When I first started this blog nearly four years ago, my first blog post was on gratitude. Gratitude is my favorite stress relief tool because it can attract what you want in life, improve your relationships, improve your health, reduce negativity, and help you learn.
My wife and I do a nightly exercise where we ask each other what we are grateful for, which summarizes the positives from our day. However, many people benefit from more structure than an impromptu exercise such as this, and that’s where a gratitude journal can come in handy.
A gratitude journal is a personal diary that is used to chronicle and later reflect on meaningful moments in one’s life. Writing about these experiences is a great way to reflect on them when we are feeling low and need a reason to smile.
And science backs up the benefits of being grateful, including improved:
- Physical and psychological health
- Decision-making skills
Keeping a gratitude journal can be as quick as a minute or two per day. Keep a small notebook and pen by your bed, or perhaps in your home office or car, and when you think about something that you are grateful for, quickly jot it down. You could also do this on your phone’s notes application if more convenient.
You’ll be surprised at the positive emotions that can come from this exercise, and the most fun is when you take some time to look back on your journal to see the multiple moments (both large and small) that you are grateful for.
And if you want to make gratitude a daily exercise, consider writing down one thing you are grateful for each day for a year, and then on January 1st of the following year, review what you have wrote. One of my friends, Ginger Cooper, has been doing that for several years now and I always love her post recapping that activity each year.
Finally, I want to express my gratitude to you for reading and/or watching my stress relief blogs. This will be the last one in the series, and I greatly appreciate your time over these last several years.
Please note that there is no guarantee a particular stress relief tool will work for you. Thus you must take complete responsibility for using them and for your own physical and emotional wellbeing. Further, Professor Pete Alexander is not a licensed health professional. Please consult qualified health practitioners regarding your use of any stress relief technique. Medical advice must only be obtained from a physician or qualified health practitioner.