Research indicates that regularly expressing thanks for big and small things in your life has many perks. "A number of studies show that gratitude goes along with feeling good about how your life is going, and with lower levels of depression, anxiety, and envy than others sometimes have," Stephen Yoshimura, PhD, a professor of communication studies at the University of Montana who has studied gratitude, previously told Refinery29. "Above all, however, gratitude can improve the quality of our relationships with other people.”
The best part is, it couldn't be easier to incorporate more thanks into your day. You can write out a list in bullet points, or you can write in prose, or even poetry. You can focus your gratitude on one person or theme — for example, your romantic relationship — or take a wide-ranging approach, giving thanks for everything from your best friend to the return of your favourite Netflix show.
Some people write in their gratitude journal every week, some every day, and some when the urge strikes them. Black Girl In Om founder Lauren Ash suggests that regular gratitude journaling could be a helpful part of developing a mindfulness routine. “For example, if you realize, I need to grieve the loss of someone important to me, you might decide to take up gratitude journaling, where you offer thanks for what you received from this person,” she previously told Refinery29.
A blank notebook will work just fine for gratitude journaling, but you might prefer a specially designed gratitude journal that offers specific prompts. Here are some of our favourite options.
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