When something awful has happened in your life, I expect you've been told to be thankful for what you have. Research has shown that being thankful is a beneficial habit. Keeping a gratitude journal is an increasingly popular tool used by those seeking to improve themselves.

Five reasons to keep a gratitude journal are:

1. It Changes Thought Patterns:   Studies have shown a strong mind-body connection. When we are feeling stressed, anxious or any negative emotion, it can have a negative effect on our physical health. By considering those things, events or people you are thankful for, you are creating positive thoughts and feelings which will help reduce stress levels. It will also remind you that whatever happens to you there is always something to feel thankful for.

Your commitment to your gratitude journal refocuses your mind on positive events, conversations and relationships. This enables you to feel more than just those negative thoughts that tend to fill your mind and dominate your thoughts when they happen.

Another way your thought patterns will change is that you will find you start pushing boundaries and removing limiting beliefs. This will happen as you not only write in your gratitude journal, but also review it. You will find that your mind opens to new possibilities and you gain in self-confidence and knowledge.

2. It Will Improve Your Health: The fact that there is a mind-body connection means that by focusing on positive thoughts and feelings in your gratitude journal, you are helping to improve your physical and mental health. Studies have shown that regular gratitude journaling can:

Relieve stress and anxiety

Improve sleep

Gain perspective

3.  It Will Create Optimism: Some days it's just too hard to see the forest for the trees. You'll find yourself focusing on something that has upset you and that troublesome thought will nag away at you constantly. Taking some time to sit quietly and think about something you are grateful for will help reduce the negative thoughts and feelings and replace them with positive ones.

4. It Will Improve Sleep: Regardless of whether or not you feel the need for eight hours sleep each night, your body and mind require a regular amount of sleep for optimal mental and physical health. Keeping a gratitude journal is fun, calming and a positive activity that promotes happy thoughts and feelings. By replacing worry and stress, you can sleep more peacefully and have happier dreams.

5. It's Fun: Keeping a gratitude journal should be a fun, enjoyable experience; something you look forward to. It doesn't matter whether you use a plain notebook or a really fancy one, you can jazz it up by using different colored pens or pencils, or even decorating the pages.

If you want to create a positive change in yourself and your life, then keeping a gratitude journal may be the tool you are looking for. It's cheap, easy and very beneficial to your physical and mental health.

To purchase a copy of Judi’s Achievement Journal, go to www.judimoreo.com/shop

Author's Bio: 

Judi Moreo is an author, speaker, and life coach. She has written 11 books including “You Are More Than Enough: Every Woman’s Guide to Purpose, Passion, and Power.” Judi can be reached at judimoreo@yahoo.com