The Importance of Gratitude

Jess Distill
4 min readJun 14, 2021

Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.” — Zig Ziglar

I’ve never been good at journaling.

I start with every good intention, and about a month later get bored or forget about it. But I started a gratitude journal around 2 years ago and haven’t missed a day so far.

I think that finding things to be grateful for on a daily basis is incredibly important and powerful

As the quote above suggests, the more grateful you are for the things you have, the more likely you are to attract more abundance. And honestly, keeping a daily gratitude journal has changed my life. A cliche, I know, but let me tell you why.

I’ve written in my diary every day since September 11, 2019 and I have felt a profound change in myself and my attitudes since then. It’s a simple process. Every evening, before I go to bed, I think about the day I’ve had and find four or five things to be grateful for about that day.

Sometimes this is really easy. Sometimes a day throws something awesome your way and so, obviously, you’re grateful for that thing. Sometimes your day has been super boring and bland. Not much has happened and, on those days, it can become quite tough to think of things to be grateful for. And sometimes a day is just downright miserable. Some days nothing goes right, and you feel like there is nothing to be grateful for at all. On days like these, I find gratitude journaling the most helpful and the most powerful. Let me give you some examples.

Imagine one day, you get a call saying that you got the job you really wanted. Awesome. Obviously, you’re going to be grateful for that. But the next day, nothing much happens. You stay at home because it’s raining outside and you decided to do some housework. Boring and miserable. Until you reframe the way you look at the situation. What is there about this day to be grateful for? Perhaps you’re grateful for the rain because it feeds the land and makes your garden look beautiful? Or maybe you’re really thankful that you have a house that needs cleaning and looking after. Because that’s a super privileged position to be in, and something most of us take for granted every day. Sure, it’s a drag that you have to do housework, and you might not have ever thought of it as a privilege before, but, as soon as you do, it starts to change your outlook on every aspect of your life. It makes you happier. It makes you keener to live the best way you can.

The next day, you end up with flu. You were supposed to be going out with friends, you were meant to go to work and you can’t get out of bed because you feel so ill. Surely there’s absolutely nothing to be grateful for here. Surely?! But how about this. How about gratitude for the fact that you’re in a position where you can afford to be ill, and take a day off work, without losing money or your job. You have a lovely bed to lie in, and heating to keep you warm, and medicine to help heal you. What an honour!

And the things you put in your gratitude journal don’t have to be centred around what happened in your day, but more around your life situation as a whole. I’m grateful that I live in a country with a relatively stable climate, not living in fear of bush fires or hurricanes or floods. I’m grateful that I live in a country free of war. I’m grateful that I have legs that allow me to walk and hands that allow me to write.

Force yourself, every day, to find something, anything to be grateful for. However big or small. However insignificant or important it may feel, everything in life is worth being grateful for because everything is part of your unique and important journey. Everything is given to you and sent your way for a reason, so embrace it, and be glad.

I urge every one of you to start a gratitude journal today. Start small. Maybe give yourself just a couple of things to list each day. But make a point of sitting down and really thinking about your day and your life. And if you can’t think of anything big, narrow your field a bit and look at the smaller things. I can guarantee it’ll make you a happier person, and you may start experiencing more abundance because of it.

For some guidance, here are some entries from my journal:

Wednesday 11 September 2019. Today I am grateful:

# That I have the chance to make and share music

# That I have dishes that need washing

# That my skin is looking really good

# For supportive friends

Wednesday 9 October 2019. Today I am grateful:

# That I got to lie in

# That my cough is so much better

# For love

# For a great gig

# That I know I’m right where I need to be and I am in good hands

Thursday 19 December 2019. Today I am grateful:

# That Freya and her baby are doing well

# That I got a lift home

# For Rachel

# For my future

# For food and water

# That I found my necklace

Thursday 2 January 2020. Today I am grateful:

# For a party free of anxiety and stress

# That my hair looks awesome

# For a restful, hangover free day

# For new music

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Jess Distill

I write words and draw lines. lover of art, music, literature and coffee.