Let’s cut to the chase. It’s really easy to list the things that are going wrong in our lives. Work stress, job loss, struggling with parenting, illness, anxiety, depression are just some of the things that’ll get you searching “therapist near me” on Google. If that’s the case, way to go! Therapists are generally a pretty nice crowd of people and always happy to be a resource for people.
If you already have a therapist or you’re not sure it’s the right time for you, but you still want to feel better in your life…consider a gratitude journal. This simple, researched skill has helped many people re-direct themselves to the goodness of their lives.
In fact, research shows that journaling can improve symptoms, decrease the need for pain reliever, improve grades and decrease conflict in relationships. While it is not found to be as beneficial for people struggling with significant mental health conditions such as PTSD, Major Depressive Disorder or other psychiatrist disorders, it can go a long way to improving quality of life.
Thinking about it or want to up your gratitude-journal-keeping-game? Here are some easy tips to help you feel better on your life:
- Keep it simple. You can get a pretty journal or a good ol’ spiral notebook. Keep a pen handy.
- Nice way to end the day. At the end of each day, before going to sleep, write 1-3 things you are grateful for from that day. It can be anything. Big or small. Just make it true.
- Stretch yourself. It would be easy to write the same thing every day. That tends to be the most obvious and most accessible thing in your life for which you are grateful. Dig deeper. If nothing comes to mind, dig deeper. Look for something you might have overlooked.
- Go generic if you have to. If it was a rough day and nothing is coming to mind, don’t worry! That’s not a failure. It’s ok to go generic once in a while. “I’m grateful for the fact I’m breathing right now.” Or “I’m grateful the weather is mild and I’m saving on my electric or gas bill.” Its not a failure. Maybe tomorrow will be easier.
- Meet yourself where you’re at. If you’re really struggling and a gratitude journal alone isn’t cutting it, REACH OUT.