How Gratitude Journaling Reminds Me About the Simple Joys in Life

I tried to start a diary at least five times in my life.

I can’t quite remember why, but I’m willing to bet that it was most probably because I drew a lot of inspiration from the Diary of Anne Frank. They all failed, miserably, in the sense that I tend to either (1) forget to write a paragraph after a week or two since getting started, or (2) I’m just a perfectionist and I often find myself cringing at my own work ten minutes after writing.

That clearly went well.

But if I were to look back at those years after spending some time “growing up”, I guess the mistake I (again, probably) have made is that I was trying to write a diary not exactly for myself, and therefore, it became hard for me to sustain that habit over a long period of time.

Judging from this excerpt, the next big question would most likely be – so what brought you to gratitude journaling?

A need for viewing things from a different perspective

Everyone has their good and bad days, whilst at certain points of our lives, we all have extremely good days as well as absolutely terrible days. And since I also fall under the Homo sapiens category myself, I too, cannot escape this reality.

On top of that, I also noticed that I am someone who often struggles with the negativity bias, which basically means that I am someone who tends to magnify, overly-dramatize, and/or unnecessarily dwell on negative events as opposed to positive ones. As a result, I found myself frequently running on what I call “dirty fuel” – comprising of pessimism, resentment, and sometimes, cynicism.

Put simply, that’s just not a good way to live. I realised that I need to constantly remind myself that amazing things happen every single day, no matter how big or small that thing is. And this led me to discover the power of gratitude journaling.

It “forces” me to see the good in the day

Whether it is showing gratitude for your parents always being there for you no matter what you’ve done, having a roof above your head at night, or that one random stranger who pointed you in the right direction when you are lost in the middle of a huge city without mobile data, writing all of these things down means that you are acknowledging the good events that happened in your life.

This, in turn, has been scientifically proven to help you experience more positive emotions and maintain a more optimistic perspective towards life in general. And really, getting to enjoy a much happier life is never a bad way to live.

A far smaller commitment than a diary (I suppose)

The aspect of gratitude journaling is that there is absolutely no right or wrong way to keep one. You have the power to control how many things you would like to list every day and the level of detail you are comfortable with going into.

The whole point is to get yourself thinking about the simple joys in life that one easily miss out on if they didn’t take a moment to pause and look back.

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