As humans, we often overlook our little blessings and moments of happiness. We would rather crib about every little thing that we feel is wrong around us. Often, we hear people around us crib, but rarely do we hear people around us say thanks for every good thing in their lives!
How often do we dwell on gratitude? Gratitude is saying thanks. Gratitude can be for something big or it can be for the little things in our everyday lives. Gratitude can be expressed through prayers to God, or by saying thanks to the people who have helped us in some way. We could always choose to thank the elements around us for helping us in some way. This is not just a good way of living, but it has also been scientifically proven that gratitude can help people live longer, healthier, and happier. A good and easy way of practising this is to maintain a gratitude journal.
What is a gratitude journal?
As mentioned above, a gratitude journal is a simple way that can help us practice gratitude. It’s like a diary. However, there is a major difference between regular journaling and maintaining a diary. Over here, we mention at least one thing we are thankful for on that day. We can add more points and mention one or more things we currently love about our life. We can make it more interesting by starting with a positive quote on top every day.
This helps because even when we feel everything is against us, or we feel low, revisiting these entries can make us feel better. Also, it changes our mindset to force us to find something positive in whatever situation we are in. The point to note is that it doesn’t mean that we will ignore bad things or they won’t cease to exist anymore. It’s just that we won’t dwell on them, will learn to look at things differently and in the long run, our lives will change for the better.
Gratitude journaling benefits
Let’s now look at a few of the benefits seniors will gain from gratitude journaling. It is now being used as part of therapy to treat seniors as the benefits are proven. This is especially useful for seniors as there are chances of being isolated, feeling anxious, nervous, experiencing sleeplessness, or facing some chronic health issues, etc. Finding something positive may seem tough in such scenarios. So, here is what you get.
Improves health – Gratitude helps improve the health of seniors as it makes them realise that there is a lot, they should still be thankful for. It also makes them realise some people love and care for them and that they wouldn’t be where they are without all that love and care. That feeling of positivity can help them overcome depression and anxiety, and even chronic illnesses, which are often aggravated by negative thoughts. It also makes seniors more resilient so they can face hardships better.
Strengthening relationships – When you start practising gratitude, you may find something positive about the people around you. So, you may appreciate the things they do and your little gestures of gratitude can improve and strengthen the relationships. Also, mindfully practising gratitude can make you a positive person and you will feel more social and be pleasant to be around. People love to be around those who are pleasant rather than grumpy; thus, their social life will also improve.
Improves memory – Practicing gratitude can improve your memory as you pleasantly recall past events. Also, you could play a game of trying to think of more unique and pleasant things every day that can keep your brain sharp. If you learn to express gratitude freely other than just jotting in a journal, your communication skills will also improve.
Make better choices – Rather than thinking that you are in the last leg of life, gratitude can expand your life and help you make better choices. For example, if you learn to love your body and be thankful for it, you will make healthier food choices. You will happily exercise and also make an effort to dress up and look good, etc. This helps build our self-esteem and if we thank God, we also become more spiritual and learn to appreciate the blessings we have.
Feel less anxious – Overall, mindful gratitude practice can help seniors feel less anxious and keep their nervous system calm. Also, when you eat right, your immunity will be good and you will be less prone to infections. You will start noticing that you will have less of those regular health issues like headaches, stomach issues, pains, aches, etc. You will feel happier and your heart will feel good.