Gratitude is our appreciation or thankfulness for the good things in our lives. Research has shown that by keeping a regular gratitude journal we can increase our wellbeing and satisfaction with our lives. It can also help us to have further positive emotions, sleep better, be more compassionate and kind – and can even boost our immune system.
At this time of uncertainty and change, it is more important than ever to count our blessings and be grateful for the positives in our lives, however small. Simply giving or receiving a smile or acknowledgement from a stranger (socially distanced of course) can be all that we need to make us feel good.
However, sometimes it can be hard to feel grateful during the difficult times in our lives. Writing thoughts down in a journal can be beneficial, for example to:
- Slowly change the way we perceive the world by adjusting our focus
- Help us to be specific about what has been good in our day
- Inspire us to look at new things each day
- Encourage us to look for simple pleasures in our lives
- Remind us to thank someone who has had a positive impact on us
Alternatively, try starting a gratitude jar. Keep post-it notes handy to write down things that have made you feel happy and put these into the jar. Every so often, perhaps when you are struggling to feel gratitude, empty out the jar to remind yourself of what has given you joy.