The mental health benefits associated with gratitude journaling are well-known. Since I’ve written about them before, I won’t repeat the information here.
However, gratitude journaling is not just about giving thanks.
For example, when my children were younger we read the picture book, Could be Worse! by James Stevenson. After each negative experience, Grandpa would always quip: Could be worse. When life is difficult and joy seems distant, I begin this challenge. I imagine how life could be worse. I could not have a warm home … or nutritious meals … or adequate clothing. This exercise alone helps me to practice gratitude.
Another similar exercise is to count my blessings. How was I blessed today? It could be as simple as the warm sun shining through the open window, or the first green blade of grass after a particularly hard winter. Once I write one blessing, more come to mind. Blessings exponentially multiply.
Consider modifying the prompt. How am I (or could be) a blessing to others? Helping someone else when they are down is a sure fire way to raise our own spirits.
(Photo credit: John Hain from Pixaby)