Unless you’ve been living under a rock… if you’ve been hanging around the journaling space for a few months, you’ve likely heard of gratitude journaling by now.
People rave about it. Life coaches recommend it. And it’s often touted as a bit of a “cure all” in the self-help space.
Leaving you wondering “shouldn’t I be practicing gratitude journaling already?”.
Well, here at Yop & Tom, we’ve got our own opinions on the gratitude journaling practice. And they might be a little unexpected.
Spoiler alert: gratitude journaling might not be quite as magical as everyone says it is.
What is gratitude journaling?
Gratitude journaling is the practice of writing down what you’re grateful for each day. The idea is that this type of journaling enables you to train your mind to seek out more of the good, highlighting the positive things from your day-to-day life that you might otherwise miss.
The problem with gratitude journaling
Whilst the premise of gratitude journaling sounds great (who doesn’t want more joy in their lives?!), the reality can be a little different.
Gratitude journaling can be associated with toxic positivity, or a pressure to only look at the positive in your life (ignoring any negatives). This has been linked with feelings of shame, increased stress, and lower wellbeing as you start to suppress important emotions.
When you’re finding things tough, when your mental health is struggling, you can’t just look for the good and ignore the rest. Life doesn’t work like that.
How grateful are you?
And that’s not healthy. Here’s what you can do instead, with a slightly different approach to gratitude journaling.