A gratitude journal is a great way to keep yourself in a thankful and positive state of mind. The act of journaling itself has been a blessing to me over this past year, helping me to be a more grounded and intentional. A more thoughtful version of myself. As gratitude journaling has been so helpful in my daily walk this year, I wanted to share with you some tips for starting and keeping a gratitude journal for yourself as well.
Please note, I myself use an iPad to digitally keep a minimalist gratitude journal, but feel free to take pen to paper in the pursuit of your own journaling needs. Here’s how to start a gratitude journal:
Thankfulness is simply an attitude of gratitude in practice. A practice which must be developed and maintained over time. Cultivating gratitude as the norm of your life will make keeping a gratitude journal much easier.
Making it a rule to write down a certain number of things you are thankful for per day will help you to love the life you are in and feel more appreciative for the small things, the little accomplishments you obtain and achieve each and every day. Be sure to avoid repeating the same things daily. This will make writing in the journal more challenging as time goes on, your awareness and thankfulness will grow.
The idea is that you’ll be challenging yourself to find new things to be thankful for. Perhaps more than ever before.
Start with the basics. Write down simple things you are grateful for in your day-to-day activities. Things that sustain your existence such as your house, bed, meals, children, or spouse.
Be sure to explain how each basic element in your life makes you feel and why you’re grateful for it.
An example- I am grateful for my house. My house warms my body and shelters me from the cold. It gives me a sense of relief knowing that there is always a comforting place to come back to each day.
The longer you write, the more you will have to say. While the instances in your life will vary from season to season, you will always have something to write about.
For example, if you love to paint in the spring, you may be grateful for the paint that you have. Or, if you like music you may be grateful for your digital playlists, sheet music, or piano.
Never forget to appreciate yourself. Show gratitude for the life you are living. Write about the wonders of the body you have. Even if you don’t like everything about it. Mind you, it’s best to avoid the trap of being grateful for something that is better than what other people have. Instead, compare whatever you are grateful for with how you would feel if you didn’t have it at all. Gratitude lies in kindness.
Start with the basics. Your ability to see, hear, and walk. Then progress gradually to the extended abilities that are uniquely you. Focus on skills and talents that bring life to your days such as dancing, singing, or writing. Show off those features that make up your character. Think of your character. Are you versed in good cheer? Those are the skills, to begin with.
When it comes to journaling, remember to be mindful of the people in your life that help you be your best self. Your truth tellers. Your pushers. Your cheerleaders. Your confidant. Think about all the people you care about- your parents, significant other, children, and fuzzies too! Write why you are grateful for each person and how they make you feel.
It’s also good to write about the people that you don’t really like. Find ways to appreciate them as well. For we all have something worthwhile in us. Find a reason to think well of them. This can be difficult but it can be very uplifting. Everyone is in your life for a reason.
There will always be situations that make us happy. Dwell on these moments. They will help progress your gratitude with each page your journal. Also denote the negative moments of life, too. These same downer moments can help you savor the good times all the more.
I hope this post inspires you all to start a gratitude journal of your own as well. For the only thing better than a life well lead is a life well spent, and journaled.
Here’s to an attitude of gratitude,