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A beginners guide to gratitude journaling

A happy gardener and a child says

“If someone were to ask you what you're grateful for in the present moment, would you have an answer ready to go? Could you easily recall the small moments in your day that bring you the most joy? The simple habit of reflecting on what you are grateful for can actually lead to a happier, more content life. All it takes is a few moments of your time and a gratitude journal to record your thoughts.

They also say that:

“Gratitude journals are not unlike the diary you kept as a teenager, but instead of writing random thoughts about your day, you write about the things you're grateful for.”

Are you ready to start gratitude journaling and starting the day in a positive mood?

If the answer is yes, then you are in the right place.

What is a gratitude journal?

As mentioned above, a gratitude journal is a place to record all the things that you are grateful for everyday. It can be in a notebook, on loose sheets of paper or a printable ready made journal. It doesn't matter how you write them down, it matters that you are consistent to be able to see and feel improvements to your life.

The benefits of using a gratitude journal

1/Increased happiness and well-being. Studies have shown that people who keep gratitude journals are happier and have better overall well-being than those who don't

2/ Reduced stress and anxiety. Gratitude journaling can help to reduce stress and anxiety by focusing on the positive aspects of your life.

3/ Improved sleep. Gratitude journaling can help you to sleep better by reducing stress and anxiety and promoting relaxation.

4/ Increased self-esteem. Gratitude journaling can help you to appreciate yourself and your accomplishments, which can boost your self-esteem.

5/ Stronger relationships. Gratitude journaling can help you to express your gratitude to others, which can strengthen your relationships.

6/ Greater resilience. Gratitude journaling can help you to bounce back from setbacks and challenges by focusing on the positive aspects of your life.

7/ Improved physical health. Studies have show that gratitude journaling can have a positive impact on physical health, such as reducing blood pressure and improving heart health.

How to use a gratitude journal

Using a gratitude journal is easy all you have to do is to follow these 5 steps and you will be well on your way to improving your life.

Step 1 Choose a journal. You can use any kind of journal, but it can be helpful to choose one that is specifically designed for gratitude journaling. There are many types available so that you can find one that suits your style and needs.

a printable winter themed gratitude journal

Step 2 Set aside some time each day. It is best to write in your journal at the same time each day, so it becomes a habit. Even if it's just for a few minutes, make sure to find a quiet place where you won't be interrupted so you can reflect on the things you are grateful for.

Step 3 Write down 3-5 things you are grateful for. When you are writing in your journal, be specific about the things you are grateful for. Don't just write “I'm grateful for my family.” Instead write about specific things you are grateful for about your family, such as their love, support and humour. If you find it difficult to think of things to be grateful for you can use a gratitude journal that has daily prompts to get you going. Like the one above. Just click the button below to have a look.

Step 4 Be present. When you are writing in your gratitude journal, focus on the present moment and the things you are grateful for right now. Don't dwell on the past or worry about the future.

Step 5 Make it a habit. The more you do it, the easier it will become. So don't give up if it's hard at first. Just keep practising and you'll eventually get the hang of it

When to write in your gratitude journal

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best time to write in a gratitude journal will vary from person to person. However, some of the most common times to write include:

  • Morning: Writing in the morning can help you start the day on a positive note. It can also help you focus on the good things in your life and set a positive intention for the day ahead.

  • Night: Writing in your journal before you go to bed can help you to relax and de-stress before going to sleep. It can also help you to reflect on the positive things that happened in your day and let go of any negative thoughts or emotions. Some people find it beneficial to write in the morning and at night for an even better feeling of calm and positiveness.

  • Midday: Taking a few minutes to write in your journal during the day can help you to take a break from whatever you are doing and appreciate the good things in your life. This can be especially helpful if you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed.

  • Whenever you feel grateful: If you feel grateful at any point during the day, take a few minutes to write it down in your gratitude journal. This can be a great way to capture the moment and savour your feelings of gratitude.

Ultimately, the best time to write in a gratitude journal is the time that works best for you and your schedule. If you are consistent with your journaling practice, you will start to see the benefits of gratitude journaling, regardless of when you choose to do it.

As you can see, gratitude journaling is a simple but powerful practice that can have a positive impact on your life, if you are looking for a way to increase your happiness, reduce stress, and improve your overall well-being, I encourage you to give it a try.

Check out my Etsy shop for the latest gratitude journals below.

printable gratitude journal

Autumn themed printable gratitude journal

The Printable winter gratitude journal with a prompt for each day of 1 month

The printable Fall/Autumn themed gratitude journal with a prompt for each day of 1 month.


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