Gratitude and appreciation can be healing and increase your overall happiness. Research by psychologists recently has found that intentionally incorporating thankfulness into your life causes an improvement in mood and well-being. It’s a shift in the way you see things, and changes you from a glass half empty to a glass half full person. It sounds overly simplistic, but it works.
One way to do this is to keep a gratitude journal. This has been found to make people generally happier. One can see a change within a matter of a few weeks of doing this. A gratitude journal or appreciation diary is easier than you might think. Write down 3-5 things that you appreciate in your journal at least once or twice per week. You don’t even have to make an entry every day. Keep it short if you like or maybe write a few sentences about what you appreciate and how it came about. Simple and basic things are fine to record, like a day with good weather, or finding a parking space quickly, or smooth traffic during your commute. Noticing the positive details in your life and making a journal entry does wonders.
Writing about positive things in your life in this way begins to change your overall thinking patterns. The more details you include, the more powerful the effect will be. You will soon notice there is more good in the world than you once thought. Another positive effect is beginning to attract more positive people into your life and more positive situations.
Stacey Wald, LPC, RD