In a time when we have so much to be grateful for, there is a Chronic Stress Epidemic going on. Most of the stress we endure is from how we think about our lives.
If we focus on what is lacking in our lives, this leads to suffering.
And if we also focus on things that we can’t control, then we get a “double-dose” of suffering.
There is a simple turnaround, however, that leads to positive emotions such as joy, appreciation, happiness, contentment, and peace, to name just a handful.
Empowering Mindset Shifts
Here are the two mindset shifts that I’m talking about, which are the complete opposite way of thinking as the former I just described.
1. Instead of focusing on what is lacking in our lives, the empowering thought pattern is to focus on what we do have in our lives and to feel immense gratitude and appreciation for those things.
2. Instead of focusing on things we can’t control in our lives, the empowering thought pattern is to focus on all of the things that we can control.
By switching our area of focus and energy from what we don’t have (“Lack Consciousness”) to what we’re grateful for (“Abundance Consciousness”) we will reduce stress, increase joy, and manifest more things to be grateful for.
And by switching our focus from things we can’t control (people, places, things) to what we can control (our thoughts and behaviors), we will radically empower ourselves and start to notice a cascade of positive changes in all areas of life.
How a Gratitude Journal Can Change Your Life
It increases self-awareness, and the act of writing your thoughts and emotions on paper helps you process them.
There are many different journaling exercises which can help. (Click here to see my article on this)
But the purpose of this piece is to teach you how to spend just five minutes a day writing in a Gratitude Journal.
Studies have shown significant benefits from doing the following exercise, which I learned from Positive Psychologist Shawn Achor.
Here is how it works:
- Purchase a Journal (don’t use a digital device, as the act of writing it down with a pen or pencil is more powerful).
- Every morning within the first 30 minutes after waking, write down a few sentences on two things you’re grateful for and why.
- Do this for 30 days straight.
- At the end of 30 days, assess how you feel about your life as compared to how you felt before writing in your Gratitude Journal for 30 days.
Benefits of this Exercise
People that do this report increased levels of happiness and abundance and decreased levels of stress of depression. It only takes five minutes every morning, and everyone has enough time for this habit.
Additionally, anyone can think of two new things to be grateful for every single day.
You can write down big things (such as a job promotion) and small things (such as having a day off work).
You can even write about things you may not consciously feel grateful for often, such as being able to see, smell, hear, and feel.
Don’t stop this exercise after 30 days, but instead, you can add to it.
For instance, you could continue writing two new things you’re grateful for every morning, and then every evening you could write a few sentences on how you can make tomorrow a truly awesome day.
Again, these exercises don’t take but a few minutes, and you can spend as little as a few dollars on a journal.
My life, thoughts, emotions, and feelings would be nowhere near as good as they are without the regular habit of journaling.
Start writing in a Gratitude Journal for just five minutes every morning for 30 days, and watch as your attitude becomes better than ever before.