Gratitude journal is the write route, committing thoughts to paper
Writing involves both physical and mental effort. Expressing gratitude through writing has many scientifically validated advantages, says psychologist Shefali Verma.
Published: 18th September 2022 05:00 AM | Last Updated: 17th September 2022 03:58 PM | A+A A-
Dopamine is dope. Even if 2022 research by the National Science Foundation, USA, frowns that 80 per cent of the approximately 6,000 thoughts a person has daily are negative, there is always something to be grateful for. Enter the gratitude journal.
“Brain MRI scans show that dopamine is released every time a happy thought is born,” says Gurugram-based psychologist Shefali Verma. Dopamine is a type of neurotransmitter and hormone that promotes positive feelings, including happiness and pleasure.
“Writing involves both physical and mental effort. Expressing gratitude through writing has many scientifically validated advantages. Cognition improves, and so does sleep. It lowers cellular inflammation levels and gives the mind rest. The pages become your sounding board, enabling you to recognise emotional triggers and behavioural patterns, and you will be able to identify mental blocks,” says Verma.
If you are feeling happy, write it down. If you are miserable, still write it down. There are several gratitude journals, each with its own template. Choose one based on your needs. Here are a few of the good ones.
Papier Little Daily Thanks Gratitude Journal
Best for: Beginners
If you are writing a journal for the first time, Papier Little Daily Thanks Gratitude Journal is a good choice. The paperback book has a simple design, guiding the eye to focus on the clear space provided, streaming your thoughts here.
The journal has you covered for five months’ worth of entries. If you forget to write, you’ll be reminded via morning and evening alerts. On days you feel downhearted, just read the affirmations: ‘you are not your thoughts’, ‘think of all the wonderful people you are yet to meet’, and inspiring quotes such as ‘the magic is in you’ and ‘be kind to yourself as you would be to your best friend’.
The journal is filled with monthly check-ins, where you write about your progress, as well as simple activities such as sending somebody you love a kind message, writing yourself
a three-word love note, taking a bubble bath or a hot shower.
Mandala Publishing Gratitude: A Day and Night Reflection Journal
Best for: Those looking for an immersive experience
Each page of this 90-day physical book is divided into sections that serve different purposes such as recording moments of gratitude, jotting down affirmations you create for yourself and making notes of all the positive interactions you’ve had during the day.
The journal has two distinct spaces for ‘morning meditation’ and ‘evening reflection’. Under the former, you find prompts such as ‘today’s focus’, ‘an affirmation for today,’ and ‘what I’m excited for’, while the latter has things such as ‘good things that happened to me today’, ‘ how I felt’, and ‘a positive thought to carry me to sleep’.
The journal is thoughtfully designed too. It is made of acid-free paper, making it environmentally friendly.
Everything Sucks: A Gratitude Journal for People Who Have Been Through Some Sh*t
Best for: Saying it like it is
If you are not the ‘count your blessings’ type of person, this physical and digital journal is for you as it provides a judgment-free space to write sh*t out. Spew the vortex of tainted feelings out.
Don’t hold back, just go for it. Use the word f**k as many times you want, while pouring out your frustrations or disappointments. The pages come with smart-aleck prompts such as ‘is coffee the only thing you’re grateful for today? Great.
Write it down’, ‘gratitude and forgiveness—come to terms with why crappy stuff might have ultimately been a positive experience for your life, you don’t have to like it, though, ‘no rules—write every day, write once a month, throw this journal across the room. It’s up to you.’
Tiny Buddha’s Gratitude Journal
Best for Interactive journaling
This interactive journal book comes with a host of offerings—question prompts and colouring pages. If you feel stuck, sharply focused questions such as ‘I appreciate that when I am feeling down…’, ‘what is your favourite activity and why is it fun for you, and ‘what do you most enjoy and appreciate about nighttime’ may help.
It’s a great product for those who grapple with compulsive intrusive thoughts as provision for both journaling and colouring (illustrations such as a bird freeing itself from a cage, a tortoise slowly and steadily making its way to the top, a young girl in meditation) has