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MENTAL HEALTH

3 Calm Ways How Gratitude Journaling Multiplies Your Well-being

A deciding factor in our happiness is how quickly we can recover from an emotional slump without anyone’s help.

Photo by Finde Zukunft on Unsplash

The ad-driven internet will rarely let you appreciate what you have is enough. The low-quality ads feed on our insecurity and make us believe that materialism is the ultimate solution to all our life’s problems.

Even though I was a crazy shopaholic because my parents rained cash on me since I can remember, I learned the power of grounding and appreciating what I have when I started sweating for money.

Even when I went to therapy, and my therapist recommended maintaining a thought diary to understand my behaviour patterns, the practice sparked a habit I didn’t know would take care of my well-being by dedicating 10 minutes daily.

Maintaining a journal can be confusing when you think about the structure and all the how-what-why questions. I’ve discussed similar questions in a different article where I wrote my first gratitude blog after one month of maintaining a journal.

Today I’m sharing how a 10-minute daily ritual can multiply your well-being by showing the power of appreciating what you already have. Let’s dive in.

#1. Your contribution to humanity.

Remember when someone opened a door for you because your one hand had coffee and the second hand was glued to the phone?

We barely notice these moments when someone makes our life easier with a tiny gesture.

Recording these memories shows us how we are doing our bit in helping the people around us.

Did you make someone smile? You just made their day.

You have no idea what the second person is going through unless you make them laugh, and they unabashedly start telling you how desperately they needed a dose of comedy. A friend said to me at the end of a call that my humour cured his cold.

#2. Build resilience.

“Your mind believes what you tell it, so tell it positive things.“
Jennifer Milius

Being your own motivator is easy to understand than it is to implement.

For example, when an interviewer rejects your job application, how are you supposed to pull yourself together when more than a month of efforts turned to ash in an hour?

Here is where your stories of gratitude motivate you.

When I fail to write on Medium in the morning or can’t survive in the gym, I need self-compassion to come back the next day with a refreshed go-getter attitude.

I power myself by turning the pages of my gratitude journal and remembering the past events where I broke my limits and surprised the bejesus out of myself.

Look through your past achievements to strengthen your mind for any upcoming and unknown challenge.

#3. Think clearly.

What if I told you the burden of your thoughts lifts once you write them?

I scoffed at the magical healing power of writing down your problems unless I did it myself.

I failed an exam two months ago, which meant if I didn’t pass on the second attempt, my chances of pursuing higher studies would be almost over. The momentous existential crisis invaded my soul for the next week.

When we are in a dark emotional phase, our brain doesn’t think straight because it activates the survival instinct on high alert. To calm your mind and see the problem objectively, take a walk, distance yourself from the problem for a while, return to your home and write what is bothering you.

Ernest Hemingway was on to something when he said:

“Write hard and clear about what hurts.”

Writing your problem gives you another superpower. It frees your mind to focus on the solution instead.

Closing thoughts

A deciding factor in our well-being is how quickly we can recover from an emotional slump without anyone’s help. The psychological term for this quality is self-efficacy.

But when you have some free and effective tool at your hand like gratitude journaling, it becomes easier to be your own dawn of light when everything around you seems to be falling apart.

Gratitude is a complex value to master because of the flashy lives we see on Instagram that make us insecure about ourselves by inducing FOMO.

Even I am a seasonal victim because I experience it in waves. I’m slowly becoming immune to it. But, to not let the highlights of someone else’s success degrade the quality of your life, reflect on the good deeds you have done by helping others because seeing our impact — no matter how little — in the world gives us a definite purpose to wake up every day with a smile.

If you want to receive more stories like this, my lifelong learning newsletter is for you.

Sanjeev is a mentor, writer, and fitness enthusiast from India. He writes about lifelong learning, health, and positive psychology. When he’s not engaging with students or writing articles, he’s sweating in a workout or badminton. You can also find him on Twitter and Instagram.

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Sanjeev Yadav

Sanjeev Yadav

Writer • Mentor • Recovering Shopaholic • IITR 2019 • ✍🏼 Personal Growth, Positive Psychology & Lifelong Learning• IG: sanjeevai • List: sanjeevai.ck.page