The Gratitude Journal


Ever since I was a child, I’ve always loved the idea of journaling.  The process of writing down thoughts, lists, memories, reflections, and inspiration in a notebook has always been both relaxing and fascinating to me, but my journal writing has always been sporadic. I’d write for a few days, then forget to write and before I know it, months have passed since my last entry.
I recently read about a 30 day gratitude journaling challenge. This kind of journaling involves writing about only the things that you are grateful for for an entire month. Having done my fair share of research on the benefits of expressing gratitude, I eagerly took this challenge on. I’m almost 3 weeks into the challenge and I can confidently say that it has already had a positive impact in my life. I find that I now react to challenging situations with a more optimistic attitude. My mental shift from noticing blessings instead of obstacles has also made my life feel more richer than before even though my material wealth has not increased.  I feel generally more content and peaceful. I am a happier person.
Here are some tips for those of you who are interested in keeping a gratitude journal:
1. Choose a routine that works best for you: I love journaling at night right before I go to bed because it is quiet and I can reflect on the day’s events. Your best time of the day might be different. Try to figure out when you are most at peace.
2. Include details: Write about the things that have impacted you no matter how minor they may seem.
3. Acknowledge the negative: It’s not just about rainbows and butterflies. Sometimes the dark moments are opportunities to grow.
4. Shift your perspective: Dirty dishes in the sink also means that you’ve had a meal and a place to call home.
5. Don’t force feelings: You don’t have to have grandiose declarations. Some days simply being grateful for your breathe is good enough.

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