The Gratitude Journal
Gratitude journals are a great way to remain content, pick yourself up, and learn to appreciate the important things in life. Some of these things could be a relationship, your pet, some of the things you enjoy doing, a great restaurant, or literally anything that makes you feel good.
There are a whole host of benefits associated with gratitude journaling. Writing about things that you are grateful for will reduce stress, help you focus on the important things, and feel calm at night (Jessen, 2015). Focusing on what we are grateful for, minimizes our focus on what we do not like and cheers us up naturally by focusing on the good in our lives.
Jessen (2015) suggests writing in your gratitude journal at night for about 10-15 minutes, but I have found writing down what I’m grateful for in the morning is also a great way to start the day. I call these my grateful 3. In the morning I write down three things I am grateful for and I do the same thing in the evening. I came up with the number three after I purchased the 5-minute journal from intelligent change (www.intelligentchange.com). The 5-minute journal is where I started my gratitude journaling.
I highly recommend the journal if you really don’t know where to start. They give you an introduction to gratitude journaling in the front of the book and explain the benefits of this type of journaling. Each day you have three entries in the evening, three entries in the morning, a daily affirmation section (more on this in a later journal series article), and what you could do to even have a better day tomorrow.
I stopped using the book form of the 5-minute journal for a while and went to their iPhone version, but found it lacking. I like writing with pen and ink because I feel more connected to the words. Subsequently, I decided to create my own journal. I will discuss building your own journal at the end of my journal series.
Gratitude journaling is a great way to start and end your day because it causes you to find those things that you are grateful for each day. Some weeks you’ll use the same items over and over, but from time-to-time, you’ll be surprised at what you find yourself smiling about. For me a good cup of coffee at the local Starbucks, a good workout at my gym, or a serendipitous meeting with someone that was a joy to meet are all examples of what I find myself expressing gratitude for.
If you are not currently journaling, you may want to try starting a gratitude journal. It is easy to do, not too time intensive, and really does provide the benefits Jessen (2015) explains. It does provide a lot of benefits. I love journaling, now that I’ve been doing it for over a year. I want this journaling series to help others find the benefits of journaling like I have. It truly is a great gift and one that will help you clarify, refine, and enjoy the experiences you may have taken for granted.
I hope you have a great week ahead!
Until next time…
Jessen, L. (2015). The benefits of a gratitude journal and how to maintain one. The Blog. Retrieved from https://www.huffingtonpost.com/lauren-jessen/gratitude-journal_b_7745854.html