I knew I had to share a post on How to Start a Gratitude Journal! Gratitude is such an important part of my life! I have to start each day reflecting on at least a few things that I am grateful for. During the weekdays I usually write a full page of gratitude in a journal, but I days I don’t have the time to I at least take a few moments to think about what I am grateful for.
“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”Oprah Winfrey
I’ve seen a ton of gratitude journals out there and I love that it has become more of a trend. I really appreciate that as a whole we seem to be valuing mindfulness and mental wellness more. Gratitude and Positive Affirmations go hand in hand, and I also have a whole post on Positive Affirmations linked here!
Why should I practice gratitude?
It can turn your mood around
Before I dive in to How to start a gratitude journal, I thought it would be good to explain the benefits! Practicing gratitude can help you put things into perspective. It can help remind you that you that you don’t have a bad life, but you’re just having a bad day or week. This doesn’t take away from the fact that you’re allowed to feel how you feel and that your emotions are valid, but it can help bring you to a more positive space when you’re ready to take that next step.
If you’re having a rough time, and you’ve been keeping a gratitude journal you can always reflect back to see that times were not always as challenging as they are now, and they won’t stay this way!
Gratitude can help with stress
Practicing gratitude has been scientifically researched by the NIH in the this article, discussing how it can help manage stress levels. The NIH also references a study that found that “gratitude was linked to fewer signs of heart disease.”
Journaling in general is a great way to manage stress and anxiety. It’s helpful to just get things out on paper. I know I personally always have a ton of thoughts just floating around it can be distracting. Once I do a brain dump, I feel like my head has more space to think.
Start your day out right or End your night right
Starting your day with gratitude sets positive intentions for your day. When you start out on such a positive note it will translate to the rest of your day. If you end up having a bad day and missed gratitude in the morning you can reflect at night and that should help put some perspective on your day and hopefully give you better sleep! Hopefully if you take the time to write your gratitude list, you’ll see that you had a bad moment, and not necessarily a bad day.
Appreciate your Now
Gratitude helps you appreciate where you are in life while working on getting to your next destination. It’s always important to realize that there is something in present life that you once prayed for. So before you obtain that next thing, make sure you appreciate your current thing. This is something that I personally work on a lot because I’m always in planning mode and trying to figure out what’s next. But sometimes you just need to be still and appreciate exactly where you are.
If you don’t appreciate the things you already have, why do expect for more to come into your life? As a believer, I strongly believe that God will bless us the more we are grateful for what we already have.
How can I practice gratitude?
This part is really simple! I would recommend starting out by writing down just 3 things a day that you are grateful for. It can literally be anything from owning a jacket to wear during the winter months to having good health. Nothing is too small or too big to add on your list. A gratitude list is personal and there aren’t any real rules to this.
If you only have enough time to write the 3 things then you can keep up with that schedule. And remember you can write your list at any time in the day, whatever time works for you to stay consistent. If you’re up for a challenge you can see if you can work your way up to writing a full page of things you’re grateful for.
I wanted to share this info with you that it might inspire or encourage you to try making a gratitude list yourself! Is gratitude something you already practice? Or if you don’t, would you be willing to do so? Let me know in the comments! I hope this post on how to start a gratitude journal was helpful!