Jamie McCabe

In today’s world it can get easy to get caught up in the negativity around us. From the grouchy coworker to devastation around the world that we witness on the news staying positive can sometimes be a challenge. We know that a positive mindset can improve our mental and physical health so finding ways to focus our attention on the positives is important. 

Social media often contributes to negative feelings about oneself as people often find themselves comparing their lives to the lives of others. This can lead to unfair, inaccurate comparisons that can leave people feeling inadequate and lowering self-esteem.

A daily gratitude journal can be a helpful tool to focus your attention on the positive things you have in your life that you are grateful for. The great thing about a gratitude journal is that you can decide on a format that works best for you. Some people choose fancy journals sold at bookstores or online that are specifically designed to be a gratitude journal and may give you prompts from day to day of specific things to answer. You can choose a regular spiral notebook and just write your own dates as your go. You may choose to just make a list every day of specific things you feel thankful for or you can write it as a journal or diary style.

The time of day you choose to do it is completely up to you and what works best for your lifestyle. If you feel you need a boost and a pep talk to get yourself going in the morning on the right foot than do an entry in the morning. If you find that at the end of the day you are focusing on all the things you feel went wrong that day or all that is left on your “to do” list then take a moment to focus on what went well and all that you can feel good about accomplishing that day. Maybe you need a quick reminder in the middle of your workday about what makes you happy.

The great thing about a gratitude journal is that there is no right or wrong- it is about what works best for you to redirect your thoughts on all the good you have in your life. It can be the people you have in your life, the qualities you possess that make you great, your health, your home, that you made someone else smile that day, or that you had a difficult day but you got through it. Challenge yourself to always find that silver lining by focusing on what you are grateful for and thinking positively every day.