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Laura
Hi! I'm Laura, a 23-year-old millennial girl discovering who I am by sharing my life experiences on my blog. You'll find me writing about me discovering my personal style, my growing wanderlust or giving any sort of style, uni or mental health advice.

If you ever have any questions, notes or other things that you want to know, feel free to email me

styleandsushi@outlook.com

From July 2012 all items marked with a (*) are gifted items or PR samples. Posts on this blog may contain affiliate links or sponsored content. Please read my disclaimer for more details.

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TRAVEL

ONE YEAR OF GRATITUDE JOURNALING: MY EXPERIENCE

It has now been about a year since I consciously started making an effort in gratitude journaling. I started it thinking I was never going to be able to stick to this sort of commitment of writing what I am grateful for every day. It’s easy to take things for granted in your everyday life and only look forward to the big milestones. Days fly by and some days I don’t even remember what I did or felt. Gratitude journaling is a tool that can help you be more mindful, grateful and appreciative of little things in life. It is perfect for when you might feel overwhelmed, stressed or don’t feel like there’s small little things to celebrate every single day. You basically write one, three or as many things down that you’re grateful for everyday.

I personally started gratitude journaling because I didn't feel like myself anymore. I felt like I had lost my own identity and kept comparing myself to others. I saw classmates thrive, bloggers online thrive, while I felt like my life was at a standstill. And that's the thing, that is the culture we live in now. The comparison trap is part of today's culture. Social media and insecurities make it easy to focus on negatives in life. To focus on what we have not achieved yet. Those are all negative emotions and have an impact on your mood. Believe me, because I was that negative Nancy too. While growing up my friends and I always used to complain and never really saw positive things. All that negativity sucked a lot of energy out of me and I often felt lonely, depressed, isolated. I felt like a black sheep because everyone around me seemed happy while I felt negative, sad and kept talking myself down. In a new year in high school I made new friends. They were all so positive, they made me feel positive and it’s really helped me become a firm believer in positive thinking. If you try to turn bad situations around and think positive, you will feel better. It's for that reason people say positivity radiates throughout your body if your mind feels positive as well.
Positivity, gratitude and feeling happy in life is basically one big old mind game. While I was thinking positive thoughts, I did sometimes feel quite sad, alone and still compared myself to others. Last year I started making a conscious effort in writing down what I was feeling grateful for every single day day. One of the things I soon realised when I started being more positive is that it brought me so much more happiness. It made me feel lighter, almost like this dark cloud above my head got lifted. Now that I have written in my gratitude journal every day for over a year I feel less stressed. I have noticed I compare myself less to others. Gratitude journaling has helped me realise I am on my own path and I will be successful in my own way. Because success means something different to everyone. Looking back on my year of doing it I definitely have had some bad days. We all have bad days, trust me. Instead of focusing on those bad things that happened on bad days, I prefer to look at the happy things that happened on the bad days. These are things such as my family or friends being here for me to talk, having a home to keep warm in. It's literally the basic needs you can be grateful for on very bad days. Turning this switch around has made me feel so positive about this past year I have had, the things I have accomplished.

Gratitude journaling has been a big eye opener for me. It has - in true Kylie Jenner style - made me realise a lot of things. Like I said before it is super easy to focus only on your big wins and celebrate big victories such as birthdays, graduations, job promotions or other big milestones. It is also easy to compare your own life with others. I used to do that all the time and would see people celebrate all of these milestones when I felt like I had nothing to celebrate. If you have not had a big victory to celebrate in a while, it can really bring you down. Bullet journaling has helped me come to terms that there are big and small wins to celebrate in my life every single day. A few examples of wins in my life currently are: getting out of the house when I have felt super anxious, getting back to work this after a difficult start of the year filled with stress and chaos. Even simple things as drinking enough water throughout the day or remembering to eat enough vegetables in a day are wins for me! These wins might seem lame to celebrate to some, but I feel like celebrating and taking notice of small wins like this has really increased my happiness. It has made me feel more positive and grateful for my life, my body, everything.
Everything with gratitude journaling has a bit of a ripple effect. Because I write down what I feel grateful for and what little wins are every day, I feel happier. Because I feel happier, I don’t compare myself as much to others compared to when I don’t write down my gratitude every day. The happiness then also contributes to an increased positivity in my day-to-day life, which makes me feel less anxious. It also contributes to me feeling more confident. Like I said, if I feel super anxious leaving the house can be quite a big task for me. If I leave the house when I feel anxious it’s not only a big win for me that day, but it also helps to overcome my anxiety with one baby step at a time. Overcoming anxiety obviously is the big goal in life. By taking baby steps like this it makes me feel like I am doing that, which brings gratitude to my self reflection.

If you could not have noticed by all I have written above: I would say that I have not regretted writing in my bullet journal one bit since I started last year. It has really made such a big improvement on my mood; my happiness and I feel more at ease with myself as a person. It has brought me more confidence and I am a lot more mindful about the privileges we all already have in life compared to people in some other countries. If you’re doubting whether you want to start or not, I would definitely recommend just giving it a go. If you’re thinking it might take up too much of your time then write down one thing you’re grateful for in your life on your phone. You basically are on your phone all the time, so you might as well just make a list of notes with the date and whatever thing you feel grateful for. No matter how bad your day was, there’s always something positive to feel grateful for. Even on my darker days I am always grateful for my parents, my brother and his girlfriend and their support, the love I always get from my friends. Even on my worst days I am just grateful to have a home to go to, a warm bed to snuggle up in at the end of the day. Because even though it might seem like something normal to have in your life, in our world, other people in the world might not even have access those basic needs.

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