A gratitude journal is a simply a diary where you record things for which you’re grateful. Basically, you commit to a daily journal entry where you reflect back on your day, and then write down at least one meaningful thing which happened today. Many people record 3 different gratitude entries each day, and some record as many as 7.
Since the goal is to make this a habit, the bare minimum number of daily entries is one. More important, though, than the number of daily entries, is their quality. Before you just jot something down, take a few moments to reflect on all the parts of your day and consider the ones you’ll want to remember later.
(4-13-13. Gratitude Journal. 1. Mommy made cookies. 2. Loren played outside with me. 3. It was warm outside. Courtney)
7 reasons why you should start a gratitude journal today
- Organize your thoughts. Just like any other journaling, gratitude journaling helps you organize your thoughts, just on a specific topic.
- Be mindful of abundance. Some days it’s all you can do to think of one good thing that happened, but when you do, you’ll be surprised how quickly it changes your attitude to one of gratitude.
- Appreciation. When you focus on what you have, it’s easier to stop being so concerned about what you don’t have. This means you’re giving energy to the good things in your life instead of the bad.
- Reflection. Once you’ve written a few entries, you’ll be able to look back and see what other days were like, and what moments were important to you on those days.
- Better sleep. When one of the last thoughts before you go to bed is that of the happy things that occurred today, it’s no wonder that you’re able to get better sleep.
- Block negativity. By focusing on what you value, you’re forcing your mind to block negative thoughts.
- Joy. As you start to remember things to be thankful for, you’ll start to be thankful as those things happen to you. Plus, the more you’re thankful, the more those thankful things will continue to happen to you.
How to Record Your Gratitude Journal Entries
Sometimes old-school is better. Whether you use a spiral-bound journal, like this gorgeous one on Etsy, a plain pad of paper, or sticky notes, you just need to make sure your journal is handy when you’re ready to review your day. Keeping your pen and paper on your nightstand makes it easy to remember to jot down today’s entry before you go to bed.
Smartphone apps, like the iPhone Happy Tapper app, or the I Journal Android one, allow you to carry your journal with you. For many people, this is a better reminder to record your entry than a pen and paper on a nightstand, especially if you travel, are away from home at the end of the day, or just want to record the moments whenever and wherever they happen.
Whichever method you choose, the important thing is to be consistent and to realize that gratitude is a powerful emotion.
How do you record meaningful moments in your life? Will a gratitude journal become a new habit? Please let me know in the comments below.
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