I Tried Gratitude Journaling to See How It'd Make Me Feel

I write for a living. As a blossoming editor, writing has consumed countless hours of my life. Alternatively, when I think back on the amount I've written for myself, it only takes up a mini portion of those hours. I'm not exactly sure why. I guess it's because I'm constantly trying to keep up with life's demands. Oftentimes, prioritizing my own headspace and writing down my thoughts in the midst of the noise of the world gets neglected. It's something I'm working on. So I decided to start gratitude journaling. 

You might ask: What is gratitude journaling? I wondered the same thing before I delved into the practice and learned a lot from these nuggets. For starters, it's something that we all deserve. I kept a tall pile of journals stacked on my shelves as a young girl. However, the act of journaling is not juvenile, even though I've slacked on the practice since the sweet days of my childhood. 

"Journaling is very similar to meditating in that there is no way to be 'bad' at it," Heather Silvestri, Ph.D., a New York City–based clinical psychologist told Byrdie. "These are not performative activities, and there really isn't any particular goal other than to be as present as possible. Knowing your own particular psychological process and feeling a sense of agency over your thoughts and feelings is something everyone can learn to do."

The benefits are actually endless. "Journaling confers a sense of agency over your thoughts and feelings," Silvestri continues. "It can also enhance your understanding as to why a particular issue is troubling you and help you sort out a conflict or dilemma. So the process of journaling is useful as a mental exercise of agency and the content of what you journal provides psychological information. It's like a psychic Polaroid snapshot of your mind in real time."