If You’re Looking For a Sign to Start a Gratitude Journal, This is it
Gratitude journaling is the perfect fit for any CHAARG girl! We all have experience being overwhelmed + stressed by life where all the negativity prevents us from fully appreciating every day ++ finding the positivity in every moment. Simply put: a gratitude journal allows us to write down what we’re thankful for.
I have been writing in gratitude journals for the past four years + it has become my favorite type of journaling that I recommend to anyone I know to try out! Personally, I design my journals in a format that matches my preference, so I write in it every day before I go to bed + keep a number list basically. Each day I write the date + underline it, then start with whatever number I’m on next, + answer the simple but important question: What am I thankful for today? Every entry starts the same + I’ve created a fill-in-the-blank type format.
For example, under the date I would start “1. Thankful for…” while filling in whatever I was grateful for, happy about, moved by, etc that day + being as detailed or simple as I feel for that entry. But I never start the number list over — each day continues with whatever the next number is from the day before. It’s a cool way to track my progress + adds to the flow of the journal.
Over time my gratitude journal has become something I’m proud incredibly proud of. Since I’ve stuck with it for so long, it’s empowering + motivating to look back through the 5730+ entries of what I’ve been thankful for through the past four years. It has become a part of my daily routine + helps me end every day on a high note.
Gratitude journaling is a completely unique experience for each of us + if you or a friend or family member hasn’t tried it yet, please try it out ++ make it your own! This type of journaling has been extremely beneficial to my mental health, overall optimism + thinking more positively.
REASONS TO START A GRATITUDE JOURNAL
1] Easy + Low-Maintenance
This type of journaling is only as challenging + demanding as we make it. We could write in it 5 to 10 minutes a day in a diary-like format. We could make a simple list each day of what we were grateful for that day. We could mix it up every time. It doesn’t even have to be a daily journal — it can be weekly or monthly too! Whatever fits our lifestyles will work for this journal. There are no set expectations or limits for a gratitude journal!
2] Personalize It
Similar to the reason above, everyone has a unique gratitude journal because the contents + layout are all designed by personal preference. Some people thrive off thoroughly writing things out while others can maintain a journal better when it’s in a shorter [+ less demanding] format like listing. There’s no specific type of journal for this either; It could be a lined notebook, blank drawing journals, loose-leaf paper, hardback journals, or even a guided journal… whatever speaks to us can be used!
3] A Need For New Perspective
If we are finding ourselves in a rough patch, frequently stressed out or overwhelmed, starting a gratitude journal is a healthy outlet that can help us find the positivity + good energy in our lives again. This type of journaling helps us focus on everything that makes us grateful during the day + can reduce the overwhelming stress ++ negativity we tend to give too much focus on the rest of the day. With time, our perspective on life begins to become more appreciative + positive as we begin to approach everything in a headspace of “What am I thankful for today?”
One aspect of this that has been most influential to my journaling experience is having the numbers for each entry because on days where I’m struggling I can look back [or just look at the number itself] + find comfort that there is so much good in my life that I have experienced ++ that is still in my life.
TAKEAWAYS FROM GRATITUDE JOURNALING
1] Appreciation for the Small Things
By journaling about what makes us feel grateful every day, week, + month we slowly begin to appreciate the little things in our lives that were easily disregarded before. It could be really hot one day + we realize how thankful we are to have air conditioning. We recognize the impact of small acts of kindness others have on us + we can notice what becomes important in our lives as well as what we can start to focus our energy on.
2] Recognize Happiness
During moments in our lives where we are completely consumed in work, school, stress, drama, depression, anxiety, or whatever difficulties we may be facing, we will always be able to come back to this journal + spend time trying to find the good in every day. It acts as a constant little beacon of light during the dark times where we feel there may not be any good left.
After awhile of keeping a gratitude journal, it becomes apparent what is important to us based off what we incessantly find ourselves writing down or similarities in entries. There is something or someone every day that makes us smile, laugh, forget the negativity that clouds our minds. It’s important for us to be reminded of those rays of sunshine on days where we think we might not be grateful for anything.
3] Opportunities for Self-Reflection
With any kind of journaling, self-reflection is a given. But through keeping a gratitude journal, I personally have seen the most growth in myself + change in my worldview than from any other type of journal I have kept. It’s fun to compare specific days over the years, especially birthdays or annual events + seeing how those days are remembered, what little things were appreciated that day ++ what the differences were. Gratitude journaling is also a great indicator if we notice we need more self-care + can be helpful to evaluate our mental health.
4] End Up With a Journal Full of Memories
Aside from gaining a more optimistic outlook on life, my favorite aspect of keeping a gratitude journal has to be how it becomes filled with all the good memories [big + small]. I can flip to any day + find hidden treasures of small moments I may have forgotten but made my day back then. It’s an interesting experience as this journal enables me to look back on every day + multitudes of memories from the past four years of my life.
Do you have a way to remind yourself what your grateful for? Let us know in the comment section below!