The benefits of using a gratitude journal and regular gratitude practice

The benefits of gratitude journal

In the past few years you might have noticed that many people now talk about maintaining and regularly updating a gratitude journal. From celebrities like Oprach Windfrey to The Secret movie producer Rhonda Byrne and many others.

So why did Oprach say this in her recent book What I Know For Sure?

“For years I have been advocating the power and pleasure of being grateful. I kept a gratitude journal for a full decade without fail – and urged everyone I knew to do the same. (…) I know for sure: If you make time for a little gratitude every day, you’ll be amazed by the results.”

We will need to take a quick detour (sort of) to the Law of Attraction. The Law of Attraction states that “that which is like unto itself is drawn”. It simply means that it’s the ability to attract into our lives whatever we focus on.

In other words, whatever feeling and emotional state (or vibratory state) we put ourselves in, the things and circumstances that respond to this frequency of vibration tend to be drawn to us.

That’s why when we put our attention on why we are not doing well financially, we just attract to ourselves more of the same: not doing well financially. This applies to any area of our lives: health, money, relationships, anything.

In order to do well financially, we need to focus on positive thoughts and feelings and our desires to do well financially – and not on the fact that at present we are not doing well financially, as true as it may be.

Jack Canfield explains it very well:

“Like attracts like. If you are feeling excited, enthusiastic, passionate, happy, joyful, appreciative, or abundant, then you are sending out positive energy. On the other hand, if you are feeling bored, anxious, stressed out, angry, resentful, or sad, you are sending out negative energy. The universe, through the Law of Attraction, will respond enthusiastically to both of these vibrations. It doesn’t decide which one is better for you, it just responds to whatever energy you are creating, and it gives you more of the same. You get back exactly what you put out there.”

 

Now back to the gratitude journal.

When we make regular entries in the journal on how grateful we are for everything good that happened to us that day, that month, that year, etc., this simple action is meant to help us invoke the emotion of deep gratitude. Or you might say, the vibration of gratitude.

If we are successful in this, we become more receptive to attract more positive events, people and circumstances into our lives.

Maintaining the feeling of gratitude regularly is one of the best things we can possibly do to stay in (or get into) the positive vibration.

The trick is to do it regularly, preferably at least once per day and preferably around the same time every day. Not only will this help us form a habit of maintaining the gratitude journal, it will also help us develop a habit of keeping ourselves in the positive vibration.

Remembering all of the good things that happened to us that day can help put us in a good mood or, if we already are in a good mood, put us in an even better, happier mood.

It’s been said countless times that happy, positive people tend to be more successful in life, tend to be healthier (and recover from an illness quicker), tend to be more fun to be around as well.

And this doesn’t have anything to do with positive thinking either. It’s all to do with the feeling, the emotion, the vibration we put ourselves in.

We can be reciting positive affirmations and have positive thoughts all day long, but unless we back it up with positive feelings and emotions, I believe it’s going to be of little value to us.

That’s why so many critics say that positive thinking does not work.

It’s not about the thoughts, it’s all about the emotions and feeling we keep ourselves immersed in most of the time.

The trick, and a real challenge for most of us, is to put ourselves in this vibration as often as we can.

Updating our gratitude journal will help us with this, but it’s a similar and familiar challenge: getting into a habit of updating it regularly.

It’s easier to not do it, than to do it. At least until such time when you actually start to experience the benefits of doing so.

So, the challenge, should you accept it, is to spend 5-10 minutes every evening (or morning) for the next 90 days, writing entries in your gratitude journal.

If you find you are having trouble keeping up the daily practice, you might find the green dot technique (opens in a new tab) helpful in developing of this new habit.

 

Should you be using a hard-copy (paper) notebook, or just a software notebook?

If the software notebook is enough to help you invoke the feelings of gratitude and positive emotions, than use that. If not, then consider a more traditional paper-based notebook. I personally prefer the old-school real-paper notebook. I don’t know what it is, there is something about putting pen to paper, something almost mystical. Try it anyway, even if you are a paperless person normally. You may like it.

You might even find that buying a really nice-looking, fancy notebook will help you even more with the feelings and emotions of gratitude and appreciation. I personally prefer something simple.

simple journal

And if you are not sure about this whole idea of a gratitude journal and are almost ready to dismiss it as some New Age mumbo jumbo, there is only one way to prove it to yourself: Just do it for the next 90 days and see how this affects your life, your relationships, your health, your finances.

People in the know have been doing this for centuries. Success authors have been writing about this since the mid 1970s. However back then this was such a radical idea that most people relegated it to a corner as a New Age fad.

These days it has been finally accepted as a fact by a growing number of people that want to achieve something great with their lives. Not just want to achieve, but also are achieving it.

Every radical idea in our society tends to go through three stages: First it is ridiculed. Then it is violently opposed. Then finally it is accepted as self-evident and normal.

One of the most famous examples is that of a Hungarian doctor named Ignaz Semmelweis, who in mid 19th century came up with an idea of cleaning of the hands and instruments before delivering the babies.

Immediately upon putting this simple procedure in place, he discovered that the mortality rate of the newborns has dropped rapidly. Yet, in the face of the evidence, he got ridiculed by his peers and eventually has been barred from practicing medicine.

Needless to say, thoroughly washing of one’s hands before delivering a baby is a common practice today and accepted as normal and a strict requirement in the western world.

Similarly, the success concepts and technologies that have been ridiculed as New Age mumbo jumbo in the 1970s, have been today accepted as normal and very helpful by a growing number of students of success, including celebrities, entrepreneurs and other very successful people.

Cultivating the attitude of gratitude is one of the biggest secrets in goal achievement. The old way of goal achievement was all about effort, struggle, pushing through the barriers with the will power and all your might. The new way of goal achievement is all about aligning yourself with the energy of the Universe, it’s about putting yourself in the right vibration (and taking inspired action). It’s all about aligning yourself with The Law of Attraction and using is to your biggest possible advantage.

 

The Law of Attraction exists and operates in every moment of your life, whether you are aware of it or not, whether you understand it or not.

To illustrate this, think of the law of gravity. When you jump off a tall building, you will hit the ground whether you believe in the law of gravity or not, whether you understand it or not.

One of the biggest secrets to be learned in this lifetime is how to align ourselves with the energy of the Universe for more prosperity in every way possible (better health, more wealth, nicer relationships and more).

 

Making the entries in your gratitude journal.

I like to start most sentences with “I’m so happy and grateful…”, but whatever format you prefer is fine, as long as it helps you invoke the good feelings and emotions.

Some examples:

  • I am so happy and grateful that today was a really great day.
  • I’m so happy and grateful for my Family.
  • I’m so happy and grateful for the income I have earned this week.

It’s also fine to mix in some things that you still have on your wish list, by writing them in present tense as if they have already occurred, if you are still able to invoke good feelings around these statements. If it makes you feel uncomfortable or makes you feel like you are lying to yourself, then this is not a good feeling and it’s not going to work for you at this stage.

Example:

Money comes easily to me and in large quantities. The Universe always provides for all my needs. Thank you Universe.

If you write a similar statement and you get an uneasy feeling, this is a sure sign you still have work to do on your prosperity mindset.

One way to do it (i.e. improve your prosperity mindset) might be simply to persevere with this statement for a while and see if you can improve your feelings about it. As Napoleon Hill said, if you repeat a lie to yourself often enough, you will start believing it.

After you have finished writing your journal entries for the day, don’t just shut the journal and put it away. Go over these notes a couple of times, feel the feeling of gratitude, appreciation, joy. Bask in the feeling for a while. Enjoy the moment.

It’s all about the feeling.

That’s why I prefer a nice, simple, paper-based journal. It makes this whole process so much more enjoyable.

If you can afford it, buy yourself a nice ball point pen as well (or a fountain pen if you prefer). It doesn’t have to be expensive, there are plenty of nice choices under $50.

Make your gratitude journal experience as enjoyable as you can. It will pay off big time.

 

A gratitude journal can also be used for a specific goal such as weight loss, a specific business venture, income goal, whatever you need really. Its potential uses and applications are limited only by our imagination.

Apart from invoking good feelings and emotions, the regular practice of making entries in your gratitude journal will also have another benefit: it will help you stay focused on your goals. It will help you stay centred and optimistic, particularly when you encounter some stumbling blocks on your journey (and you will, we all do – it’s almost inevitable – I firmly believe that stumbling blocks are simply nature’s way of segregating the achievers from the would-be-achievers and daydreamers).

 

Here is a simple plan to put your own gratitude journal into action:

1. Buy yourself a nice blank paper-based journal
2. Buy yourself a nice pen
3. Every day for the next 90 days make several gratitude entries in your journal
4. The best time to write in your journal is at the end of the day, or at the beginning of a brand new day. Try to do it around the same time every day.
5. Do it for the next 90 days and see if it improves your finances, your health, your relationships, your happiness.
6. Continue for another 90 days.
7. See point 6.

 

I’ll leave you with a beautiful quote from Deepak Chopra:

“Gratitude opens the door to the power, the wisdom, the creativity of the universe. You open the door through gratitude.”

 

Until next time. stay focused.

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