I’m not sure who came up with it, but I’m pretty sure I first heard about the gratefulness journal on the Tim Ferriss podcast, author of the 4-hour Work Week, the 4-hour Body, the 4-hour Chef, and Tools of Titans.
The basic idea is fairly simple: write down three things you are thankful for and why. Those things could be people, circumstances, ideas, events, opportunities–anything really, so long as it’s something you are genuinely thankful for.
Now why would you do this?
In short, because it will make you happy. Multiple studies have shown that expressing gratitude has a positive impact on making people feel happy, because as humans, we have a natural tendency to focus on the bad stuff–a negativity bias, if you will. The reason is that evolutionarily speaking, we needed to remember that lions are dangerous, but the upshot is that in modern life, where it’s pretty rare that anything truly dangerous happens, we still tend to have this negative focus instead of taking into account all the good things we have going for us.
So today try it out. Take 5-10 minutes and write down three things you are thankful for and why. Trust me: you’ll feel better.
Recommended Frequency: every day to once a week. Any less than once a week and it becomes a less beneficial exercise.