According to a study by researchers from the University of Minnesota and the University of Florida, writing down a list of positive events at the close of a day — and why the events made you happy — lowers one’s stress level and grants you a greater sense of calm. Lower stress level and feeling calmer for free? Sign me up.
I began journaling more than a decade ago and although some nights it feels like a chore, the benefits far outweigh the sense of burden. For me, the greatest benefit is to remind myself that although everything in my life isn’t kittens and rainbows, much of my life is. Journaling – and travelling to other countries to speak – has enabled me to gain a new perspective about how fortunate I am and to appreciate the simple things in life: clean water, a warm bed, living in a free country, financial security.
In addition, when I review what I’ve written, I learn more about myself, become more self-aware, and find I can determine the people/things that I should surround myself with as they bring me the most joy.
I always say that I’ll try anything once, so as we approach Thanksgiving Day in the United States, I encourage you to try this once and see how it fits. Here are some tips to get started:
Maintaining a Gratitude Journal
- Write every night before bed.
- Keep your gratitude journal by your nightstand to make this task easier.
- Write as many things as you want – broad or specific. What you are thankful for can be as simple as “my dog” or “my lover opening up to me and telling me how I can communicate more effectively with them.”
BE AWESOME! Embrace trying anything once. Buy a notebook and begin journaling this weekend. You’ll soon realize there are many things in your life to be grateful for and to celebrate. I’m grateful that you are on this journey with me, and care so much about being a true leader. The world needs more people like you.
Jill Christensen is an employee engagement expert, best-selling author, and international keynote speaker. She was recently named a Top 100 Global Employee Engagement Influencer, authored the best-selling book, If Not You, Who? Cracking the Code of Employee Disengagement, and works with the best and brightest global leaders to improve productivity and retention, customer satisfaction, and revenue growth. Jill can be reached at +1.303.999.9224 or firstname.lastname@example.org.