The benefits of journaling and practicing gratitude

Regularly practicing gratitude and journaling are things that anybody could benefit from. One of the most important things we can do is take time to reflect and stay in tune with how we are feeling. However, this can be difficult. Life can be busy, and if we don’t set aside time to do this, we can get caught up and forget to reflect. Practicing gratitude through actions such as daily journaling can help you to stay in tune with your emotions and have a more positive outlook on life. No matter your lifestyle or your amount of spare time, there is room for everybody to include some form reflection in their daily routine.


Allocating time every single day to reflect on how you are feeling can have an immense effect on your outlook on life. While making time every day may seem daunting, it doesn’t have to be a large chunk of your day. Even 5 minutes of reflection can improve your mental health. There are numerous studies that directly correlate practicing gratefulness daily to increased feelings of happiness in seniors. Unfortunately, feelings of anxiety and sadness can increase as we age. Finding ways to give thanks for what we have and enjoy the small things can not only improve your mental health, but also your relationships with those in your life.

Reflecting on your emotions every day can also help track anything that triggers negative emotions, and you can work to reduce those and include activities that bring you joy. If any of this sounds daunting of confusing, never hear. We have put together a comprehensive list of how you can practice gratitude, and there’s an option for any lifestyle!

Morning journaling

Take this time in the morning to set your intentions and goals for the day. Doing this in the morning can be great for people who struggle with stress and anxiety. Pre-planning how we wish to feel for the day and what we want to happen can help influence how we go about our day. Use this time to prioritise how you are feeling, any concerns you have for the day, and how you felt yesterday. If something happened yesterday that resulted in negative feelings, explore that. Try and narrow down why you felt that way, so you can potentially avoid it today. If you felt down yesterday because you spent too long inside, plan to go outside today!  This time should also be used to write down what you are grateful for. Every morning, try and write down 2-3 things that you are grateful for. This is a great way to start your day off on a positive note by reminding yourself of all the wonderful things in your life. This doesn’t have to be anything huge, it could be your morning cup of coffee, a smile you received from a neighbour, or hearing your favourite song.

Night journaling

Journaling right before you go to sleep is a fantastic way to reflect on the day that just happened. Use this time to write down how you felt today, what caused you to feel that way, and any exciting moments that happened. Journaling at night is also another time where you can reflect on what you are grateful for. Write down 2-3 things that happened during your day that you are grateful for. Taking time to focus on the good moments of your day will set you up for a good night’s sleep by ending the day on a positive note!

Sporadic journaling/reflection

If reflecting daily sounds like too much for you, that’s totally okay. Journaling doesn’t have to be a task. You can do it whenever you feel like you need some time to reflect. This could be daily, weekly, or even monthly. Adding any form of reflective time into your life will be beneficial. It doesn’t even have to be as formal as sitting down and physically writing. For some, this still may be too much of a commitment. The good thing about practicing gratitude is that there are no rules. You can simply take a moment throughout your day to notice things that you are grateful for. Another option is to make a mental list before you go to bed at night. This can even be done in moments where you start to feel overwhelmed. It’s a handy technique to try and bring yourself back from feelings of sadness or stress. Try practice deep breathing while you reflect on what you are feeling and things you are grateful for.

Life can be overwhelming, no matter your age of lifestyle. This is why journaling and gratitude are important parts of a positive mental wellbeing. Taking time with yourself to reflect on your emotions and practice gratitude will improve your outlook on life and help to reduce feelings of sadness and anxiety. Whether morning or night journaling, weekly or monthly reflection, or even just sporadic moments of gratitude best fit your lifestyle, we challenge you to try and include one in your routine in 2022.