The Benefits of Keeping a Gratitude Journal

August 17, 2020

This year our memory care program, True Bridge, started participating in The Gratitude Project. The idea behind this project is for clients and caregivers to "Take 5 minutes each day and write down, record, or draw 3 things for which you are grateful."

Although there is no clear origin as to how journaling gratitude began, it is a concept that has been around for almost 20 years. "The research behind gratitude is very clear; having a simple and regular gratitude practice can have surprising, profound effects on our lives," says Dr. Lauren Tober in this video.

According to Psychology Today, there are at least 7 Scientifically Proven Benefits of Gratitude. They are:

Gratitude opens the door to more relationships

Gratitude improves physical health

Gratitude improves psychological health

Gratitude enhances empathy and reduces aggression

Grateful people sleep better

Gratitude improves self-esteem

Gratitude increases mental strength

We recognized that gratitude has many benefits and wanted to incorporate this aspect of positive psychology into our memory care program. It was especially crucial for us to focus on what we are grateful for during the current pandemic. With so much going on around us at this time, we felt that introducing our clients' to begin their day with gratitude would bring them a bit of happiness during an otherwise challenging time.

To begin, Jodie Berman, our Director of Programs & Community Development, sent each participant a document explaining the project and instructions on how to engage. The results were outstanding. 

Here are a few submissions we received from our clients.

For individuals living with dementia-related illnesses like Alzheimer's disease, practicing gratitude helps exercise the part of their brain that stimulates memory, since a large part of daily gratitude includes reminiscing about the aspects of your life that bring you joy.

If you would like to incorporate gratitude in your daily life, there are many ways you can get started. One popular technique seen throughout social media is to replace "I'm sorry" with "Thank you." 

There are a plethora of resources on the internet to help get you started. Whether you are a caregiver, a family member, or an individual, you can choose a gratitude technique that works for you. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Take a few minutes out of your day to sit in silence and think about the things in your life you are grateful for

Keep a gratitude journal and write in it as often as you like

Search for details throughout your daily life that inspire gratitude and joy (e.g., a sunflower on your way home or a relaxing shower in the morning)

Choose one of the five senses each day as your focus - sight, smell, taste, touch, and sound

Here are a few prompts from the popular blog "Blessing Manifesting" that can help you and your loved one on your gratitude journey.

No matter how you choose to add gratitude to your life, the results will be the same.

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