The Bible is full of references to the importance of gratitude and thanksgiving, from Psalm 100 to 1 Thessalonians 5:18, or Revelation 11:17. It is an essential part of spiritual discipline and the frequent Biblical exhortations suggest that it is good for us. Gratitude journalling is just one way of embedding this practice in our daily routine.

But how do we know?

I love it when modern scientific research validates the ancient wisdom. We often trust that wisdom instinctively, knowing it makes sense of our human experience, but I can’t help a little cry of delight when I read articles that ‘prove’ it. In recent decades there has been lots of research into gratitude. I recently did a trawl of online journal articles and what follows is a very brief summary of their findings. (No apologies for the lack of URL references which would have run to many pages!) It seems that the benefits of gratitude include:

  • Improved mental health – grateful people experience fewer toxic emotions such as anger, resentment, frustration and regret.
  • Improved physical health – grateful people are less likely to experience aches and pains and more likely to take care of themselves e.g. through healthy eating and exercise.
  • More empathy and kindness towards others, even in the face of negative feedback. (Good news for parents!)
  • Improved self-esteem – gratitude helps you to stop comparing yourself with others. Comparison lowers self-esteem. Better self-esteem leads to more confidence and better relationships.
  • A more positive experience at work due to better networking skills, increased productivity and better decision-making ability.
  • Less stress – recognising the good things you have, even in the worst of times, increases resilience and helps you cope better.
  • Better sleep – the practise of gratitude journalling before bed each day helps you sleep better and longer.
  • Happier memories, less regret and more optimism.

Clearly, developing an ‘attitude of gratitude’ is one of the simplest ways to improve your life! In this You Tube video I started journalling with 1 Thessalonians 5:18 and had a fruitful and fun time with an old napkin, some paint and the Gratitude and Thanksgiving journalling kit from BibleJournallingUK on Etsy.

To get the kit, go to


It’s official: thanksgiving is good for us!

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