How to Gratitude Journal: Empower Yourself with Positivity

Filling out gratitude journal by the lake

Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.

Melody Beattie

Mindful appreciation of what we have has many benefits for our well-being. Keeping a gratitude journal is an easy way to mindfully give thanks for what you love about your daily life. 

I’ve always been skeptical about people who constantly talk about being grateful. It felt like virtue signaling or a way for people to show off to others how spiritually evolved they were. 

But, as I’ve started to explore mindfulness techniques, I saw it in a different light. I realized that it’s not about the words but rather the feeling that comes with them. 

What Does It Mean To Be Grateful? 

The meaning goes beyond giving thanks and appreciation. Being grateful also brings inherent generosity and reverence for others. It’s an intentional act of gracious positivity. 

It’s understandable if you’re skeptical. Gratitude has become a new-age buzzword. It’s easy to get caught up in thinking that it’s another hollow thing to list on your social media status. But, there are real benefits to it. 

First, practicing mindful appreciation connects us to positive emotions. It trains our brains for optimism.

You can also reflect on past entries when you fall on hard times. One positive psychology study showed that this can reduce symptoms of depression.

Additionally, the act of mindful appreciation lowers stress levels. It helps you feel calmer and encourages you to focus on the good things in life.

Are you ready to try this simple positive psychology trick to improve your mental health? Here’s how you can start and enjoy the benefits of mindful positivity every day. 

What Is a Gratitude Journal? 

Not to be confused with a daily diary or planner, you can think of them like happiness journals. As long as you reserve it for positive reflections, there’s no right or wrong way to write in a gratitude journal. 

Simply put, they help us keep track of the things that bring us joy. Over the long term, they train our brains to focus less on negative events. Your journal is for your eyes only, so you can write with no fear of judgment. 

How To Get Started 

Keeping a daily gratitude journal is easy. Start by setting aside 5 to 10 minutes a day to reflect on the things that bring you joy. 

Find a place to store your thoughts

You don’t need a fancy leatherbound journal (but you can use one if you want). Many people use a notebook, blog, or sticky note collection. 

You can even use one of these popular journal apps.

Commit to a daily journaling time 

Choose a time of day when you can engage in uninterrupted reflection. Many people enjoy journaling in the morning to start their day off on a positive note. Or, journal in the evening to process the events of the day. 

Try different kinds of journal entries 

There’s no one kind of template that works for everyone. It’s best to try different styles of journaling when you first start. Check out some of the prompts below to get started. 

Gratitude Prompts 

Try these inspirational writing prompts to launch your mindful positivity practice. 

  • Who in your life do you feel grateful for and why?
  • List 3 skills or talents you are thankful to have. 
  • What daily activities do you take for granted? 
  • Write a letter to someone who has had a positive influence on you. 
  • What elements of the natural world make you grateful? 

If you’re ready to start, challenge yourself to document one week of gratitude. This will help you build the habit into your daily routine. 

You may notice your mindful positivity practice improves the lives of those around you as well. This is especially true if you allow yourself to express more appreciation. 

How can you show how thankful you are for your closest friends? What could you say to acknowledge more things you love about your partner

Mindful gratitude journaling takes you one step further on your journey of personal growth. Stay consistent and share your reflections with those closest to you. You might even surprise yourself and uncover sources of joy you never knew existed.

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