Having a sense of gratitude is important. You don’t need a special holiday, like Thanksgiving, to feel gratitude for the good things in your life. Instead, you can cultivate that emotion all year long by starting a gratitude journal.
Choose your journal
The first step in starting a gratitude journal is to choose a journal. You can choose a physical journal from your local stationery store, or you can choose to use a digital journal – or even a blog. You’ll want to choose something that makes you look forward to filling it with words each day.
Make time to write
it’s important to be consistent and build the journaling habit. Especially at first, schedule some time to write in your journal consistently – even if all you’re writing is a paragraph. Even if you’re unable to start with daily gratitude journaling, carving time out consistently will help you feel the benefits.
Consider using prompts
When you’re getting started with your gratitude journal, you might not know what to write about. There are some great websites out there with prompts for your journal like the ones from Positively Present, Positive Psychology Program, and Develop Good Habits.
If you get stuck
If you find yourself getting stuck, start thinking of what your life would be without certain things. Sometimes that can help us to see what blessings we really have. If you’re getting stuck on a regular basis, and prompts and flipping your thinking don’t work, you may want to journal less frequently (but still consistently). Something else that may help is going back and reading what you’ve already written.
Remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect
Give yourself the permission to write what comes to mind. You’re not writing for an audience, you’re writing for yourself. It’s okay if what you put down on paper isn’t perfect, what’s important is that you’re getting it out and down on paper so that you can reflect upon it.
As you journal, you’ll find that you have more gratitude each day, and that your general mood changes to be more positive. If you’re having a rough day, return to that space of gratitude – either in your thoughts or by reading through passages in your journal. Cultivating a disposition of gratitude can help boost your mood in the long-term.
What is something you are grateful for?
Share, if you would like, in our comments. We’d love to hear what you’re grateful for.