How do you use a gratitude jar or diary and why would you want to?

If you are looking for a simple way to boost your well-being using a gratitude jar or diary is the way to do it. This simple technique is easy to do and takes a couple of minutes a day.


Here is the why:


This is an idea that has some really good research behind it. Around 2005 Seligman and his team of researchers did a big study. They found that writing down 5 things a day that you are grateful about in a diary or journal for just one week significantly boosts your well-being. They then discovered that people who kept going even longer had even more benefits.


So how do you do it?


Here are two simple and easy ways to keep a gratitude journal or diary. The first is simply at the end of each day write down five things from that day you are grateful about. They can be really small, it will still make a big difference.


Here are some examples:


  • Saw a robin in the garden.
  • Spoke to a friend on the phone.
  • Watched a comedy show that really made me laugh.
  • Played with my dog.
  • Slept well last night.
  • Took extra care preparing my favourite meal.
  • Then ate it mindfully.


Do you see the idea? Simple small things will help your mindset move towards the positive and will thus boost how you feel.


As an aside, I recommend limiting how much time you spend watching the news. It is good to stay informed but overdosing on the news will probably have the opposite effect to the gratitude journal.


The second Gratitude technique is to use a large jar. I recommend you use coloured paper to write on too. Put each thing you are grateful for on a small piece of paper and put it in the jar. You can also put in motivational quotes, good advice to yourself and some well done notes.


Every time you look at the jar you will unconsciously fire off those positive neurons automatically.


From time to time take all the paper out and read you messages to yourself. This can be a great way to get an extra boost.

Give this a go and let me know how you get on. Please feel free to share. I have a Facebook group called Self-care for Life. Feel free to join and share with like minded people. This is another great way to get a boost.



Melody Cheal MSc MAPP
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