If you’re reading this right now you’ve probably got it pretty good. Life is tough, for some more than others, but overall most of us are pretty lucky and we often don’t appreciate the things that make us so lucky. Like:
- We have our freedoms
- We have access to food and clean water
- Fun (Sports and hobbies..etc.)
- Emotions (good and bad)
- A bed
- Heaven right here on Earth
Positive psychologists have found that reminding ourselves of the things we are thankful for can help us have hope in our lives.
Evidence has shown that developing gratitude for the things in your life that you may otherwise take for granted can have a big impact on your outlook and your satisfaction with your life (Davis et al., 2016; Sheldon & Lyubomirsky, 2006).(positivepsychologyprogram.com)
Journal Therapy has been shown to an effective form of psychotherapy since the 1960s. ‘Dr. Ira Progoff, a psychologist in New York City, began offering workshops and classes in the use of what he called the Intensive Journal method’ ‘Journal therapy has been used effectively for grief and loss; coping with life-threatening or chronic illness; recovery from addictions, eating disorders and trauma; repairing troubled marriages and family relationships; increasing communication skills; developing healthier self-esteem; getting a better perspective on life; and clarifying life goals.'(source)
A gratitude journal develops the ‘getting a better perspective on life’ part of journal therapy. Seligman and colleagues recommend either writing three things everyday or five things on a weekly basis and to be specific (source).
If you’re stuck for ideas here are 80 little things that can make us happy in fact there is an entire website dedicated to little things hit shuffle and get your mind thinking of the things we have in our daily life you are thankful for. Greatergood magazine has some great tips for doing a good gratitude journal. Here is a good template as well (source):
Even better we don’t need to thank anything supernatural for the things we are lucky for. We can thank ourselves, our job, our friends, our family, our doctor or many other things and people that will appreciate it. As an added bonus it feels pretty good giving credit where credit is due. In short, a little gratitude can go a long way!