Start a Gratitude Journal

How To Start A Gratitude Journal

In Gratitude by Kate J Parker

My gratitude journal has changed my life

Since starting a gratitude journal nearly 12 months ago I have noticed a number of positive changes.

  • I am happier
  • Feel healthier
  • Live in the moment more
  • Easily deal with difficulties
  • See the blessings in problems
  • Appreciate the small and ordinary occurrences in life.

I don’t feel like I need anything else to make me happy. I love my life and everything that comes with it. This is all due to keeping a gratitude journal.

Scientific research has proven the benefits of consciously showing gratitude daily. Anyone can increase their sense of well-being and create positive social effects just from counting their blessings.

‘Once you establish a practice of gratitude, you will find that the things you show gratitude towards will show up more frequently in your life. It is like a magnet – happiness attracts more happiness.’

The best way to start a gratitude journal is to just start! It doesn’t take much, just a pen and some paper and a commitment to spend a few minutes each day recording what you are grateful for. To help you some more, here are a few of my tips to keeping a gratitude journal

CHOOSE YOUR GRATITUDE JOURNAL METHOD

I love pen and paper. My gratitude journal is a beautifully bound book with an inspirational quote on the front cover. One of my gorgeous friends bought it for me so it has an added sentimental value.

However, you can keep a gratitude journal anyway you wish. You can use a notebook, bullet journal, phone memo, voice recorder, computer document, phone app or a purposely designed gratitude journal.

If you feel like extra guidance, this beautiful journal provides tips and inspiration with exploring mindfulness and gratitude.

SET A ROUTINE

When I first started, I made a commitment to find three things every day to be grateful for. Some days were easy and I found my blessings without much thought, other days I had to revisit my entire day to find a small moment I could find gratitude for. I made this commitment to help establish a routine. Now I am not so strict on the number of things I am grateful for, but I needed that structure at the beginning in order to create the habit.

It is also important to set aside the same time each day. I keep my journal in my bedside table and do it every night before going to sleep. I sit up in bed and think over my day before recording my thoughts. It has become as much a part of my bedtime routine as brushing my teeth!

To kick start your new routine, I have a FREE gratitude challenge that is perfect for you!

WRITE CONSCIOUSLY

Before you commit pen to paper, spend time reviewing your day and feel the gratitude surge through your body. Be in the moment and enjoy counting your blessings. If it becomes an unconscious routine you won’t receive the benefits.

DEPTH RATHER THAN BREADTH

Don’t limit the amount of events you wish to be grateful for, but be sure to fully express each one. Full expression includes specific details of the event and the emotions you feel because of it.

DON’T BEAT YOURSELF UP

You will have difficult days where you will find it hard to think of something to be grateful for. The good news is the longer you practice showing gratitude, the fewer of these days you will experience. In the meantime, if you are in this situation don’t talk yourself down. Just try and think of the lesson that will be uncovered from your difficult day.

For example, last week my husband Izzy and I had a huge argument not long before bed time. When I went to write in my gratitude journal, adrenaline was still flowing through my body and my ego was in full control. I spent a few minutes breathing and settling myself before trying to work out the lesson from our argument. I realised we had been very consumed in ourselves lately and we needed to be kinder and more alert to each other. I then had a reason to be grateful for our argument.

If you are still struggling to write in your gratitude journal, read this article on ’70 Things To Be Grateful For’.

Finally, if you miss a day or a week, don’t get disheartened. Just pick it up again as soon as you can. Your gratitude journal will always be there for you!

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