The simplest, most effective thing you can do to be happier is easier than you think – and all it takes is a pen and paper.
Gratitude journaling has been slowly creeping more and more into the mainstream, and for good reason. The positive benefits of showing gratitude regularly are backed by science – studies show lowered stress, better sleep, and improved personal relationships, to name a few. And there is no rigid, regimented formula you need to follow to practice positivity.
The beauty of gratitude journaling is that it will look different for every person. It can be for five minutes a day or 30 minutes; the structure isn’t important. Actually, it’s about finding a framework that works for you and contributes to your overall happiness – and that will look different for every single person.
The things you jot down in your gratitude journal don’t have to be big, overwhelming moments. They can be as simple as seeing sunlight spill into new corners of the house as the days stretch longer into spring, brewing the perfect cup of coffee and having time to sit and hold the warmth in your hands as you drink it, or receiving a text from a friend you haven’t heard from recently.
Your writing style and the artfulness of your penmanship aren’t important either – though we all seem to strive for perfection when we slowly peel back the cover of a new journal, knowing all the potential and possibilities the blank pages hold, and the weight that seems to carry. Simply the practice of scribbling what you’re thankful for can be grounding, by recognizing and connecting with each and every moment that brings you joy. Maybe you’ll find a pattern, and restructure your everyday to infuse it with more of what makes you joyful, or maybe you’ll simply find happiness by recounting and celebrating little moments that made you smile.