5 Benefits of an Evening Gratitude Practice + How to Get Started
Journaling in the evening is a powerful way to process the day, clear your mind, calm anxiety, and take note of daily wins, goals you have reached, and progress you have made. Incorporating a gratitude practice into your evening journaling, and everyday routine is even better.
Practicing gratitude has shown to have many benefits for mental, emotional, and even physical wellness. Writing down what we are grateful for, whether it’s the big or just the little things, is a great way to ground, shift our mindset and even rewire our brain to think more positively and open up to creative solutions and new perspectives.
When we sit with our gratitude list and allow ourselves to feel that gratitude we can actually make physical and chemical shifts in our body, benefiting mood, anxiety, depression, and even healing from trauma.
Our daily lives can be filled with challenges, overwhelm, stimulation, judgment, and by the end of the day, it can be easy to feel stressed, anxious, or simply get caught up in the things that we feel went wrong. Journaling about our day and then ending with five things we are grateful for, little wins, accomplishments or even lessons can have profound effects on our mindset, perspective and help us to just feel better.
How to Start an Evening Journaling + Gratitude Practice
- Free write – simply journal about your day to get all your thoughts off your mind and on paper
- Gratitude – write 3-5 things you are grateful for, however small they may seem
- Daily Wins, Highlights, or Accomplishments – write 3-5 things you are happy about or proud of whether that’s what you checked off your to-do list, a compliment you received, or making time to take a walk or do your skincare routine
- Lessons – writing down the things we learned helps us to honor our personal growth and reframe challenges into opportunities
5 Benefits of an Evening Gratitude Practice
1 Feel grounded + gain new perspective
Often times if we allow our minds to race or focus on the negative we can end up catastrophizing, or seeing challenges disproportionately. Gratitude and reflection allow us to get clear on the reality that things are often not as bad as they seem. Clearing our minds can often help us find solutions we couldn’t see when clouded by overthinking.
2 Better mental, emotional, and physical health
Practicing gratitude allows us to not only express but feel grateful and more positive about ourselves and our lives. When we allow ourselves to feel grateful we actually trigger our body to produce dopamine and serotonin which can ease anxiety, depression and overwhelm. Focusing on the positive has also been proven to rewire our brains from a fixed to a growth mindset, and from assuming the negative to being open to positive and more creative solutions to challenges.
3 Improved self-worth and self-esteem
Reflecting on our accomplishments, even the little daily wins, progress, and things we checked off our to-do list, or even if we took the time for self-care are important efforts that should be celebrated. Showing ourselves appreciation and gratitude can help us shift from feeling not enough to knowing we did our best and that is more than enough.
4 Increased self-awareness
Practicing gratitude and reflecting while journaling increases our awareness of our well-being, improves our outlook on life and helps us to honor and process our emotions. Increased self-awareness often supports us in making healthier choices in other aspects of our lives too.
5 Better sleep
Journaling about your day, and getting all those racing thoughts down on paper helps us process and clear our minds so when we head to bed, we can actually fall asleep with a peaceful mind. Gratitude also helps us replace worries with positive thoughts, decreasing feelings of anxiety, overwhelm, and even depression.
Looking for more evening rituals? Check out the Holief Sleep blog for more inspiration.