Mental Health Benefits of Gratitude Journals

Mental Health Benefits of Gratitude Journals

At some point in their life, many people will face a mental health crisis. Perhaps it is the stress from a divorce, anxiety from a move, or grieving the loss of a loved one. There are numerous ways we can tackle mental health to make our entire well-being a priority. But one method that not nearly enough people speak about is gratitude.

Gratitude, or a feeling of thankfulness, is a powerful alchemist. It can instantly and dramatically change your mood. When one is feeling grateful, it is hard for them to feel anything else. And while you can easily think about all of the things you are thankful for, it is a better idea to write them down in a journal.

Here are some of the mental health benefits of keeping a gratitude journal:

It Helps Us Feel Valued

When we recognize how many blessings we have been given, it is natural for the perception of our own value and worth to increase. This boost in value and self-esteem has been shown to decrease feelings of anxiety, depression and stress.

It Minimizes Negative Behaviors

As I mentioned, when we are focused on the positive, it is almost impossible for us to think about the negative aspects of our lives. This focus on positivity translates into better choices and behavior. We become kinder as well as more empathic and generous. These new ways of feeling and being continually perpetuate goodness coming into our life. And the new cycle continues.

It Helps Motivate Us

When we allow ourselves to feel grateful, we begin to feel more and more inspired. This newfound inspiration ignites our inner passion and motivates us to become our best selves.

I cannot recommend gratitude journals enough. I have seen them perform miracles in my clients’ lives. If you need some help getting started on your gratitude journey, get in touch with me. I would love to discuss more how gratitude journals, and counseling in general, may be able to help you with the mental health challenges you are facing.


Journaling Therapy – Art Therapy

“Dear Diary…” 

As kids, many of us told our deepest secrets and our hopes and dreams to our diaries. And then we got older and forgot all about visiting those pages each day.

You may have heard about journaling, which some would say is the adult equivalent of keeping a diary. But journaling can also be a powerful form of therapy, as journaling exercises can bring about self-awareness and improve mental health.

The Difference Between Journal Therapy and Keeping a Journal

Before the 1960s, when journal therapy began, people simply used a journal to record their experiences, much like they did as kids. This was a narrative form of writing and wasn’t really seen as a truly therapeutic process.

But when psychologist Dr. Ira Progoff introduced an intensive form of journaling, the therapeutic potential of the journaling process came into view. Today, journal therapy is a stand-alone therapy modality similar to art and music therapy. 

Perhaps the biggest difference between journal therapy and simply keeping a journal is the way an individual’s internal thoughts, feelings and experiences are captured. Journal therapy allows a person to not only write down their issues and concerns, but to also be reflective and introspective about them. In this way, journal therapy can be a real agent for change.

Who Can Benefit from Journal Therapy?

Journal therapy can be very beneficial for those individuals who typically have difficulty processing their thoughts and emotions. Journal therapy is used to treat a variety of conditions, including:

  • Anxiety
  • PTSD
  • Depression
  • Grief and loss
  • Substance abuse
  • Eating disorders
  • Low self-esteem
  • And more

Getting Started

While anyone can try journaling on their own, to truly benefit from the process, it’s best to work with a therapist who can guide you and offer prompts that can help you get your thoughts and feelings on the page.

If you are struggling with mental health issues, have a hard time talking about them, and would like to explore journaling therapy, please reach out to me.