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Gratitude Journaling and Brain Change

‘I will give thanks to You Lord, with all my heart...’ Psalm 9:1 NIV

Many studies show the huge benefits of writing down things for which we are grateful, some of which include getting a better night’s sleep, improved health outcomes and more happiness, all resulting in changes to the brain! Who doesn’t want that? So how do we begin? I tend to forget what I’m thankful for after a few days, so for me, making a few notes on my phone or at night helps me make a start. The research then suggests that once or twice a week, write in some detail about four or five things that have happened to be grateful for. The well-researched expert on this topic is Robert Emmons from the University of California who provides easy tips to make journal writing as effective as possible. These could be your brain changers!

· Be conscious about wanting to be happier and more grateful pre-journaling which makes the process enjoyable

· Make fewer entries rather than more by elaborating on the experiences

· Focus gratitude on people rather than on things or events

· Imagine what it would be like without certain people or features of your life to recognise the benefits of having them

· Record any pleasant surprises which increases gratitude levels

· Don’t journal daily as it is likely to then take things for granted, better once or twice a week

· See each item in your gratitude list as gifts from above

· Savour the feelings that these gifts provide

· Don’t hurry gratitude journaling, take the time to enjoy the journey

· Writing or speaking thankfulness is better than just thinking about it

· Journaling to find meaning even in trials is incredibly beneficial

· There’s no single or correct way to journal but making the journaling habit will pay off

· Write a thank you letter to someone that you haven’t properly thanked

· Think about a positive experience in the past and how that has shaped life then imagine life without it and be grateful

· Deprive yourself of something enjoyable so that it becomes sweeter next time

· Take a walk and deeply observe the views, sounds, perfumes and encounters on the way

There’s plenty of fodder here to get stuck into and dig down deep, to get going on your gratitude journal and corresponding brain change journey.

I’m excited by this and am believing for you to get some insights.

God bless on your gratitude journey.


Need to be relaxed to be able to thank others? 'De-stress God’s Way' could help you get practical strategies. Fortnightly De-stress God's Way online group coaching for ways to be peaceful about your relationships and conversations.

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