Updated: Dec 9, 2020
Have you ever tried writing your thoughts down? TRUST ME; it is the most empowering thing in the world. In my younger days, I used to be the most pessimistic person, probably on the face of the earth. I saw only the negatives in life and spent most of the days and nights overthinking my failures, my life, and every decision I had ever made.
Then one day I was talking to a close friend and I told her all about my overthinking, over criticizing mentality, and how it affects my life and my relationships. It was then I got the best advice of my life and it transformed me and my life forever.
My friend told me to start writing a gratitude journal. She suggested that I find 3 things in my life daily to be grateful for. At first, I thought she was out of her mind. I was describing to her there is nothing in my life to be grateful for, and still, she was insisting on writing.
However, on her persistent insisting, I thought of giving it a try. At first, it was the hardest thing I had ever done. To think of three items a day and write them down proved to be exceedingly difficult for me at first. However, I continued to try every day. Day after day passed and then something amazing happened. I found myself being able to find not just three things but four and five and on and on.
Getting started was a bit bumpy, I must admit. However, the road to my positive thinking became smoother and more comfortable. It actually became a habit, and the strange part was I felt good about it! It profoundly changed my life completely. Here are the top 4 ways journaling impacted my life.
1. It Gave Me Serenity
Life is a beautiful amalgamation of some good and bad, positive, and negative, high, and low. So, why stress ourselves about the things that are not in our control? Journal writing offers me a broader perspective regarding life. Instead of focusing on the negatives, I trained my mind to bring the positive into focus. The bible says to renew your mind daily and so I began to condition myself to only see what was good in any situation. Training the mind is not easy, especially when your brain has been wired for so long to see only the negative. However, as time passed by, I got used to thinking about positive things. I turned my attention toward everything that offered me peace. This alone was mind blowing because the more I looked for good the more good would show up. It really is unexplainable, but it is totally true.
2. A Better Understanding of Myself
Drowning in the ocean of pessimism often leads us to believe that we cannot live a happy life. However, this is entirely not the case. A gratitude journal will open an awareness portal to your soul to make you realize what makes you happy. Often, we get stuck in life doing things that we are not excited about, especially when it comes to job/career or relationships. However, once you get an idea regarding things that instill positive energy in you, you start adopting those habits and leaving the ones that make you stressed, pressured, and hostile behind.
3. Help Foster Better Relations
The scary thing about negativity and a defeatist approach is that it deceivably drives you into thinking ill about others' achievements. It projects inner feelings of resentment and bound you to stay focused on the negative part. Such negativity can tarnish your relationships, and ultimately lead to loneliness and isolation. Starting my daily journal gave me a space that I could be honest about my feeling, but also allowed me to be patient with myself. Just because someone else was moving ahead, didn’t mean that I was left behind. It just meant that I had to refocus and be intentional about my own life and the things that I wanted. It also helped me to seek out others with the experience and ask for guidance and mentorships. So many great relationships have come out of me seeking help and advice and also me being willing to give help and advice. Journaling helped point me in the direction of service.
4. No More Fear
My gratitude journal has given me the required strength to be a risk-taker. Focusing on everything negative in my life instilled fear in me, which tarnished my decisions and hindered my performance. I was not happy with my job, but I was doing it anyway because I was afraid to be jobless. Doing whatever it took, instead of doing what I loved. When I started daily journaling, it gave me the awareness and confidence to make decisions that could alter my life entirely. But this time, I wasn't afraid. With positive thinking regarding life in general, I am now able to make significant life-changing decisions with confidence. It has given me the courage to walk in my purpose and create the life that I want. I am living proof that words have power, and you can create the life you want one word at a time.
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