5 easy tips to get started with Gratitude Journalling.
Updated: Jul 5, 2021
Is the thought of writing down entries each day putting you off? Don't worry, research says you don't even need to write every day to get the same benefits!
Gratitude Journaling has become an increasingly popular activity over the years.
This is especially so in Ang Moh Land.
The popularity of this useful journalling activity is not strange at all, since the benefits are plentiful.
Research has shown that the act of reflecting and writing down the things we are thankful for each week can offer:
Make us physically healthier
Become less stressed.
And also make us happier.
For us Singaporeans, speaking on average of course, we aren't big fans of journalling.
"Huh, writing down diary entries each day? Sian max lah. Machiam writing story of my life!"
Well, here's the thing. Getting started is a lot simpler than you think.
5 research-based tips for an easy / lazy but equally effective way to get started with Gratitude Journalling.
Some people swear by writing long entries each and everyday:
"Ah, today I wake up and see bird and they sing and I happy. I go brush my teeth. Thank you for tooth brush I love the taste so minty. And then I change and wear my G2000 work clothes and I take train. Wow so thankful for the nice MRT. Green and clean Singapore, the best country in the world. Lucky got handicap seat empty, I quickly sit and watch my drama."
Please lah. Those people really too much time.
There's actually a lot of research that's been done to figure out how to best optimise gratitude journalling for the most positive benefits.
If you're a lazy pompeepee like me, then there's good news for you!
1. You only need to write Once or Twice a week.
Swee lah! Great news if you're not a big fan of journaling.
Research by psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky suggests that you don't even need to write everyday.
In fact, her study found that people who only wrote once or twice a week had a boost of happiness, while those that wrote three or more times a week didn't.
Strange you think?
It's all due to our minds adapting quickly to the positive event, diminishing our enjoyment of it over time.
2. Keep each entry to just a single sentence.
You don't have to write an entire novel about why you are thankful for your Mee Siam lunch!
You can simply have multiple entries for a single day, but keep each entry to just a sentence.
I'm really thankful for Ah Leong, who helped me finish my presentation on time.
I'm thankful that I had time to hang out with my good friends Ah Bang and Ah Tiong on Friday!
Today, I'm so thankful that my boyfriend bought me my favourite food, McNuggets.
3. It's all in the details!
Yes it's a sentence only, but be specific about who, when, where and why.
Doing so will make you more likely to bring your memory back to the event itself and relive the experience.
For example, instead of "I'm grateful for my friends", try "I'm grateful for Joseph, who I met on Friday and it was great to be able to talk about our favourite music so comfortably."
4. While writing, imagine how your life would be without certain blessings.
This is called Mental Subtraction, and is another way to approach gratitude besides counting your blessings.
Imagine your life without certain people or things, where we might otherwise take for granted.
5. Practice Savouring while writing down each entry.
The last thing we want to do is to rush to complete our gratitude journal.
Instead, take the time to savour and relive the experience you are thankful for.
Be aware of your feelings as your write and label them. Does it make you contented? Do you feel warmth? Excited?
Enjoy the sensation of gratitude and relish in it.
And That's it!
Make sure to put in a reminder to complete your gratitude journals. It's easy to get caught up with the busyness of life in Singapore.
I do mine every Wednesday and Sunday night. It takes about 10 minutes for me to reflect and think through the last 4 days. It's become something I look forward to doing now!
If you need, here's some prompts I've stolen from a random website below (yes yes I referenced the website as well lah).