One of the easiest ways of expressing gratitude is to create a gratitude journal. Expressing gratitude stimulates your hypothalamus, a part of your brain which regulates different body functions like emotional regulation. The more that you reflect on what you are thankful for, the easier control you have on the homeostatic thermostat of your body.

It can transform your life if you want to write a few phrases, or just take a moment to quietly reflect on everything you have in your life from work successes to your children’s smiles. Writing every day in a gratitude journal can have many different positive effects, helping you improve sleep, insomnia and even pain tolerance.

1. It Boosts Positivity

You become more positive as you take the time to reflect on the good things in your life. It can make you more motivated by writing down what you are grateful for, because you choose to look at the positive aspects of your life, giving less power to negative emotions. While these positive aspects develop in your subconsciousness, it becomes tangible and concrete when written down with intent.

2. It Increases Self-Esteem

Writing in a gratitude journal is extremely personal and it gives you the opportunity to personalize your own achievements. Being grateful eliminates social comparison, becoming less resentful of others when sharing what you are grateful for. A 2014 study found that athletes improved their self-esteem when they became more grateful, and that they could put more trust in the other because they had more faith in themselves.

3. It Will Help You Sleep Well

After writing a few grateful thoughts for just fifteen minutes, you can sleep better at night. When reflecting on the positive experiences of the day or reminding yourself of things to be grateful for, you are far less likely to stay up all night thinking about your problems. 

4. It Makes You Feel Better

Feeling grateful means that in your life you remember the goodness. You will be more positive by writing down these things, remember good memories, and foster resilient relationships–a prescription for a happier life. Studies found that people who write about gratitude are more positive about their life and feel better overall.

5. It Lessens Stress

Grateful people care for themselves better, so they live healthier lives in the long run and are therefore better able to cope with stress. Scientists have found that reflecting on feelings of happiness reduces stress and makes them feel more stable and able to cope with anything that exists.