A letter to you from New York Times bestselling author Ben Greenfield...
Gratitude is one of the most powerful human emotions that exists. The physical, mental and spiritual benefits of gratitude have been scientifically studied, and the results are both astounding and fascinating...
...it turns out that when you start and end each day with conscious and mindful gratitude, the result is that positive emotions, high empathy, better sleep, vastly improved health, fewer aches and pains, a more resilient nervous system, lower blood pressure, less cortisol and stress, better relationship quality, increased longevity and a host of other benefits begin to pour into your life all day long.
But the brand new Christian Gratitude Journal goes far above and beyond giving you an easy way to incorporate gratitude as a simple, daily habit. For example:
Do you struggle each morning or evening trying to spend time in God’s word?
Is it difficult for you to find the time to help and serve others?
Do you feel overwhelmed by the countless ways to read the Bible?
Do you want an easy, proven method that allows you to practice gratitude, and also include service, charity, a devotional practice and prayer into your life?
You are not alone!
But now an uncomplicated, convenient, portable solution exists...
The Christian Gratitude Journal
The Christian Gratitude Journal is a simple and easy-to-follow guide based on proven research that will allow you to easily create the habit of practicing gratitude, discovering Biblical and spiritual truths, and identifying one person or cause to serve, help or pray for every single day.
Each page of your journal begins with a carefully selected, inspirational Bible verse, along with three thought-provoking and life-changing questions you get to answer:
- What am I grateful for today?
- What truth did I discover in today’s reading?
- Who can I pray for or serve today?
Beginning each day with this simple structure allows you to quickly begin each day with a powerful and uplifting spirit of gratitude, to read and discover truths with a laser-like focus and intention, and to experience the satisfaction and meaning that comes with serving and helping someone. Not only that, but as you complete each day, and eventually each week, each month and each year, the Christian Gratitude Journal will serve as a chronicle of your daily gratefulness, your spiritual discoveries, your walk with God and your relationship with others.
In addition to being scientifically proven to create a host of physical health, mental health and spiritually strengthening benefits, gratitude is one of the most powerful human emotions that exist. As a matter of fact, the Bible teaches that the expression of gratitude via giving thanks should indeed be a daily priority. For example, Paul begins many of his letters to the early church by expressing thanks. Colossians 3:17 says, "And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him" and Ephesians 5:20 encourages us to "give thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."
- A simple devotional structure you can rely on, with zero guesswork.
- Service and helping others becoming a natural part of your daily life.
- Beginning each day with reading, gratitude and thinking of others is a calming and peaceful way to start the morning and live your life.
- Greater accountability to God, yourself, and loved ones.
- Stillness each morning to help you feel more relaxed and less stressed.
- Fewer aches and pains and better overall health.
- Increased happiness and reduced depression.
- A stronger immune system.
- Improved sleep.
- And much more…
Why Did I Create the Christian Gratitude Journal?
Before designing and beginning to use the Christian Gratitude Journal, I’d often find myself jumping out of bed without a thought of thanks, haphazardly bouncing around the Bible without a dedicated devotional practice, and thinking far too seldom about how I could take the time to help, serve and pray for others. As a busy personal trainer, health and longevity coach, fitness and nutrition author and speaker, it seemed like this was all I had time for. I was frustrated. I was floundering in my faith, backsliding, and spending too much time engaged in selfish pursuits and not growing in the Lord.
But now, life is far different. You've already discovered and read about many of the personal benefits I have experienced by combining a daily practice of gratitude with the other strategies you will find in this journal. Now that I start and end each day with conscious and mindful gratitude, thankfulness and gratitude pour exponentially into my life all day long.
How Has the Christian Gratitude Journal Impacted My Family's Life?
My wife and twin sons now follow this same journal you've just discovered. This means that we are all able to hold each other accountable in our practice of gratefulness, our study of Scripture, our prayer and our service to others. Each night, we bring our journals when we gather at the table for dinner, and we’re able to share what it is that we were most grateful for, the Biblical truths that we discovered from the daily reading, and who it is we specifically identified to help, pray for or serve. This is a highlight of the day!
If you’re part of a family or in a relationship with a loved one, I recommend bringing your own journals to the breakfast or dinner table to share your entries and to use as fodder for deep and meaningful conversation around a meal.
How Did I Choose The Inspirational Verses That Appear At The Top Of Each Page In the Christian Gratitude Journal?
My mother and I both love to read the Bible and we both have a treasured list of our own favorite verses that inspire us and give us hope each day - verses that keep us steeped in a realization that our spiritual health is what matters the most, and verses that help us to stay closer to God when we keep them constantly on our hearts and our minds.
So my mother and I spent several months selecting the very best of these verses that speak to us the most, and included each in the final version of the journal. I hope and pray that they will bring deep meaning to your life - and even if you don't have the time to read anything else each day before you journal, you can at least have this one verse to dwell upon!
Now Let's Take A Closer Look At The Physical Health Benefits of Gratitude...
According to a 2012 study published in Personality and Individual Differences, grateful people experience fewer aches and pains and they also report feeling healthier than other people. Not surprisingly, grateful people are also far more likely to take care of their health. They exercise more often and are more likely to attend regular check-ups with their doctors - not because they are sick but because they have a greater sense of self-awareness and actually care about their bodies, which is likely to contribute to enhanced longevity.
Research also shows that when we think about what we are grateful for, the parasympathetic, rest-and-digest, calming part of the nervous system is triggered, producing a host of positive benefits for the body, including decreasing cortisol levels and an increasing oxytocin, the powerful bonding hormone involved in relationships that make us feel so good after physical intimacy.
One recent study from the University of California San Diego’s School of Medicine discovered that people who are more grateful actually have better heart health, less inflammation and healthier heart rhythms. This means gratitude is also good for your heart. The study author reported that gratitude was found to lower depression, stress and anxiety, which can increase the risk of heart disease.
Finally, when it comes to the "love hormone" oxytocin, it turns out that one reason gratitude brings us closer together is because of its relationship to our oxytocin. Oxytocin is a neuropeptide, popularly known for its effects on pro-social behaviors, such as trust, generosity and affection. It’s involved in all kinds of human social interactions, from parenting to meeting a new acquaintance - but its baseline in the body is around zero and it needs an actual stimulus to cause its release.
This means the oxytocin system isn’t just selective toward joy or feeling good. It’s actually selective toward something specifically about gratitude, probably to the extent that sharing gratitude - in this case essentially saying that "my happiness is due to your role in my life" - recognizes our social or relationship interdependence, and while this study isn’t the first to suggest that we’re social creatures, it is perhaps the first to suggest that our emotional response to someone sharing a kind word or deed is deeply rooted in our bodies and is part of our evolutionary history.
In summary, from a decrease in cortisol, to a massive drop in inflammation, to a boost in feel-good hormones and beyond, there is a drastic, measurable physical benefit to being grateful.
And that's not all...
There Are A Host Of Psychological Health Benefits of Gratitude...
Gratitude also reduces a multitude of toxic emotions, ranging from envy and resentment to frustration and regret. Dr. Robert Emmons, who I consider to be the world's leading authority on gratitude has conducted multiple studies on the link between gratitude and well-being. His research confirms that gratitude effectively increases happiness and reduces depression.
Gratitude also increases overall mental strength. For years, research has shown gratitude not only reduces stress, but it may also play a major role in overcoming trauma. A 2003 study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that gratitude was a major contributor to resilience following the terrorist attacks on September 11. Another 2003 paper in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that people with neuromuscular diseases who kept “gratitude journals” reported a greater sense of well-being and more positive moods at the end of the study, compared with those who didn’t make such lists. A 2006 study published in Behavior Research and Therapy found that Vietnam War Veterans with higher levels of gratitude experienced lower rates of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
This means that being aware of all you have to be thankful for - even during the worst times of your life - fosters an intense resilience that helps you battle stress and get through tough times. There are a host of other studies that highlight the link between gratitude and psychological health, including:
A pair of 2014 studies from Utrecht University in the Netherlands found that both gratitude and acts of kindness have a strong impact on positive emotions. This impact on positive emotions is especially fascinating when you consider the work of folks like Dr. Bruce Lipton, author of Biology of Belief, Dr. Jerry Tennant, author of Healing is Voltage, or Dr. David Hawkins, author of Healing & Recovery, who all draw extremely strong correlations between positive emotions, quantum physics, changes in protein configurations and cell membrane voltage and overall physical well-being and health.
From a psychological standpoint, gratitude can also act as a natural antidepressant. When we take the time to ask what we are grateful for, specific neural circuits are activated that result in increased production of dopamine and serotonin, and these neurotransmitters then travel neural pathways to the “bliss” center of the brain - similar to the mechanisms of many antidepressants. Practicing gratitude, therefore, can be a way to naturally create the same effects of medications and create feelings of contentment. Not surprisingly, gratitude also increases blood flow and activity in the hypothalamus, the master gland that controls feel-good hormones such as oxytocin, which elicit a positive effect both physically and psychologically.
So That's why You Begin Every Day By Answering the Simple & Straightforward Question #1 In the Christian Gratitude Journal...
...What am I grateful for today?
It's quite simple, really. You wake up, take a deep breath, close your eyes and dwell on a single positive experience from the day before, the night before, and that morning as you’re lying in bed or perhaps sitting in your favorite chair. As you take that deep breath and close your eyes, ask yourself, “What am I grateful for?”
You’ll often find it is the simplest of things: the birds you hear outside, the sunlight streaming through the window, the pitter-patter of a child’s feet going up or down stairs, the soft skin of your lover in bed next to you, or simply the refreshed feeling of having experienced a solid night’s rest. Then, simply write down what it is that first comes to your mind. Sometimes, things can be a bit more difficult: you don’t have a great night of sleep, you wake up with the sniffles, your phone is blowing up with texts, or it’s a dark, stormy day outside. This is where the magic of gratefulness takes over because you’re suddenly able to find the silver lining in any situation.
You'll Then Move On To Question #2: What Truth Did I Discover In Today’s Reading?
This second question you answer each day is based on the truth you discovered in that day’s reading. Writing down the truth you discover will help you read with a seeking and open mind. You will often discover important, life-changing and inspirational truths that you may otherwise have missed.
In addition, when you read with the mindful attitude that you're actually seeking to find truth, meaning or inspiration in what you are reading, you discover far more and pay much closer attention to what you're reading, rather than just skimming the pages.
Honing in on a single truth that speaks to you makes it far more realistic you’ll dwell upon that one truth the rest of the day. Rather than having a variety of takeaways running chaotically through your head, you can simply choose one truth and focus on it, and then move on to...
Question #3...Who Can I Pray For or Serve Today?
While many journals include a daily affirmation focused on "me-me-me", "I-I-I", "what can I achieve", "what's so great about me?" or, as Stuart Smalley so famously quips in his Saturday Night Live skit "I'm good enough. I'm smart enough. And doggone it, people like me.", your own journaling method in The Christian Gratitude Journal will be entirely others focused.
You'll discover that praying for others, thinking of others, and serving others is one of the most valuable, meaningful, and rewarding ways to start your day upon waking. When you begin this practice, you will find yourself meeting more neighbors, inviting friends over for dinner, volunteering in your local community, engaged in deeper relationships with your loved ones, and approaching your entire day with a refreshing, unselfish attitude.
So that's it...those are the three questions you answer each day in this journal: What am I grateful for? What truth did I discover in today's reading? Who can I pray for or serve today?
Now it's time to take action. In addition to reserving your own copy of the Christian Gratitude Journal today right here on this Kickstarter page (along with the multitude of incentives I've created for you!), will you help me spread the word about the Christian Gratitude Journal? Click the image below to share this project, and as a thank you I'll hook you up with a 7-day instantly downloadable PDF of the Christian Gratitude Journal so that you can get started right away with all the benefits of this daily practice.
Now let's take a closer look at the bonus incentives I've created for you right here on this Kickstarter page...
About "Daily Routines: A Practical Handbook To Optimize Your Body, Mind & Spirit” Bonus Gift
Having a daily routine is absolutely crucial to you achieving massive success, experiencing extreme productivity, and “crushing it” in life.
There really aren’t many successful people who do not have some kind of a structured and occasionally elaborate daily routine.
So as a perfect accompaniment to your journal, you will now be able to delve into my own personal morning, afternoon and evening routines – daily habits that will enhance your health, your energy, your body, your brain, your sleep and beyond, beginning with the most logical place to begin: the start of the day, then progressing all the way through the afternoon, and then finally culminating with my own personal evening routine.
Using the tips within “Daily Routines: A Practical Handbook To Optimize Your Mind, Body & Spirit”, you’ll wake like a champion, achieve superhuman levels of productivity, and sleep like a baby, all with plenty of time left over for family, friends, hobbies, social life, and more - including gratitude, reading and serving others.
As part of joining this Kickstarter campaign, you can get access to both an instantly downloadable electronic version, as well as a convenient audio version of the routines that I've recorded for you!
I have already paid one of the global leaders in print management the hefty cash deposit for 5,000 of these journals to be printed and shipped to the USA for both national and international fulfillment to individuals, churches, corporations and beyond. I would love for you, for your friends, for your family and for any connections you have to be able to get your hands on one of the first hard copies of the journal, fresh off the press.
However, here's the deal: I need to raise a grand total of $15,000 during this campaign in order to pay for the first print run of these journals, and to do this, I am running this Kickstarter campaign. I've worked over the past several months to create a variety of incentives and rewards on this Kickstarter, and these are all available to you for supporting the Christian Gratitude Journal at any level you want and any level you can afford. This means that no matter what your budget is, I can guarantee that you are sure to find a way to support this project.
I would be eternally grateful if you could support this project and/or share it with your friends, family, church congregation, youth group, teacher, classroom, corporation or anywhere else that you can, because I truly believe that this journal is going to transform the world in the same way that it has transformed my own life and the life of my family.
I’m overjoyed and, of course, grateful to be able to share this journal with you!
Risks and challenges
I'm proud to announce that I have finally put the finishing touches on this Christian Gratitude Journal that I personally designed - a journal that unlocks the power of gratitude and easily walks you through all three questions you've just discovered.
It's exactly what I and my children and wife now use every single day to unlock the power of gratitude, along with the value of seeking a truth each day and serving others each day.
Three years in the making, the Christian Gratitude Journal is now a reality: a small, beautiful, hard-cover journal with an elegant design, chock full of inspirational verses, gratitude how-to's and much more, and it is finally almost ready for releasing to the world...
...but I need your help.
See, I have already paid one of the global leaders in print management the hefty cash deposit for 5,000 of these journals to be printed and shipped to the USA for both national and international fulfillment to individuals, churches, corporations and beyond. I would love for you, for your friends, for your family and for any connections you have to be able to get your hands on one of the first hard copies of the journal, fresh off the press.
However, here's the deal: I need to raise a grand total of $15,000 during this campaign in order to pay for the first print run of these journals, and to do this, I am running this Kickstarter campaign. I've worked over the past several months to create a variety of incentives and rewards on this Kickstarter page, and these are all available to you for supporting the journal project at any level you want and any level you can afford - with the incentives including a digital download of the journal, autographed packs of the journal, an opportunity for a private speaking engagement with me, and whole lot more.
This means that no matter what your budget is, I can guarantee that on this Kickstarter page, you are sure to find a way to support this project. In addition, I've lined up a special series of rewards so that if you want to share the Kickstarter campaign with your friends and family (you can simply share from the share button on this Kickstarter page to activate this feature), you get an extra bonus.
In short, I would be eternally grateful if you could share this Kickstarter campaign with your friends, family, church congregation, youth group, teacher, classroom, corporation or anywhere else that you can, because I truly believe that this journal is going to transform the world in the same way that it has transformed my own life and the life of my family.
So that's it. I hope you've learned a great deal about the power of gratitude and made a decision to begin incorporating the power of gratitude (and truth, and service) in your own life each day. Join this Kickstarter campaign page now, claim your advance copy of the Christian Gratitude Journal (5,000 are going to disappear fast!), along with all the special bonuses you can see on this page, and please help me spread the word by sharing the campaign as many places as you can.
In the meantime, do you have questions, thoughts or feedback for me about my daily gratitude journaling practice or the Christian Gratitude Journal? Leave your comments here and I'll reply!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (31 days)