Thanksgiving is a great reason for families to get together—free from materialistic motivations such as gift-giving—but more important, it’s an ideal time to offer thanks and express gratitude. Expressing gratitude appreciation of and perspective on your life while positively affecting your physical, psychological, and emotional well-being. Recent studies show that those who are most grateful are also less prone to depression and tend to be happier. Expressing thanks also can offer opportunities for growth and transformation.
Of course, you can express gratitude verbally to others, but you can also do it using the written word. Writing down what you're thankful in a gratitude journal or notebook for has many benefits. It’s a way to organize and integrate your thoughts, and it’s also a way to put your thanks into the context of everything else going on in your life. The exercise of gratitude journaling gives you a chance to slow down and pay attention to all the good in your life. It is an opportunity to be mindful of what you are grateful for and what you might otherwise take for granted.
If you are a regular journal keeper, you can express gratitude in your journal, but you may prefer having a separate journal or section of your journal just for gratitude. When you begin gratitude journaling, you might want to start by keeping your journal on your bedside table. Those quiet moments first thing in the morning or before you retire at night are often the best times to engage in gratitude journaling.
7 ways to incorporate gratitude into your writing this month
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About the Author
Diana Raab, PhD, is the author of Writing for Bliss: A 7-Step Plan for Telling Your Story and Transforming Your Life (September 2017). She is an award-winning writer, speaker, and educator who advocates the transformative powers of writing. Diana holds writing workshops around the country. Find her at dianaraab.com.