14 Benefits of Practicing Gratitude (Incl. Journaling) (2023)

14 Benefits of Practicing Gratitude (Incl. Journaling) (1)The health benefits of expressing gratitude are many, and some might surprise you.

Scholars, spiritual leaders, and scientists throughout history have deliberated on gratitude. More recently, the scientifically-validated benefits of gratitude are better understood.

Through the work of leading researchers like Robert Emmons and Martin Seligman, we know that this virtue is more than just saying, “thank you.”

Numerous studies are demonstrating how gratitude journaling can increase one’s happiness. Others show that inflammation in one’s body can decrease. Each study offers insights into how a person can improve their overall health and wellbeing.

Throughout this article, you will discover that expressing gratitude reduces stress, increases optimism, and changes your brain.

Before you continue, we thought you might like to download our three Gratitude Exercises for free. These detailed, science-based exercises will help you or your clients connect to more positive emotions and enjoy the benefits of gratitude.

This Article Contains:

  • What are the Benefits of Gratitude?
  • A Look at the Research on Showing Gratitude
  • The Effects Gratitude Has on Health
  • Proven Advantages of Keeping a Daily Gratitude Journal
  • The Benefits of Gratitude in the Workplace
  • 16 Things You Can Do to Realize These Benefits
  • A Take-Home Message
  • References

What are the Benefits of Gratitude?

The Greater Good Science Center offers a plethora of information on this subject. In a white paper titled, “The Science of Gratitude” (2018), they outline several benefits to gratitude practice.

For the individual:

  • increased happiness and positive mood
  • more satisfaction with life
  • less materialistic
  • less likely to experience burnout
  • better physical health
  • better sleep
  • less fatigue
  • lower levels of cellular inflammation
  • greater resiliency
  • encourages the development of patience, humility, and wisdom

For groups:

(Video) The Science of Gratitude

  • increases prosocial behaviors
  • strengthens relationships
  • may help employees’ effectiveness
  • may increase job satisfaction

Emmons & Mishra (2011) explored many of the above benefits in “Why gratitude enhances wellbeing: What we know, what we need to know.” They concluded that there is “considerable evidence that gratitude builds social resources by strengthening relationships and promoting prosocial actions.” As you continue reading, you will discover more support for making gratitude a habit.

A Look at the Research on Showing Gratitude

Showing gratitude is not merely saying, “thank you.” Wong and Brown (2017) asked how gratitude affects us mentally and physically. Their study involved assigning students into three groups:

Group one wrote a gratitude letter to another person every week for three weeks. Group two wrote about their thoughts and feelings about negative experiences. Group three didn’t write anything. All three groups received counseling services. Group one reported “significantly better mental health four and 12 weeks” after the intervention ended.

Their findings also suggest that a combined gratitude practice/counseling approach is more beneficial than counseling alone.

The researchers analyzed their findings to figure out how gratitude has these effects. They determined that gratitude does four things:

  1. Gratitude disconnects us from toxic, negative emotions and the ruminating that often accompanies them. Writing a letter “shifts our attention” so that our focus is on positive emotions.
  2. Expressing gratitude helps us even if we don’t explicitly share it with someone. We’re happier and more satisfied with life because we completed the exercise.
  3. The positive effects of gratitude writing compound like interest. You might not notice the benefit of a daily or weekly practice, but after several weeks and months, you will.
  4. A gratitude practice trains the brain to be more in tune with experiencing gratitude — a positive plus a positive, equal more positives.

Their findings echo research done by Emmons and many others.

Bartlett & DeSteno (2006) found there is a positive relationship between kind, helpful behavior, and feeling grateful. In, “Gratitude and prosocial behavior: Helping when it costs you,” they discuss this connection in great detail. Throughout three studies they determined,

  • Gratitude facilitates helping behavior,
  • Grateful people help the people who helped them (benefactors) and strangers similarly, and
  • Reminding people who helped them (a benefactor) still increased helping behavior exhibited toward strangers. The reciprocity norm wasn’t a factor.

Dickens and DeSteno (2018) found an association between self-control (patience) and gratitude. Grateful people delay future rewards to a higher degree than ungrateful people. The researchers point out that this has implications for more than one’s finances. Increasing levels of gratitude also could help people positively affect health-related behaviors.

Counterpoints

Not all the research supports positive outcomes. Sansone & Sansone (2010) highlight four studies that “temper the association between gratitude and wellbeing.

In, “Gratitude and hedonic and eudaimonic wellbeing in Vietnam war veterans,” Kashdan and colleagues (2006) found that trait gratitude had a relationship with wellbeing, but only among participants with PTSD. Trait gratitude is defined as “an enduring personality characteristic that describes or determines an individual’s behavior across a range of situations” (APA, n.d.).

Researcher Patricia Henrie (2006) explored the affects daily gratitude journaling has on wellbeing and adjusting to divorce. The study included middle-aged women, all of whom belonged to and practiced the beliefs of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS).

In “The effects of gratitude on divorce adjustment and wellbeing of middle-aged divorced women,” Henrie found that participants in her treatment groups experienced no improvement in life satisfaction.

Sansone and Sansone (2010) write that participants in Ozimkowski’s 2007 study wrote and delivered a letter to someone in their lives whom they’d never thanked. The study titled, “The gratitude visit in children and adolescents: an investigation of gratitude and subjective well-being” revealed that writing and delivering a gratitude letter did not enhance well-being among children and adolescents.

Ozimkowski’s dissertation, cited by 14 other researchers, was unavailable at the time of this writing (Google Scholar, n.d.).

(Video) The Science of Gratitude & How to Build a Gratitude Practice | Huberman Lab Podcast #47

Gurel Kirgiz (2007) investigated whether experimentally-induced gratitude influences affect and temporary self-construal. The results, outlined in “Effects of gratitude on subjective wellbeing, self-construal, and memory” suggest that state gratitude does not have a relationship with wellbeing, but that trait gratitude does. State gratitude is defined as one’s present or current level of gratitude.

Robert Emmons (2010), the preeminent scholar in this field, makes the argument that gratitude allows a person to:

  • celebrate the present
  • block toxic emotions (envy, resentment, regret, depression)
  • be more stress-resilient, and
  • strengthen social ties and self-worth.

Gratitude research is on-going by experts worldwide.

When gratitude fails

As easy as gratitude is to put into practice, there is one thing that can get in the way of it ‘going viral:’ Ingratitude. Emmons (2013) offers the following characteristics of ingratitude:

  • excessive sense of self-importance
  • arrogance
  • vanity
  • unquenchable need for admiration and approval
  • sense of entitlement

Some might recognize these as traits describing a narcissistic personality. Philosopher David Hume (1739) wrote, “Of all crimes that human creatures are capable of committing, the most horrid and unnatural is ingratitude.”

Researcher Thomas Gilovich (2017) describes ingratitude as the result of “adaptation, dwelling on negatives, and skewed perceptions of hardships.” In Enemies of Gratitude, Gilovich explains how and why these three experiences interfere with one’s ability to express gratitude. In addition to this, he offers ways to combat these enemies.

The Effects Gratitude Has on Health

According to Julie Ray (2019) of the Gallup Organization, “The world took a negative turn in 2017, with global levels of stress, worry, sadness and pain hitting new highs.” How can this trend change for the better? Research demonstrates that one way is through practicing gratitude.

The following studies demonstrate the affect gratitude has on one’s mental and physical health.

  • Writing a gratitude letter and counting blessings had “high utility scores and were associated with substantial improvements in optimism” (Huffman, Dubois, Healy, Boehm, Kashdan, Celano, Denninger, & Lyubomirsky, 2014).
  • Gratitude letter writing leads to better mental health in adult populations seeking psychotherapy (Wong, Owen, Brown, Mcinnis, Toth, & Gilman, 2016).
  • Gratitude buffers people from stress and depression (Wood, Maltby, Gillett, Linley, & Joseph, 2008).
  • Positive reframing underlies the relationship between trait gratitude and a sense of coherence. A sense of coherence is how confident a person feels about potential life outcomes. It is the degree to which a person feels optimistic and in control of future events (Lambert, Graham, Fincham, & Stillman, 2009).
  • Patients who expressed optimism/gratitude two weeks after an acute coronary event had healthier hearts (Huffman, Beale, Beach, Celano, Belcher, Moore, Suarez, Gandhi, Motiwala, Gaggin, & Januzzi 2015).
  • Gratitude and spiritual wellbeing are related to positive affect, sleep quality, energy, self-efficacy, and lower cellular inflammation (Mills, Redwine, Wilson, Pung, Chinh, Greenberg, Lunde, Maisel, & Raisinghani, 2015).
  • Gratitude may enhance peace of mind, reduce rumination, and have a negative effect on depressive symptoms (Liang, Chen, Li, Wu, Wang, Zheng, & Zeng, 2018).

If a person could do only one thing to increase their health and happiness, expressing gratitude might be it. Martin Seligman, a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, has remarked, “when we take time to notice the things that go right – it means we’re getting a lot of little rewards throughout the day” (BrainyQuote, n.d.).

Every time a person expresses or receives gratitude, dopamine releases in the brain. Dopamine, a neurotransmitter, is produced in two areas of the brain: the substantia nigra and the ventral tegmental. The former has to do with movement and speech, the latter with reward (Carter, 2009). When a person expresses or receives gratitude, dopamine releases, thus making a connection between the behavior and feeling good.

The more a person practices gratitude, the more often dopamine releases.

Proven Advantages of Keeping a Daily Gratitude Journal

One of the most popular gratitude exercises is the daily gratitude journal. One study found that materialism among adolescents decreased when they implemented this practice. Participants also donated 60% more money to charity (Chaplin, Roedder John, Rindfleisch, & Froh, 2019).

Fritz and colleagues (2019) learned that after completing a gratitude writing exercise, state gratitude predicted healthier eating behavior among undergraduate students. In a second study, they found that a weekly gratitude letter was associated with better eating habits. The teens in this study also experienced fewer negative emotions during the intervention period, which spanned four weeks.

Gratitude journaling might reduce inflammation in people who have experienced Stage B, asymptomatic heart failure (Redwine, Henry, Pung, Wilson, Chinh, Jain, Rutledge, Greenberg, Maisel, & Mills 2016). In a study titled “Gratitude journaling intervention in patients with Stage B heart failure,” Redwine and colleagues (2016) piloted an 8-week gratitude journaling intervention.

(Video) How To Keep A Gratitude Journal | Think Out Loud With Jay Shetty

Compared to standard treatment, the intervention group also experienced an improvement in trait gratitude scores.

There is conflicting research about how often a person should journal. Sonja Lyubomirsky and colleagues (2010) found that once or twice per week is more beneficial than daily journaling.

The Benefits of Gratitude in the Workplace

People spend more time per week working than with their families (OECD, 2019). Since this is the case, it is vital that people work in healthy, supportive environments. Instilling and expressing gratitude is a simple way companies can increase employees’ job satisfaction.

Some employers and employees are hesitant to engage in formal gratitude practices. In response, researcher Amie Gordon (2019) identified Four myths about being grateful at work. She outlined the truths about gratitude revealed through scientific inquiry.

The myths and truths are:

  • Myth #1: It’s forced.
    Truth: Participants assigned to “be more grateful” are more satisfied, healthier, and happier. People enjoy gratitude interventions even when told to practice it.
  • Myth #2: It’s fake.
    Truth: Expressing gratitude when it is felt matters. Being specific about what one is grateful for heightens the experience for both people.
  • Myth #3: It’s fluffy.
    Truth: Gratitude is about feeling valued by others and seeing value in others. The majority of employees will leave if they do not feel appreciated and recognized.
  • Myth #4: It undermines authority.
    Truth: Grateful leaders inspire trust. They are perceived as having more integrity.

There is no denying that many workplaces or specific jobs induce stress. How can expressing gratitude help?

Focusing on events at work about which one is grateful reduces stress and depression (Cheng, Tsui, & Lam, 2015). In their study titled, “Improving mental health in health care practitioners,” 102 practitioners were divided into three groups:

Group 1: Wrote a work-related gratitude journal 2x/week for four consecutive weeks
Group 2: Wrote about work-related hassles 2x/.week for four consecutive weeks
Group 3: No diary

The researchers collected information about depressive symptoms and perceived stress at baseline, posttreatment, and during a 3-month follow-up. Those who wrote a work-related gratitude journal experienced a decline in stress and depressive symptoms when compared to the other two groups. Groups two and three were nearly the same as each other.

How to implement gratitude company-wide

Cultivating gratefulness at work can be a challenging undertaking, but professor Ryan Fehr (2019) has Three research-backed tips for a grateful workplace. They are:

  1. Build a gratitude habit (rituals, practices, etc.)
  2. Draw from many resources (appreciation programs, interventions, helping others, others helping us, building skills, etc.)
  3. Guard against negative emotions (envy, excessive pride, and anger)

Charles Schwab & Co. is an example of successfully implementing a company-wide gratitude program. Diana Jason explains how the company put gratitude to work. As you will hear, the leadership had already focused on employee recognition but wanted to take things further. They decided to shift from milestones and metrics to valuing people. Pay particular attention to her description of their appreciation portal.

Do gratitude programs really make a difference at work?

Cultural differences

Floyd and colleagues (2018) argue that much of the research around gratitude has two flaws:

  1. It is focused on English-speaking and Western-European populations, and
  2. Current research conflates gratitude as an emotion with it as a linguistic activity.

The researchers assert that social reciprocity still occurs despite cultural differences in expressed gratitude (saying ‘thank you’). In other words, one need not say ‘thank you’ to have a sense of reciprocity. They conclude that:

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Despite the attitudes encountered in some cultures that emphasize saying ‘thank you’ often, such practices do not appear to be necessary for the maintenance of everyday social reciprocity.” When conducting studies with English-speaking or Western European populations, researchers should “use caution when coming to species-wide conclusions based on such populations.”

16 Things You Can Do to Realize These Benefits

These suggestions adapted from Sansone & Sansone (2010) and Emmons (2010) are easy to do daily or weekly.

  1. Journal about things, people, or situations for which you are grateful. Consider including negative situations like avoiding an accident, for instance.
  2. Think about someone for whom you are grateful
  3. Write a gratitude letter to someone for whom you are thankful. Consider sending it or giving it to them in person.
  4. Meditate on gratitude (present moment awareness).
  5. Do the “Count Your Blessings” exercise (at the end of the day, write down three things for which you were grateful)
  6. Practice saying “thank you” in a real and meaningful way. Be specific. For example, “Thank you for taking the time to read this article and leave a comment. I enjoy reading your contributions because they broaden my understanding of this subject.”
  7. Write thank you notes. Some might say this is a lost art. Challenge yourself to write one hand-written note every week for one month.
  8. If religious, pray about your gratitude or use specific prayers of gratitude. Interfaith Worker Justice offers Muslim, Jewish, and Christian examples. Secular Seasons has several graces and invocations. You also can find a collection of secular gratitude approaches on Be. Orlando Humanist Fellowship.
  9. Recall a negative event. Doing this helps you appreciate your current situation.
  10. Be mindful of your five senses. How does each enhance your life?
  11. Create visual reminders to practice gratitude. Sticky notes, notifications, and people are great for this.
  12. Focus on the good that others have done on your behalf.
  13. Actions lead to gratitude. Smile, say thank you, and write gratitude letters.
  14. Be grateful gazer. Be on the lookout for opportunities to feel grateful.
  15. Give something up. We tend to adapt to newness; sometimes it’s a good idea to give something up so that we can increase our appreciation of it.
  16. Think about what your life would be like if a specific positive event wouldn’t have happened. Write all the decisions and events that would have been different in your life. For instance, what if you didn’t meet your spouse? What if you didn’t get the dream job you have now? What if you hadn’t stopped a particular bad habit?

Below are two exercises you can use to realize the benefits of gratitude further.

The Naikan Reflection Exercise

The Naikan Reflection is a self-reflection method initially developed in Japan. The entire exercise takes about 10 minutes to complete. Naikan means “looking within.” Anyone, with or without religious affiliations, can do this activity. The process involves reflecting on the following three questions while focusing one’s attention on a particular person and time.

  1. What did this person give to me? (giving)
  2. What did I return to this person? (receiving)
  3. What trouble did I cause this person? (hurting)

Doing this reflection helps to grow feelings of gratitude and appreciation for others. It also allows people to discover how much they take versus give in personal relationships.

The Silent Gratitude Mapping Exercise

In the workplace, groups can use Silent Gratitude Mapping to connect and create stronger bonds. This exercise takes about 15 minutes. Participants divide into small groups of 3-5. A large sheet of paper and colored markers for each group, or a whiteboard is used.

First, group members reflect on things in their life for which they are grateful. Then, they write them onto the sheet placing a circle around the item. Next, each person draws a line from the circled items and writes a reason why they are grateful for it. For example, if someone writes, ‘my home,’ she will draw a line connected to it that reads, ‘I can relax.’

Then, participants take a few minutes to read the various responses and add their lines and reasons.

For example, if a participant also feels grateful for his home, then he would draw a line from that circle to his own reason. During the evaluation phase, the instructor asks the smaller groups to discuss what was learned, and then share with the larger group.

A Take-Home Message

Regardless of who you are, or the circumstances of your life, the health benefits of gratitude are undeniable. There are numerous gratitude books, workbooks, apps, and premade journals available, making it easier for everyone to increase their practice of this virtue every day.

What activities will you commit to implementing so that you can realize the health benefits of gratitude?

We hope you enjoyed reading this article. Don’t forget to download our three Gratitude Exercises for free.

References

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FAQs

What are 10 benefits of gratitude? ›

10 benefits of gratitude
  • Improves self-esteem.
  • Improves energy and health.
  • It makes us happier and more optimistic.
  • More resilient and deal with adversity better.
  • Are more generous and forgiving.
  • Keeps you in the present moment.
  • Be happier and notice the present moment more.
  • Lower stress, anxiety and thoughts.
20 Sept 2022

What are the benefits of practicing gratitude? ›

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.

What are two benefits of keeping a gratitude journal? ›

Gratitude Journaling Is Good For Your Mental Health And Maybe Physical Health To : Shots - Health News A growing body of research shows keeping a log of what you are thankful for can lower stress, help you sleep better, and may even reduce the risk of heart disease.

What are 10 benefits of journaling? ›

10 Benefits of Journaling
  • Improves Mental Health. ...
  • Encourages Self-Confidence. ...
  • Boosts Emotional Intelligence. ...
  • Helps with Achieving Goals. ...
  • Inspires Creativity. ...
  • Boosts Memory. ...
  • Enhances Critical Thinking Skills. ...
  • Heightens Academic Performance.

What happens when you practice gratitude everyday? ›

The benefits of practicing gratitude are nearly endless. People who regularly practice gratitude by taking time to notice and reflect upon the things they're thankful for experience more positive emotions, feel more alive, sleep better, express more compassion and kindness, and even have stronger immune systems.

What are 6 benefits of gratitude? ›

By activating the brain chemicals that make us happy, gratitude can help relieve the psychological and physiological effects of stress.
  • Decreased negative emotions. ...
  • Increased empathy. ...
  • Improved outlook. ...
  • Higher self-esteem. ...
  • More inner strength. ...
  • Better sleep. ...
  • Heart health. ...
  • More drive to exercise.

What are the 3 types of gratitude? ›

Some psychologists further categorize three types of gratitude: gratitude as an “affective trait” (one's overall tendency to have a grateful disposi- tion), a mood (daily fluctuations in overall grati- tude), and an emotion (a more temporary feeling of gratitude that one may feel after receiving a gift or a favor from ...

What are the major benefits of journals? ›

Why everyone should keep a journal — 7 surprising benefits
  • Achieve goals. ...
  • Track progress and growth. ...
  • Gain self-confidence. ...
  • Improve writing and communication skills. ...
  • Reduce stress and anxiety. ...
  • Find inspiration. ...
  • Strengthen memory. ...
  • Stream of consciousness.
24 Mar 2020

What are the 5 steps to create a gratitude journal? ›

Here are some tips to help you start a gratitude journal of your own and how to make it a habit you will easily stick to.
  1. Choose a journal. ...
  2. Focus on the gratitude journal benefits. ...
  3. Set aside time for writing. ...
  4. Start with gratitude journal prompts. ...
  5. Think of fresh topics. ...
  6. Find what works for you. ...
  7. Check in with yourself regularly.
18 Mar 2021

What gratitude does to the brain? ›

What they found was "that gratitude causes synchronized activation in multiple brain regions, and lights up parts of the brain's reward pathways and the hypothalamus. In short, gratitude can boost neurotransmitter serotonin and activate the brain stem to produce dopamine." Dopamine is our brain's pleasure chemical.

How does gratitude change your body? ›

Emmons, a leading expert on the science of gratitude, expressing gratitude has a number of other proven health benefits: 23% lower levels of cortisol (a stress hormone) A 25% reduction in dietary fat intake. 16% lower diastolic blood pressure and 10% lower systolic blood pressure.

Do gratitude journals really work? ›

Keeping a journal is a very personal activity and allows you to be present with your own achievements. Showing gratitude has been proven to reduce social comparisons, and by expressing what you are thankful for, you are less likely to be resentful towards others.

Why gratitude is a superpower? ›

It makes magic, changes lives, and inspires kindness and love. For some it comes naturally and for others it is harder to access due to circumstances or habit, but we all have it. Being grateful can turn a bad day into a good one, judgment into compassion, doubt into hope, anger into calm, and hate into love.

What are three advantages of journal? ›

Top 8 Benefits to Keep a Journal or a Diary
  • Keep your thoughts organized. Diaries help us to organize our thoughts and make them apprehensible. ...
  • Improve your writing. ...
  • Set & achieve your goals. ...
  • Record ideas on-the-go. ...
  • Relieve stress. ...
  • Allow yourself to self-reflect. ...
  • Boost your memory. ...
  • Inspire creativity.

How do you practice gratitude journaling? ›

How to Do It
  1. Be as specific as possible—specificity is key to fostering gratitude. ...
  2. Go for depth over breadth. ...
  3. Get personal. ...
  4. Try subtraction, not just addition. ...
  5. See good things as “gifts.” Thinking of the good things in your life as gifts guards against taking them for granted. ...
  6. Savor surprises. ...
  7. Revise if you repeat.

What are the four A's of gratitude? ›

I'd like for you to develop the habit of practicing the four A's (Appreciation, Approval, Admiration, and Attention).

What is the healing power of gratitude? ›

Research demonstrates that focusing on what we are grateful for is a universally rewarding way to feel happier and more fulfilled. As an important mental health principle, the benefits of gratitude extend far beyond what we may imagine. Scientific studies have found that gratitude is associated with: Greater happiness.

What is the energy of gratitude? ›

When we give thanks or express gratitude we increase the neurotransmitter dopamine – our brain's own “feel good” chemical. Dopamine increases our energy and turns on our brain's learning centers and allows to us feel more motivated and content.

What are two to three things that you can do to build gratitude? ›

3 Ways to Practice Gratitude
  • Notice good things, look for them, appreciate them.
  • Savor, absorb, and really pay attention to those good things.
  • Express your gratitude to yourself, write it down, or thank someone.

What happens when you don't practice gratitude? ›

If we feel a sense of incompletion or brokenness because of a lack of gratitude, it's highly likely that the other person is feeling this as well. This may not be apparent on the outside. Indeed, many of us have become really good at trying to deny or suppress the hurt we feel when we are not properly thanked.

What is the downside of practicing gratitude? ›

Being grateful can lead you to overlook red flags in relationships, and to treat yourself in ways that don't serve your highest self. If you ascribe to positive thinking and are a person who tries to make the best of everything, you could be in danger of using gratitude to gloss over things that need your attention.

How does gratitude help growth and grow? ›

Gratitude not only improves your physical and mental well-being; it may also improve your relationships. Gratitude plays a key role in forming relationships, as well as in strengthening existing ones. When it comes to romantic relationships, gratitude can help partners feel more satisfied with each other.

What is the purpose of gratitude? ›

Expressing gratitude not only helps people appreciate what they've received in life, but it also helps people feel like they have given something back to those who helped them. Hand-delivering a letter of thanks might help absolves residual guilt you might feel for not having thanked this person.

How does gratitude increase mental strength? ›

People who are grateful tend to feel happier, sleep better, experience more energy and have greater mental clarity. Gratefulness causes our brain to release more positive neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin which can improve our mood.

What is the highest form of gratitude? ›

Appreciation ...the highest form of gratitude | Attitude of gratitude, Appreciation, Shine the light.

What is the highest level of gratitude? ›

Gratitude on the deepest level is a reflection, acknowledgment, and acceptance of our worth – to God or other people.

What is the heart of gratitude? ›

By Stacy Hall - 07/18/2017. Cultivating a heart of gratitude means having an appreciation for life in the present moment. It's counting our blessings, noticing simple pleasures, and acknowledging the abundance already here. When we are truly thankful for what we already have and content with what is – this is enough.

How does journaling benefit your life? ›

Journaling helps control your symptoms and improve your mood by: Helping you prioritize problems, fears, and concerns. Tracking any symptoms day-to-day so that you can recognize triggers and learn ways to better control them. Providing an opportunity for positive self-talk and identifying negative thoughts and ...

How journaling can change your life? ›

Journaling helps you declutter your mind, which leads to better thinking. Writing in a journal also sharpens your memory and improves your learning capability. There's a reason why when you take the time to pen your thoughts, plans, and experiences, you remember them better, while also feeling more focused.

How can journaling improve your life? ›

Writing things down about your experiences, thoughts, and feelings can help you develop a much better understanding of yourself. Putting the pen to paper about what's going on in your mind really helps lay out information about you. Reading past entries can be helpful as well.

What are six ways to cultivate gratitude? ›

Seven Ways to Cultivate Gratitude
  1. Take notice. Get aware of your negativity, complaining or gossiping. ...
  2. Keep a gratitude journal. Spend a few minutes each day writing down or noting what you are grateful for. ...
  3. Switch your point of view. ...
  4. Be humble. ...
  5. Share your appreciation. ...
  6. See the silver lining in every situation. ...
  7. Donate.
6 Nov 2016

Is gratitude part of journaling? ›

Gratitude journaling is the habit of recording and reflecting on things (typically three) that you are grateful for on a regular basis. In essence, you are rewiring your brain to focus more on the positive aspects of your life and build up resilience against negative situations.

What hormones are released during gratitude? ›

Dr. Susan Ferguson says when humans feel gratitude, the brain produces oxytocin, a hormone important to bonding. “When we feel gratitude, the brain produces oxytocin, a hormone important to bonding,” Ferguson said. “It's the same hormone that mothers release after birth and is found in breast milk.

Which 2 parts of the brain are activated when we are Practising gratitude? ›

Studies have shown that hippocampus and amygdala, the two main sites regulating emotions, memory, and bodily functioning, get activated with feelings of gratitude.

Where is gratitude felt in the body? ›

Along with feelings of profound appreciation, the emotion of gratitude leaves behind a succession of pleasant physical effects, both short-term and long-term. People often describe it as a warm, calm feeling that emanates from their heart and spreads throughout the entire body.

› article › item › tips_for... ›

Over the past decade, they've not only identified the great social, psychological, and physical health benefits that come from giving thanks; they've ze...
The timing of when you want to write is up to you. While I try to write in my gratitude journal every night, sometimes it becomes every other night. That's ...
“I teach it to all my clients, and I have been keeping my own gratitude journals for 20 years. There are so many benefits: gratitude increases positive emotions...

What are the benefits of doing journaling? ›

In fact, journaling can help you in the following ways.
  • Achieve goals. ...
  • Track progress and growth. ...
  • Gain self-confidence. ...
  • Improve writing and communication skills. ...
  • Reduce stress and anxiety. ...
  • Find inspiration. ...
  • Strengthen memory. ...
  • Stream of consciousness.
24 Mar 2020

Is a gratitude journal Effective? ›

Research shows that expressing gratitude (being thankful for people and situations) can improve your physical and mental health. So, keeping a gratitude journal can be a huge boost for your wellbeing.

What are 6 benefits of gratitude? ›

By activating the brain chemicals that make us happy, gratitude can help relieve the psychological and physiological effects of stress.
  • Decreased negative emotions. ...
  • Increased empathy. ...
  • Improved outlook. ...
  • Higher self-esteem. ...
  • More inner strength. ...
  • Better sleep. ...
  • Heart health. ...
  • More drive to exercise.

What are the benefits of journal journaling? ›

Journaling helps control your symptoms and improve your mood by: Helping you prioritize problems, fears, and concerns. Tracking any symptoms day-to-day so that you can recognize triggers and learn ways to better control them. Providing an opportunity for positive self-talk and identifying negative thoughts and ...

How do you practice gratitude journaling? ›

How to Do It
  1. Be as specific as possible—specificity is key to fostering gratitude. ...
  2. Go for depth over breadth. ...
  3. Get personal. ...
  4. Try subtraction, not just addition. ...
  5. See good things as “gifts.” Thinking of the good things in your life as gifts guards against taking them for granted. ...
  6. Savor surprises. ...
  7. Revise if you repeat.

What is the main purpose of journal? ›

A journal is a detailed record of all the transactions done by a business. Reconciling accounts and transferring information to other accounting records is done using the information recorded in a journal.

What happens when you practice gratitude everyday? ›

The benefits of practicing gratitude are nearly endless. People who regularly practice gratitude by taking time to notice and reflect upon the things they're thankful for experience more positive emotions, feel more alive, sleep better, express more compassion and kindness, and even have stronger immune systems.

How does gratitude change the brain? ›

What they found was "that gratitude causes synchronized activation in multiple brain regions, and lights up parts of the brain's reward pathways and the hypothalamus. In short, gratitude can boost neurotransmitter serotonin and activate the brain stem to produce dopamine." Dopamine is our brain's pleasure chemical.

How a gratitude journal changed my life? ›

My journal reminded me of the happiness that exists in my life and that the current situation making me feel blue will soon pass. Writing in my journal didn't feel like a chore after a point because it gradually became a peaceful time for me to just sit and write about all the things that I was grateful for.

What are the four A's of gratitude? ›

I'd like for you to develop the habit of practicing the four A's (Appreciation, Approval, Admiration, and Attention).

What are the 3 qualities of gratitude? ›

First – Feeling grateful for the good things in your life; Second – Expressing your gratitude to the people who have made your life better; and Third – Adopting new behaviors as a result of interacting with those who have helped you.

What are the 3 types of gratitude? ›

Some psychologists further categorize three types of gratitude: gratitude as an “affective trait” (one's overall tendency to have a grateful disposi- tion), a mood (daily fluctuations in overall grati- tude), and an emotion (a more temporary feeling of gratitude that one may feel after receiving a gift or a favor from ...

How journaling can change your life? ›

Journaling helps you declutter your mind, which leads to better thinking. Writing in a journal also sharpens your memory and improves your learning capability. There's a reason why when you take the time to pen your thoughts, plans, and experiences, you remember them better, while also feeling more focused.

How can journaling improve your life? ›

Writing things down about your experiences, thoughts, and feelings can help you develop a much better understanding of yourself. Putting the pen to paper about what's going on in your mind really helps lay out information about you. Reading past entries can be helpful as well.

What are the three uses of journal? ›

Uses of Journal Proper

Transfer Entries: For transfer of any amount from one account to another. Credit purchase and sale of fixed assets. Rectification Entries: Entries needed to rectify errors in the books of accounts.

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