(Yep... affiliate links are included which means, if you buy through me, I get some coffee money ... though not enough for the raisin toast as well. Full disclosure listed below.)
The door slammed open and my young grandson hurtled over to his mum, slid to a stop and then eagerly bounced from one foot to the other. His little feet dripped small puddles on the floor, his hair was wet and mud splatters decorated his shirt and his cheek. He looked very excited, very wet, and very impatient and I struggled to contain my laughter.
"Mum! Mum! Could you please roll up my toe sleeves? Quick, quick!"
Really? Toe sleeves? It's priceless. Where do they come up with these expressions?
These sorts of family moments are magic. They're unexpected. If you blink, you'll miss them. And they add fun and delight to a mother's exhausting day.
But they're over so quickly and often forgotten within the whirlwind of daily life. And, as you collapse on the lounge in the evening, it's the tiring, mundane issues that tend to linger in the thoughts rather than the small moments that matter... unless you spend a bit of time with a journal.
I'm here to tell you that developing a daily journaling habit is truly worthwhile.
But I know what your'e thinking... 'I can't write. I'm too tired to add that to my daily to-do list. I don't know what to write about. What's the point?'
Well.... let me answer just a few of those concerns. :)
Five Reasons to Keep a Gratitude Journal
I expect you've often been told to be thankful for what you have when something awful happens. I know.. it sounds trite. But research has shown that being thankful actually is a beneficial habit. Keeping a gratitude journal is an increasingly popular tool used by those seeking to improve themselves.
So, here are five ways that keeping a gratitude journal will improve your focus and your attitude to daily living:
1. Changing Thought Patterns
Studies have shown a strong mind-body connection. When we are feeling stressed, anxious or another negative emotion it can have a negative effect on our physical health. By considering those things, events or people you are thankful for you are creating positive thoughts and feelings which will help reduce stress levels. It will also remind you that whatever happens to you there is always something for which you'll feel grateful.
Your commitment to your gratitude journal refocuses your mind on positive events, conversations and relationships. This enables you to see more than just those negative ones that tend to fill your mind and dominate your thoughts when they happen.
Another way your thought patterns will change is that you will find that you start pushing boundaries and removing limiting beliefs. This will happen as you not only keep your gratitude journal but also review it. You will find that your mind opens to new possibilities and you gain in self-confidence and knowledge.
2. Improve Your Health
The fact that there is a mind-body connection means that by focusing on positive thoughts and feelings in your gratitude journal you are helping to improve your physical and mental health. Studies have shown that regular gratitude journaling can:
3. Create Optimism
Some days it's just too hard to see the wood for the trees. You'll find yourself focusing on something that has upset you and that troublesome thought will nag away at you constantly. Taking some time to sit quietly and think about something you are grateful for will help reduce the negative thoughts and feelings and replace them with positive ones.
4. Improved Sleep
Regardless of whether you feel the need for eight hours sleep each night your body and mind do require a regular amount of sleep each night for optimal mental and physical health. Keeping a gratitude journal is fun, calming and a positive activity that promotes happy thoughts and feelings. By replacing worry and stress, you can sleep more peacefully and have happier dreams.
5. It's Fun
Keeping a gratitude journal should be a fun, enjoyable experience; something you look forward to. It doesn't matter whether you use a plain notebook or a really fancy one, you can jazz it up by using different colored pens or pencils, or even decorating the pages.
To begin with, why not grab yourself a beautiful pen for your work? Along with a renewed interest in al things retro has been a trend towards using a fountain pen for writing. Many consider that using a fountain pen actually improves their penmanship.There are online courses that teach calligraphy and lettering skills that you might like to consider, too. They're a lot of fun!
Of course, there are plenty of journal apps that you might like to consider. They are convenient and have the advantage of being able to include a photo/s of your day's activities. But although I've tried, and loved, using a journal app on my device I still prefer using pen and paper for my journaling. It seems to help me relax and reflect on my day.
Use a loose-leaf binder
I love using a simple loose-leaf binder for my journaling. My journal is included in my life planner and I use a folder divider to keep the journaling pages separate. It's always open as I work through my day and, with just a quick flick of a few pages, I can jot down a note or perhaps add a quirky little comment from one of my grandkids that I don't want to forget. Then I can complete the day's journal when I relax in the evening.
Don't feel pressured to write huge screeds of content for your daily journal, either. If you just manage a few lines, or a paragraph, that's fine.
Amazing journal kit
With that in mind, I've created an ongoing monthly pack that is inexpensive, downloadable for instant access, and provides creative inspiration for your daily journal. You can find more information about it below...
Journal kits are available monthly and include:
* Themed quote poster. Full colour print with quote to print, frame and display
* Calendar for the month to add special dates and highlights of the month
* Daily journal prompts as inspiration for your journaling
* Fun words to use in your journal entries during the month
* Journal pages to print multiple copies for your daily journal (and colour if you wish)
If you want to create a positive change in yourself and your life, then keeping a gratitude journal may just be the tool you are looking for. It's cheap, easy and very beneficial to your physical and mental health.
Disclosure: At Grandma's Place is committed to high standards of integrity and quality. I do not promote any brand I do not believe meets these standards, and I only promote brands I would purchase myself. If I don't love it, and don't think you'll love it, it won't appear on my blog.
Life as a grandma.. it's no 'quiet, restful days in the rocking-chair'. It's filled with activity, excitement and lots of family fun. Please share it with me.