How to start a gratitude journal
A gratitude journal is a great way to write and reflect on a few things each day that you are grateful for. By doing this on a daily basis you are training your brain to focus on all the positive aspects of your life. This will help you to build resilience to negative situations and therefore should increase your happiness, reduce depressive symptoms and help you feel good inside.
How to start a gratitude journal
Choose a journal:
Decide what type of journal you want to use. This can be a notebook a hard-backed writing pad or even a printable. Click the image below to check out the printable gratitude journals in my shop.
Find time to write:
I have always found it best to start the day with three things that I am grateful for. This sets me up on a positive note and I find that my day goes a lot smoothly. I even write three things that I am grateful for at the end of the day and this helps me to relax and unwind without those negative thoughts racing around in my head. I have also found that doing this simple action at the beginning and the end of the day helps me to reduce my stress and anxiety and thus get a good night's sleep.
Don't get overwhelmed with this as you can be as specific or minimalistic as you wish. For instance, you may write something as simple as:
“Today I am grateful for 1/ my health 2/ good food 3/ my family”
You will find that as you progress through the days, weeks and months you will tend to want to write more.
Don't overthink it:
Just write what comes into your head at the time. It doesn't matter if you have a blank moment because you will get better at it. When I first started gratitude journaling I just ran through the things that I do on any given day and broke them down into gratitude. For example:
1/ I am grateful to be living close to the shops so I can walk there.
2/ I am grateful to the postman who delivered my Amazon parcel today.
3/ I am grateful for the charity shop pot that helps me to store my Posca Pens.
Make it a habit:
You might forget a few days but that doesn't matter. Just keep going and you will start to look forward to doing it each day. Sometimes I forget to write in my gratitude journal at night time but I don't let it worry me. After all, it is supposed to be fun so just let the process unfold naturally.
Tips for keeping a gratitude journal:
1/ Set goals. What do you hope to achieve by keeping a gratitude journal? Once you know what you want to get out of it, you will be more likely to stick with it.
2/ Use prompts. If you are stuck for ideas, try using gratitude journal prompts. These can help you focus on the positive aspects of your life and find things to be grateful for.
3/ Get creative. Don't be afraid to get creative with your gratitude journal. You can draw pictures, write poems, or even make collages. The most important thing is to find a way to express your gratitude that is meaningful to you.
4/ Track your progress. It can be helpful to track your progress over time. Do you feel better than before you started? What changes have you noticed? Tracking your progress will help you become aware of how your gratitude journal is impacting your life.
As you can see, it is so simple to start a gratitude journal. All you really need is a pen and some paper. After you have been journaling for a few weeks you will probably start to see some improvements in the way you perceive the world around you and you will look at things in a more positive light. If you want to get started right away and want a cute design then head over to my Etsy shop and have a look at the gratitude journals listed. Within minutes you will have your very own sent to your email ready for you to print and use at home.
Just to let you know: I am grateful that you read this blog post today