Thanksgiving with a Gratitude Journal

   With the holidays coming up, we hear a lot more about being grateful during November and December. The holidays sometimes can lead us to focus a little too much on materialism and gift-giving, btu they also remind us to be grateful for our family, friends, and everything that the year has brought us.

   Throughout this year, I’ve learned a lot about journaling and mindfulness (defined as “the practice of being aware of your body, mind, and feelings in the present moment, thought to create a feeling of calm”) through different Instagram accounts, books, and online articles. A regular practice of mindful people, I’ve learned, is to keep a daily log of the things that they’re grateful for. In these so-called ‘gratitude journals’, people list things both small and large that they are thankful for everyday.

   The things you write in your gratitude journal can be minor, like being thankful for the new shoes you bought, a nice waitress at a restaurant, or a pretty sunset. Or, they can be more serious, like being thankful for having a family that will always love you and the opportunity to go to college. Our minds can sometimes choose to focus on the negative parts of our days that cause us stress instead of appreciating the small things.The journal is simply supposed to remind you to take into account all the blessings in your life and recognizing all that you have.

   According to Psychology Today, identifying the things you’re grateful for on a daily basis “can increase well-being, health, and happiness”. It can also make you feel more positive and help you document the good things that are happening around you and appreciate what you have instead of worrying about what you don’t.

   Challenge yourself to take gratitude beyond just the week of Thanksgiving and incorporate it into your life year round. It may seem tedious, but something that takes only a minute out of your day can have a big impact in your daily outlook and positive levels. 

Sources:

“Definition of ‘Mindfulness’ - English Dictionary.” Cambridge Dictionary, dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/mindfulness.

“Gratitude.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/ gratitude.