Finding happiness through journaling

Lately, I’ve come across the idea of gratitude journals in several articles and books. After watching this fascinating and hilarious Tedtalk, I decided to start waking up a little early to try it.

I’ve always loved buying journals more than writing in them. I often hoard pretty, empty journals and have even moved an entire box of notebooks from one Manhattan apartment to the next. Needless to say, my husband was less than thrilled with this trait when we moved from one fifth floor walk-up to another. But in my new phase of life, where I’ve moved away from my closest friends and am starting several new adventures, I’ve found journaling to be very helpful.

The idea is that by writing a list of things we are grateful for each day or by describing a recent positive experience we will become less anxious and maintain an encouraging perspective on life. I’ve noticed that journaling gives me more energy in my day-to-day activites. It also helps me to think less about what I saw on the nightly news and more about the person who went out of his way this morning to help me when I accidently jumped a curb and my car’s tire got stuck. In other words, it helps me focus on the good in life and how I can contribute to positive change. 

Do you keep a gratitude journal? Would you like to start one? Have you ever asked your kids or students to keep a journal? I'm thinking of downloading this app to keep track while I'm on the go.