My name is Tami **Hi, Tami** and I’m a journal hoarder.
As you’ll recall, we are perusing a list of 7 Habits of Grateful People by Lindsay Holmes at Huffington Post as we explore the concept of cultivating a grateful heart during October for the Write31Days challenge. Then, just for kicks, I’ll add a few more of my own as we dive deeper into this subject of how to cultivate gratitude.
First on the list is Journal. As in, actually do it – don’t just own dozens of blank journals, like I do.
It’s not that I’ve never tried, or don’t want to. I just don’t GET journaling. It’s difficult, no, more like impossible, for me to spend time writing about my day at the end of it. I just. Can’t.
And yet, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE a new blank journal. I just tend to use them for other things. There’s the pretty green one I keep with my Bible to write notes in all week, then take to church to keep track of the sermon points. You know, just in case the pastor misses one.
Then there’s the brick red one I keep in my purse to write IDEAS down before they escape from my brain. I’ve designed my voiceover website, birthed ideas for future ministries and non profits, and kept a grocery list in that journal. Nothing anyone would look at later and have a clue what it all means.
Then there are these beauties:
Yep. All mine.This is maybe half of the lovely blanks I have on hand. Just waiting for the next great idea or life event to be penned in them.
Except that I have trouble journaling.
But it turns out, I’m off the hook! It’s not just daily journaling that makes you feel grateful. We’ve all journaled our complaints, just to get them out of our brains and onto paper. That won’t help. What will help is keeping a Gratitude Journal – writing down those things you are thankful for, grateful for, or that just plain brought a smile to your face. And you don’t even have to do it every day – just a few times a week helps cultivate a grateful heart. Now that I can do!
Harvard’s Dr. Michael Miller cites a study by psychologists from UC Davis and University of Miami, who asked participants to write a few sentences each week:
“One group was asked to write about things they were grateful for that had occurred during the week. A second group wrote about daily irritations or things that had displeased them. The third wrote about events that had affected them (with no emphasis on being positive or negative). After 10 weeks, those who wrote about being grateful were more optimistic and felt better about their lives. Surprisingly, they had also exercised more and had fewer visits to physicians than those who focused on sources of aggravation.”
A few sentences every so often to document the good things in life. Yes, that sounds like a wonderful idea! As we go through the rest of this month, let’s begin a gratitude journal, and see if it induces a sense of gratefulness. I’ll share some of my entries towards the end of this series.
And to think, I was worried. It turns out there’s a legit use for my journals after all!
Now, which one to use first…