How to Start a Gratitude Journal
Gratitude journals: have you heard of them? Do you have one? Do you want one? Want the low-down on them? Well no worries, I got you!
The basic concept of writing down what we are grateful for has proven to have some serious positive benefits, both physically and mentally. Along with increasing positivity and reducing aggression, gratitude journals have shown to improve relationships and reduce stress. It can even help you sleep—this mama will do just about anything to get a little more shut-eye!
Though the idea is pretty clear-cut, write down things you are grateful for regularly. There are a few tips out there that will help you get the most out of your experience. Yes, journaling is an experience, and here are a few things that have helped me along the way!
Do It With Intent
Oftentimes I find myself going through the motions, checking things off the list. Trying to find a time where I can really focus, helps me dial in and think more clearly about specific things that I am grateful for that day. Besides giving me a few minutes of peace and quiet, it helps me feel a bit more centered and focused on my thoughts.
Writing down specifics, exactly what I am grateful for, reminds me of the little things that often get taken for granted. I don’t just write that I’m grateful for my house, but for my home that makes me feel welcomed and safe. Being specific helps us see the details in our lives.
Writing 1-3 times a week has shown to be more effective than writing every day. Because, we as humans adapt quickly to our routines, writing daily can make the act become mundane. Think of it as attending church or a sporting event—having those events once weekly keeps us looking forward to them, instead of viewing them as a chore.
In my writings, I love to mention people personally. I mention people who affected my life that day, or week, and reasons why it mattered to me. I’m always grateful for friends reaching out for play dates, or dropping off a midweek pick-me-up. Writing it down always reminds me of how important they’ve made me feel, and reminds me how I want to do the same for others!
Write About the Special Things
The other things I love putting in my gratitude journal are the special things. Just like a regular journal, I like to write about birthdays, anniversaries, guests, or any special events. I am usually always grateful for time with other people, so it’s easy to add, and it’s fun to look back and remember those moments.