Over the years, I’ve kept dozens of journals. I love to write and especially like to keep notes of my thoughts. As a matter of fact, I still have my junior high and high school diaries! I’ve always joked that I need to burn those old journals so when I die, no one will get a hold of my thoughts from way back then – not for my sake but for the sake of those named LOL
Recently (as of January 2012), I started a new journal – my first ever gratitude journal. I bought a cute little lined journal book with a pink ribbon bookmark, signed my name, wrote one of my favorite affirmations on the first page, and started writing.
Note: If you’re gonna keep a journal, may as well make it look good!
My nightly routine includes turning off the TV or putting it on the Soundscapes or Spa music channel to help calm the mind and jot down at least 5 things I am grateful for that day. Some days I have so much I want to write, it spans two pages; other days, I struggle to write just 5 but I do it nevertheless. I’ve found that even if I’m in a not-so-good mood, once I finish writing, I have a smile on my face
Why I Keep a Gratitude Journal
I can tell you that while I used to take time to speak how grateful I am, I think it’s even more powerful to write it down (just like we do with anything else we want to focus on). I liken it to the power of 3 – I think it, I write it, then I read what I’ve written. It gives my conscious and subconscious minds much more to work with.
The greatest testimony I can give is this: the things which I’ve been continuously grateful for have begun manifesting even more in my life. So I don’t question it. It works for me and I highly suggest you take a few minutes out of your day to jot down some items on paper to expand your life positively as well!
Other reasons to keep a gratitude journal are:
- Better emotional well-being
- Huge stress reliever
- Gives you a transformative, positive mindset
- Offers great social, psychological, and even physical health benefits
- Satisfies the theory that what you focus on expands
- Similarly, the more you are grateful for, the more will be given to you
- Lastly but definitely not least, you’ll benefit from being a new, more conscious, more positive, more abundant person!
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
Start Your Own Gratitude Journal
It’s very simple really.
- Get a blank journal or notepad (or you can even keep an electronic journal if you don’t like to write) and personalize it.
- Take a deep breath and write 5 things you’re grateful for each night before bedtime (or however many you feel like doing). IMPORTANT: It doesn’t matter how big or small your thought is. It could have been a smile someone gave you, spending time with a loved one, the beauty of nature, the fact that you didn’t go off on anybody that day (LOL) – whatever it is, make it your own.
- Re-read what you’ve written. Sometimes, this sparks even more items to write down.
- Optional: I have a symbol I normally include on things I write; my personal signature icon if you will, and I include it at the end of each journal entry. I also include the phrase “And So It Is.” It sorta gives me finality of my thoughts.
- Once complete, collect your thoughts, take another deep breath, and go to bed in a happier place.
Change the way you look at things and the things you look at will change. -Wayne Dyer
Hopefully, you’ll start to look at everyday things with a new perspective, seeing the beauty in things, viewing opportunities in obstacles, expecting more out of life.
In addition to keeping a gratitude journal, the Greater Good: Science of a Meaningful Life offers 10 Ways to Become More Grateful. Enjoy!
Do you keep a gratitude journal? If so, how has it benefited you? If not, try it for a week and let me know your results. Share your feedback!