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Top Reasons To Keep a Gratitude Journal

By Elma B.

 Is the glass half empty or half full? 

We often hear this idiom and understand its meaning but do we actually implement it in our lives? My guess, for most of us, is no. I often focus and dwell on what is missing in my life rather than taking the time to think about all the other bits and pieces that I am extremely greatful for.  In fact, the so called "missing tile syndrome" becomes so strong that it overshadows all the other positive factors in our lives and can sometimes lead to crankiness, anxiety and even outright depression. The question begs, what is the solution?

Top Reasons Why Keeping a Gratitude Journal Will Improve Your Life: 

Multiple studies have found that keeping a gratitude journal can actually cause better sleep, fewer illnesses and more happiness.  I have started one and here are my observations of why keeping a gratitude journal may just be your path to long-term satisfaction and happiness:

1. Change your focus. 

Gratitude journal helps to stop and shift your focus to what you love about your life. What do you feel good about? What are your really proud of? Is it your body? Your relationship? Your family? Your friends? Your education? 

2. Recall the positive memories. 

Gratitude journal helps bring back all the happy memories from your past. Think of the events and the people that made you feel ecstatic or like you are walking on clouds. 

3. Broaden your perspective.

Repeating in your mind over and over again, like a broken record, about what is missing from your life is enough to drive anyone insane. You are actually re-living through the negative emotions over and over again each time you think of what your life is missing. Instead, by focusing on everything you are greatful for in your life, you are able to see more clearly the full picture, i.e., 360 degrees rather than a narrow 90 degree angle. Life is about staying grounded and keeping in mind what you are thankful for while working for what you want. 

4. Think thoughtfully and deeply.

Often, we will acknowledge and understand the factors that we are content with in our life but will quickly put those to the side and focus on what is missing. Keeping a gratitude journal will help you think thoroughly about everything you are happy with in your life. For instance, if you are happy with your body, elaborate how you got there and what exactly you like about your physical appearance. I am an advocate of writing your deepest thoughts to dig deep into your soul and excavate the brilliance that lies within you. 

I will leave you with a quote from a person who inspired generations to come with her courage, strength and wisdom:

"Be happy with what you have while working for what you want. So much has been given to me, I have no time to ponder over that which has been denied."-Hellen Keller. 

(p.s. For the fashionistas, my outfit dissected: dress from Bershka; bag by (vintage) Miu Miu, shoes by Fendi, and sunglasses from Urban Outfitters.)

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