Gratitude – it’s a big word. We often throw it around and sometimes pretend we have mastered it even though we know it’s much more complex than what it seems. It has taken me so much time and effort to really grasp it’s meaning and put it into practice.
I like to think of gratitude as a state of being thankful for the things, people, and opportunities we are blessed with. Some blessings come from hard work and patience, while others come from manifestation and prayer. Regardless, gratitude allows us to reflect and appreciate on our current and past gifts.
The best way I have been able to practice gratitude has been through journaling because it allows me to write, review, and acknowledge the positives in my life. These reflections serve as important reminders whenever I am feeling ungrateful or unfulfilled.
Here’s how you, too, can start your gratitude journal:
1 – Select your entry method
Think about how you want to keep track of your journal entries. There’s a variety of ways so be sure to pick the one that works best for you. Will you keep a physical notebook, use a digital app like Notion or Google Docs, or record your entries via Voice Memo on your phone? Whichever option you choose, try to stick to it. It’ll be important that you have one place where you can refer to your entries.
2 – Identify your prompts
Deciding what prompts you want to answer will probably be the hardest part of starting a gratitude journal. Turn to Pinterest or browse the web to research some prompts that you can consider. Think about the different priorities in your life in order to select effective prompts.
Below are some prompts to guide you:
- How do you feel today?
- What are three things you are grateful for today?
- What are your affirmations for today?
- What are your intentions for the day?
- Wishes/prayers for yourself?
- Wishes/prayers for others?
- How was your day today?
- What was your win of the day?
- What did you not get to today?
- What was your favorite part about today?
- What did you learn today?
You will decide the prompts you want to answer which will vary depending on the time of day you want to write them. I recommend selecting 3-4 prompts to get started.
3 – Stay consistent
Make journaling a part of your routine. Whether it’s daily, weekly, or monthly, journaling will have a great impact on how you feel. Set a notification on your phone or add it to your calendar so that you can prioritize journaling. The more consistent you are, the more open you will be, and the more you will have to reflect on.
4 – Practice mindfulness
Find a quiet and comfortable place to write your journal entries. Being able to stay in the moment will allow your responses to be genuine. Try to keep your entries optimistic and bright as it will allow you to associate journaling to a peaceful activity that you enjoy doing.
Trust the process
You might be skeptical on how this guide may increase gratitude but all I can say is trust the process. The more you think and write about the things and people you are grateful for, the more you start taking it all less for granted. An important part of your gratitude journal will be reviewing your past entries. The one thing you might be thankful for today might not be the same thing you wrote/spoke about last week, but it is a gentle reminder that you have a lot to be thankful for.