A gratitude journal can be an insightful and life-changing tool. In fact, once you get into the habit of contemplating what you’re grateful for each day, it’s the ideal time to consider making it a written activity.
Using a Gratitude Journal
For many, this can be intimidating when you don’t like to write or feel as though you may not have time to dedicate to a daily practice such as journaling.
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In all honestly though, it really doesn’t take much more time to write it down than to simply think on what you appreciate, and you don’t have to have strong writing skills in order to jot down three sentences.
Let’s see if we can’t make the process seem less stressful.
I believe you’ll find there truly are some amazing benefits that come from the physical process of creating a record of gratefulness.
While it’s called a “gratitude journal”, it’s actually a simply a useful tool or a gratefulness record. In fact, you don’t have to write in a paper journal.
The important part is that you consciously take the time each day to record a few things that make you feel fortunate.
Answer the question, “What went well?”
Doing so can actually help to manifest more positive things.
Writing down what you’re appreciative of each day brings that sense of gratefulness to the forefront. It allows you to focus on the positive, helping you to spot opportunities you might otherwise have missed.
Keeping a gratitude journal gives you a written record to pull out and look back on any time you’re feeling less than fortunate. It can provide you with motivation in the toughest of times.
Benefits of a Gratitude Journal
There are many benefits to keeping a gratitude journal.
Instilling a writing practice in this way ensures that you maintain a focus on positivity. Sure, sometimes bad things may happen, but this overall emphasis on finding the good can help to provide you with the resilience to keep going.
Your stress levels will decrease as you begin embracing an attitude of gratitude.
Plus, the act of writing can be therapeutic in itself.
Writing also helps to give you a different perspective on things that you might not see as readily without engaging in the process. You can identify patterns and insight into your life that might help you to identify opportunities and to grow.
Tips for Using Your Journal
The most important thing when it comes to a gratitude journal is consistency of practice.
Some journal twice daily. Others prefer once.
In 365 Days of Gratitude, I formatted it as a guided journal to help you begin to develop and cultivate an attitude of gratitude through daily written exercises.
Each night before bed, grab the journal and jot down three things that went well that day. Additionally, go a step further and write a sentence about why it went well.
There is one more detailed journal prompt each week to bring all of your thoughts together, but there is no required amount of words needed. You simply write what you feel.
Regardless, it will only be effective if you use it regularly.
One of the best ways to help yourself want to use your journal is to choose a format you enjoy.
Don’t force yourself to write in a journal by hand if you prefer to use electronic methods. You can keep your records in a simple word processing spreadsheet or use one of many apps that are available for this purpose.
On the other hand, if you are inspired by a beautifully-bound paper journal, find one that speaks to you and start writing your thoughts down immediately.
No matter what you use, keep it handy by your bedside or on easily accessed devices.
Turn your routine into a ritual. Make it a process that feeds your soul. Incorporate your morning coffee into your journal writing or utilize a bit or aroma therapy to accompany your routine.
Just make it yours.
Remember, you only have to write three simple things you’re grateful for. There’s no need to make it complicated. Start your record keeping gratefulness practice today and see what it can do for you.