Why I Write In A Gratitude Journal And How It Helped Me Through A Difficult TimeLynette Mattina

“Be in a state of gratitude for everything that shows up in your life. Be thankful for the storms as well as the smooth sailing.” ~Wayne Dyer

About 6 years ago when I was in the midst of a difficult time in my life, I began writing in a gratitude journal.

It changed my life.

At the time, I thought I was a grateful person. I was in the habit of saying the blessing before dinner and saying thank you when I prayed and when I received something. But I didn’t “feel” grateful. I didn’t “feel” it in my heart.

I also didn’t really understand the depth of gratitude and why it really matters. But I was curious enough to experiment with the concept of practicing gratitude. So I began writing in a gratitude journal. Each morning I wrote down 3-5 things I was thankful for and why. At the end of each day I took an inventory of what went well that day, and the simple pleasures in life. And, each morning when I woke up the first thing I said is, “Thank you, God. Thank you in advance for what you are doing in my life. I don’t understand it. I don’t like it. But I trust you. Help me to see with your eyes. Thank you, God.”

At first it was difficult to find things to be grateful for, and saying thank you didn’t seem authentic because I was not thankful for my circumstances. Gradually, my heart began to soften. I began to accept things exactly as they were and look at my situation from a very different perspective. I realized everything that was showing up in my life was here for my benefit. Every experience. Every challenge. Every person. I began to understand my difficulties were excellent opportunities to learn, grow, and help others. The simple act of writing in a journal had a significant and profound impact on my whole life.

As a result, I discovered the lessons within my problems and I learned to appreciate the beauty and blessings that were already present in my life. Through journaling, meditation, and other self-care practices I began to experience mini-moments of joy and the feeling of gratitude and peace in my heart. Sometimes it’s an overwhelming emotion that brings tears to my eyes. It reminds me of God’s grace.

For me, gratitude is a spiritual practice that I continue to integrate into my daily life, coaching programs, and yoga classes.

Practicing gratitude isn’t a quick fix to my problems, but I’ve learned that by intentionally looking for the goodness and acknowledging grace the feeling of gratitude is more likely to arise. It helps me focus on what truly matters to me.

Most of us learn the habit of saying thank you. Saying thank you is a great place to start; however, gratitude is more than developing the habit of saying thank you. The essence of gratitude is a deep feeling that satisfies our soul. If you’re living in a state of chronic stress, experiencing a difficult time or busy going through the motions in life, it’s difficult to feel grateful. Practicing gratitude is a powerful tool to cultivate inner peace and contentment, and enhance overall health and of well-being.

Wish you felt more grateful, peaceful and less stressed? Try writing in a gratitude journal, and say thank you to your problems. If you focus on finding what is good in every situation, one day you’ll wake up and suddenly you’ll feel more peaceful, optimistic, and satisfied with your life.

Join us for Shift From Tension to Intention, a 5- week series designed to deepen your understanding of stress and the effects of stress on your body, mind and health. Learn self-care strategies and tools to mindfully manage stress and break free from the habits that keep you stuck in stress. Discover how to go from living with tension to living an intentional lifestyle.

Read: Want More Peace and Less Stress? Start a Gratitude Journal.

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With a heart of gratitude,

Lynette Mattina
Health Coach | Yoga Teacher