The Busy Girl Gets Grateful: Making Time for Gratitude

The other day, something annoying happened to me.

I was on my lunch break trying to open the text message app on my phone and my unsteady fingers accidentally opened the app above it.

Annoying, right?? Like, now I have to wait for this app to load, double click the circle button, swipe up to close the app, and then open the app I was trying to open in the first place.

Life is so hard sometimes, guys.

But alas! The fat-fingers-tiny-app-icon situation ended up making my whole day.

It forced me to open up my abandoned Gratitude Journal app. I honestly don’t know why I stopped using it. I guess it’s just easy to get wrapped up in life’s chaos and eventually forget to use it.

When I looked through my Gratitude Journal app, I was stunned. I had forgotten all of these short, one-sentence entries I had written in, and all of the magic that they held. I scrolled through it vigorously. I’m pretty sure I cried a little. I suddenly had the strongest, most powerful sense of wonder and awe and gratitude, and I was completely, blissfully overwhelmed by it.

Reading these entries was like falling in love again. Falling in love with life in a way that I hadn’t in a while.

Research has shown us the amazing effects that gratitude can have on our wellbeing. A study was done with individuals on a waiting list to receive psychotherapy services. They were asked to keep a gratitude journal for two weeks, writing down five things they were grateful for on each day. Even after just two weeks of keeping a gratitude journal, individuals reported feeling more grateful than before.

On top of feeling more grateful, people who kept gratitude journals experienced more happy days, felt more optimistic, felt closer to others, perceived their lives to be more meaningful, and had higher life satisfaction.

And umm, hi. I want those things. You probably do too. I’m feeling totally inspired to keep up with my gratitude practices. The app that I use, Gratitude Journal by Happy Tapper, is $1.99 on iTunes and well worth it. The app’s sleek design is super modern, which (and I’m always surprised by what an effect design has) makes it more pleasant to use and to read back. Each entry records the time you wrote, where you were when writing, and the weather outside on that day. You can include photos with your entry to really remember the moment, and you can share your entry to Facebook and Twitter. You can also export your journal into a PDF, if you prefer a hard copy!

And, if you’re a pen-and-paper kinda gal, this kikki.K Gratitude Journal is so freaking gorgeous I could cry.

It’s, like anything, about finding your style and making it a priority until it becomes a habit. And who wouldn’t want to cultivate a habit with such amazing proven benefits?

Do you keep a gratitude journal? Comment below!