Happy #MentalHealthMonday! I’ve tried a lot of tools for managing my mental health, and I’m excited to use this series to share ones that have worked well for me and my anxiety. Today’s mental health hack is using a Gratitude Journal for Mental Health
Here’s how using a gratitude journal for mental health works:
At the end of the day, take a few minutes to jot down 3 things you are grateful for. I know that might sound easy, but it starts getting tricky as time goes on and you try not to repeat anything you’ve written before. (I have to stop myself from writing that I am grateful for m&ms every single day).
You can also award yourself special bonus points if you turn a negative into a positive. For example, a few months ago, I threw up in an Uber. We don’t talk about it. This incident forced me to *cough up* $150 to pay for the damage. When I was sitting down at my gratitude journal the next night, I was having trouble feeling grateful for such a *stinky* situation. But I learned that the maximum Uber charge for vomit damage is $250. So I put my pen to paper and wrote, “I’m grateful that I saved $100 on my Uber damage fee.” It’s silly, but looking for the positive turned my mindset around and made me grateful that my expense wasn’t worse!
Studies show that taking daily time to focus on things you are grateful for is good for your mental health. It pulls your mind out of a negative mental state and forces it to actively think positively. I personally like writing my journal before bed because it prevents my mind from running through a mental checklist of stresses and anxieties. Sometimes I’ll even keep listing gratitudes in my head as I fall asleep to help keep the scaries away.
Another thing that I like about using a gratitude journal for mental health is that it’s a lazy way to jot down your memories without having to actually journal. Re-reading your past gratitudes can also bring extra joy if you’re really in a slump.
All around, keeping a gratitude journal has been a great way to manage my anxiety and have a more positive mindset. It turns out that gratitude makes you feel…great-itude (I’ll see myself out).
My gratitude journal entry for today:
- The Bachelor, making Mondays easier since 2002.
- Licks on my shoes from the office dog. (I am running out of unique ways to put my him in my journal).
- Finishing this blog post last night and not sneak doing it at work 😉