When you first start reading up on best practices for personal development, I guarantee one of the first activities you’ll be encouraged to do is to keep a gratitude journal.
Back in December, I bought a packet of three moleskin journals, placed one on my bedside table, and then wrote down a list of things I was grateful for before going to sleep. It’s now been more than three months since I started, and I haven’t missed a day. Once you start waking up feeling nothing but happiness and gratitude, and walk with a bit more pep in your step, you’ll never want to let that feeling go.
I don’t think it matters whether you choose to list them as bullets in a journal, type them into the Notes on your phone, or if you think about them while you meditate, if that’s your jam. Being aware of the things you are grateful for every day, acknowledging the happiness you feel and giving out good energy into the world is all that really matters. I completely believe in karma, but karma doesn’t have to connote “bad things.” Karma’s only a bitch if you let it be.
The only thing I would really emphasize with gratitude journals is to be specific. Yes, we’re all grateful for our friends and family (at least I’d hope so) — but what about the weather? What about the compliment someone gave you? What about that really great conversation you had with a coworker? What about the second chance you got but didn’t think you deserved? What if you looked in the mirror this morning, and finally felt proud of yourself?
It’s important to be conscious of how certain things make you feel. Stop wasting your energy feeling badly and spend more of your energy feeling great. The power of keeping a gratitude journal is that is rewires your brain to think more positively because you’re actively seeking out things during the day that make you feel happy.
When you look at celebrities, entrepreneurs or friends you really admire, and think they’re at the peak of their lives, I can almost guarantee a gratitude journal helped them get there.