The Science Behind Gratitude Journals

test tubeThis article discusses the various research projects conducted around the practice of keeping a gratitude journal.

  • Numerous empirical experiments have shown that gratitude journal keeping yields benefits to mood, health, and the fulfillment of personal goals.
  • One research study compares the practice against other modalities of therapy and the result showed the highest marks of effectiveness in favor of keeping a gratitude journal.
  • These studies have also shown that the practice shows benefits for a widespread demographic: from younger to older ages, healthy to those coping with disease, depressives, students, unmarried and married.

Check out the article here.

Gratitude Journal Tips: Settings

Gratitude journals have been used for centuries as a method for increasing happiness by staying focused on the good in one’s life.  Cicero once said, “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.”   By simply journaling about the pleasant aspects of your life, you’ll find your general mood is elevated.  With a gratitude journal, each day you are creating a chronology of the events, people, places, and things that contribute to your life in a positive way.

One of the main reasons the Gratitude Journey iPhone app was created, was to address the drawbacks of keeping a pen-and-paper journal.  By taking advantage of modern smartphone technology, Gratitude Journey becomes more than a simple journal.  It keeps a reminder system, so you don’t forget to make entries.  It revisits past entries for you, so you can re-appreciate the  positive things that you might have forgotten about.  It also leverages iCloud to back-up your entries while allowing you to synch between different devices you own (e.g.: iPhone and iPad).

In order for you to make the most out of your experience with the Gratitude Journey app, here are some best practices to configure your settings.

Configuring the Settings

Settings Screenshot

  1. Daily Reminder – This is the app’s alarm clock.  Set a time of the day for which you would like the app to remind you to be grateful and make an entry.  Prana to the People’s recommendation is to set the daily reminder to sometime in the morning.  Start your day in a grateful and blissful mood, carrying your happiness with you from your waking hours until you go to bed.  So before work, school, etc, have the app remind you to journal about something you’re grateful for.
  2. Gratitude Gift – This is the apps most powerful feature.  One of the major drawbacks of traditional journals is the lack of encouragement to read past entries.  With a Gratitude Gift, the app randomly selects a past entry and sends it to your phone’s home screen.  It’s an amazing pick-me-up.  Think about the pleasant suprise of being reminded of the yummy food your grandmother made for you as a child.   Set the Gratitude Gift to arrive sometime in the afternoon.  It’s most effective in the home-stretch before you come home for the day.
  3. Lapse Reminder –  Gratitude Journey reminds you if you’ve gone too many days without making an entry.  This is another feature that traditional paper journals simply can not help with.  Have the app remind you if you haven’t been grateful in 2 days.  If you find yourself losing your the gratefulness you’ve been cultivating, reduce the reminder to 1 day.
  4. iCloud Backup – The app will save your entry database using Apple’s iCloud backup service.  This has two major benefits:
    1. It backs-up your database in case your device is lost or breaks
    2. Allows you to synch your database between two different devices.  Just be sure to turn on iCloud Backup in both devices and sign into the same iCloud account name on both devices.

After you make changes to the settings, be sure to tap “Save/Update” to store your changes.  Please send us any feedback you might have on how we can improve the app and don’t forget to Rate the App if you like what you see. If you have’t already purchased the Gratitude Journey gratitude journal app for yourself or a loved one, here’s where to purchase it on the Apple app store:

Visit the app store

Gratitude Journey Available on the Apple App Store

An all-in-one gratitude journal application designed to increase happiness by focusing on the good in your life. Available on iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

Available now, the app Gratitude Journey provides users with a digital-age gratitude journal.  Gratitude journals are used by individuals who wish to focus on the positive things in their life.  Through the use of custom reminders and a sleek interface, Gratitude Journey automates the process of keeping a journal while encouraging users to maintain an attitude of gratitude.

Screenshots

Gratitude Journey‘s home page displays a chronological list of past entries.  Each day, the user is reminded to make an entry.  An entry has a date, time and category and an optional image.  Users can track their progress in various categories and view their progress over time in calendar or graph format.  The app offers a unique ‘gratitude gift’ pick-me-up feature: at a specified time in the day, users are sent a randomly-selected past entry.

I saw an opportunity to really affect people’s happiness. Keeping a gratitude journal is a powerful practice and the app magnifies the result,” – Matt Elmore, founder of non-profit Prana to the People.

Gratitude Journey is now available for $0.99 in the US on the Apple App StorePrana to the People forwards all proceeds from this app to various relief organizations, chosen quarterly.

Gratitude Journey Release: December 21, 2012!

App LogoWe are very excited to announce the release date (December 21, 2012)  for our first app: Gratitude Journey – The All-in-one Gratitude Journal App!

Gratitude Journey has been in the making for a greater part of 2012.  The idea came about as a sudden realization. I had been using a gratitude journal for months to essentially start my day on a happy note, and keep that going.  For those who don’t know what a gratitude journal is, it’s as simple as it sounds.  At specific times of the day, you journal about things that you’re grateful for in your life.  It’s amazingly effective.  By keeping an attitude of gratitude, you’re constantly reminded of the happy things in your life, which are often hidden by stress.

One day, a friend slash leadership coach was telling me about one of her morning habits.  She has this totally cute practice of asking strangers in her building elevator, “What are you grateful for today?”  I thought to myself, what a gift she is giving these people.  When someone starts thinking about the macaroni art their daughter made for them, they’re going to be rocking a smile all day long.  So the decision was made.  Everyone deserves this happiness and what better way to do it than through smart phone apps.

Gratitude Journey is designed to enhance and automate the process of keeping a gratitude journal.  You can add pictures to your entries, categorize them by type, and chart your progress.  The two key features that really make the app powerful are the Daily Alarm and the Gratitude Gift.  At specified times of the day, the app will send you randomly-selected past entries as a pick-me-up.

I can hardly contain my excitement until the release date.  Feedback from the beta testers has been stellar.  People are really getting value out of this practice.  Stay tuned, and be sure to get your hands on one of the first copies of Gratitude Journey for yourself or a loved one.

With love,

Matt's Signature

Matt Elmore
Founder, Prana to the People