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The Benefits of a Holiday Gratitude Journal
November 21, 2011


Thanksgiving marks the beginning of a busy holiday season. To combat stress and fatigue from all of the festivities, take time to remember all the blessings in your life. Even if you think you are too busy for one more task—try starting a gratitude journal. It allows you to stay focused on the positive things in your life. It may take a bit of effort at first, but the benefits of feeling positive, even when stressed, outweigh the challenge of creating this daily habit.

Keeping a gratitude journal is easy. Any kind of notebook will do, as long as you've got lots of room to write and draw to your heart's content. I prefer the kind of large spiral bound notebooks with hundreds of pages, so they'll last for a couple of months. Writing a gratitude journal can be done in any way that you want. You can write an essay, use bulleted list, or even write poetry. Don’t just think in words. Express yourself with images! Make drawings, use photos, or create a collage.

Get in the habit of writing every day—even if it is only 15 minutes. Set aside a quiet time in your schedule when you can be alone with your thoughts; a time when you are not rushed, but can let your mind flow with all of your ideas and feelings.

Personally, I make a list each evening of five things that I am thankful for with each day’s entry. They can be big things like “my health” or little things like “someone noticed my efforts at work” or “my dog cuddled with me while watching television,” or I was able to help a handicapped person cross a street.” I try not to repeat items, though, as I want to end up with a really long list of things for which I’m grateful. Even when I am feeling down, I remember to write something positive. Writing from a sunnier perspective helps me banish the slump. It also helps when I write about lessons I have learned while managing life’s occasional negative experiences.

A gratitude journal is an affirmation on a daily basis that you can also have positive experiences. Your focus is now on the bright rather than the dim sparks. Making your entries cause you to note what you can be grateful for and offer you hope for a new day. Enjoy a happy Thanksgiving celebration with family and friends. And keep a list of the many ways you can say “Thanks.”

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Thanks for reading this newsletter. We will be dropping you a line about once a month. Each month will feature a stress management tip to help you find your sense of calm. For further information about stress management or if you have suggestions or concerns, drop me a comment either on my Fan Page,, or on the web, Stress-Management-4-Women.

Enjoy and stay calm,

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