Gratitude Practice: Journaling
Keeping a gratitude journal is the perfect way to remind yourself of the gifts, grace, benefits, and good things in your life that brings you joy. Studies have shown that practicing gratitude makes us more happy and healthy, with benefits such as becoming more helpful, generous, and compassionate.
Other positive benefits may affect us physically, such as better quality sleep, lower blood pressure, and wanting to take better care of yourself. You can also look forward to some psychological benefits like, experiencing more joy and pleasure, feeling more alert, alive, and awake, and basically higher levels of positive emotions.
To get started with this practice you will need something to write with and on, It doesn’t need to be anything fancy, even a scrap of paper will do. Try to keep your journal entries short and sweet, one word or a short sentence will do. Start each journal entry with “I am grateful” or “I am thankful.”
Here are some fun ideas to record your thanks and gratitude:
- Traditional journal:
Lined or blank pages (a college ruled notebook will work just fine too).
- Gratitude Jar:
Write your thanks, drop it in the jar and watch your gratitude grow. Use recycled paper scraps, leftovers from an art project, unused scrapbooking materials and so on.
- Post-it notes:
Write your thanks, peel off the note and place it wherever you like. i.e. use a blank wall to fill up with your notes of gratitude, stick them to the bathroom mirror, place them on the front door to remind you of all the things you are grateful for before you step out the door and start your day.
- Digital gratitude journal:
If you prefer to log your thankfulness within a digital gratitude journal, try this one: Thnx4.org
Here’s some guidance for your journal entries:
- Write about a person in your life that you’re especially grateful for and why. (I’m grateful for my grandma because I love her hugs, my kids because they make me laugh)
- What skills or abilities are you thankful to have? (I’m thankful to be a talented artist, I’m thankful that my silly personality allows me to dance around in my pj’s with my kids)
- What is there about a challenge you’re experiencing right now that you can be thankful for? (This is a tough one, but you have learned something or grown from the hardship and it’s made you a better person, and that you can be grateful for.)
- What about the city you live in are you grateful for?
- What are you taking for granted about your day to day that you can be thankful for? (your alarm clock, your coffee machine, your friendly neighbor who always says good morning … and that’s only your morning.)
- Write about the music you’re thankful to be able to listen to? (A live concert, what music gets you through a workout, makes you smile or even cry.)
- What foods or meals are you most thankful for?
- What elements of nature are you grateful for? (A starry sky, your favorite hiking trail)
- What aspects of your work environment are you thankful for? (Supportive co-workers, flexible hours, great snacks in the kitchen…)
I hope you have enjoyed all of the gratitude practices that have been touched on here. Serene blessings & Namaste
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