GRATITUDE JOURNALLING - WHY DO IT AND HOW TO GET STARTED
Being grateful is easy, free and has so many benefits. From helping you to feel more positive to feeling less stressed and more connected.
In modern life, its easy to let so much pass us by as we race along. It’s also easy to focus on the things which are annoying or wind us up. Gratitude journaling helps change our mindset, so not only do we feel happier in the moment but also happier every day.
It makes you happy
Think about five things that you are grateful for in your life right now. People, things, your home, your friends…. How do you feel?
I hope, good.
Even just thinking about the good things in our life makes us feel good. And who doesn’t want that?
Often our automatic state of mind is negative. We can’t help but focus on what we don’t have, the drama of the day, the fact the train was late again this morning…
When we take a few minutes a day to think about all the good things in our lives, how lucky we are to have all we have, we are reminded to feel happy.
Helps you to get into the practice of seeing the good in situations
There are very few things we can truly control in our lives. But we can always control our reaction to them.
When you find yourself stuck in a massive traffic jam, late for work again. You could have an angry meltdown, or you can choose to remember that there is nothing you can do about this situation and try to see the good.
Rather than being angry about it, be grateful you have another 10 minutes to listen to you favourite music.
Being grateful is a habit. And a habit that can start in your journal and be carried through each day.
Helps you wind down for sleep
Reflecting on your day is a great way to prepare yourself for sleep.
And writing for a few minutes in a journal about all the things you are grateful for from the day means going to sleep in a happy, calm mindset too.
You also get the re-live the best moments of the day and can reflect on your achievements.
Or can set you up for the day ahead
As well as helping you to wind down at night, gratitude journals can help you to set yourself for a positive mindset for the day! When you feel more positive and happy, you are more productive too.
One technique you can use is to think about the positive things you're looking forward to each day. For example, I am so grateful for having a positive and productive day,
Helps you stay focused and motivated towards your goals
Listing out the things you are grateful for can include all your wins.
For example, I am so grateful for my supportive manager who has empowered me to deliver a great presentation today.
I am so grateful I managed to get the courage to ask for a pay rise.
I am so grateful for my job, which although isn’t my favourite place to be, is supporting me while I build my side business.
Top tips for getting started
Start small and be consistent
- It’s better to write a little every day rather than writing for 15 minutes one day once a week.
- Write down three things you’re grateful for at the end of the day, think about everything in your life. Your family and friends, your home, your job, even the weather!
- During your day, take note of a few things you want to write into your journal. This could be as you walk to work, noticing any flowers and plants, or the lovely architecture. Starting to take notice of these things will make you more present and aware of your surroundings too.
Build in your journaling practice to your daily routine and make it a habit.
- Keep your journal by your bed with a pen to remind you to write in it each day.
- Or write while you’re having your breakfast – and keep your journal on the kitchen table to remind you to write in it
- Set an alarm on your phone to remind you to write in it
- Set yourself a challenge of writing in your journal for 30 days to get you started
Prompt questions for your journal
- What was the best thing that happened today?
- Which of your friends and family are you grateful for?
- What things in your home are you grateful for?
- Write something about your job which brings you joy
- What went wrong today that you can learn from?
- What did you achieve today that you are proud of?
- List five things which are brilliant about the place you live?
- What do you most love about yourself?
- What's something you have in your life today you didnt have a year ago?
- What/ or who made you smile today?
- What challenges have you overcome?
- List the people you’ve learned from you're grateful for
I hope you found these tips helpful!
You can create your own personalised gratitude journal!