How to Start Your First Gratitude Journal for Wellbeing
The benefits of journaling and how it can change your life is a continuous journey all of us should take at least once in our lives. Journaling can take your imagination to the next level and help you to realign with your goals. And while you can use your journal to get creative, you can also use it to document how grateful you are for life. So, what is a gratitude journal? It is a diary that you use to document things you are grateful for. It is generally used to focus your attention on all the positive things in life. Let’s find out more about how to start a gratitude journal that will be of benefit to your well-being.
Understand why you are doing it
It becomes quite difficult to start any new thing if you have not established the reason for doing it. Once you’ve established your reason, it becomes easier to stick to it, and starting a gratitude journal is no different. Many people use the first of January to adopt the “new year, new me” approach, whether that includes losing weight or removing toxic people from their lives. While all of this is positive, many people fail at this new approach right at the beginning of their journeys. A lot has to do with NOT establishing why you are doing it in the first place. The same applies to journaling, although journaling can be a lot more fun than going to the gym.
Now, the benefits are not set in stone and can be applied to your specific needs, heck you might even unlock a brand-new benefit no one saw coming. The biggest benefit of gratitude journaling is probably reflecting on everything you are grateful for. Other benefits include lower stress levels (yes, sometimes jotting down your innermost thoughts can relieve some pressure from your life), a greater sense of calmness, and just a new sense of clarity. Probably one of the most important benefits is the fact that gratitude journaling allows you to learn more about yourself and gain a fresh perspective that allows you to recognize your blessings, especially those you didn’t know existed. As time goes by, you will be able to focus your time and energy on things that truly matter AND become the best version of yourself.
How to start?
While being new to gratitude journaling can be a daunting task, considering that you are staring into a blank page and are probably not sure what to write, you can give yourself the push you need with the following prompts:
- Jot down a memory of the time a loved one did something for you that you appreciated.
- List silly things your kids, or if you are a fur parent, what your pets did today.
- List one thing that makes you unique that you are grateful for.
- Look around outside and find one thing you are grateful for.
- Look at the things in your home, your clothes, furniture, etc., and think about all the effort that went into creating these items.
- If you had to give up all your possessions but you could only keep three things, what would it be and why?
- Write a letter of thanks to yourself.
- Find a favorite photo and write down why that memory means so much to you.
- Write about a future event you are looking forward to.
- Reflect on a year ago and write about something you have now that you did not even think you would have a year ago.
- Reflect on a mistake you made and what you learned from it.
Connect with specifics
Once you’ve gotten over the “writer’s block” establish a few key topics you want to write about. In life, there is much to be grateful for, but you can only focus on the ones that bring true meaning to you if you so choose and it is highly recommended to follow this approach. It helps to get detailed as this assists you to connect with the emotion much easier. Ask yourself this, “Do I feel good about writing this down?” If not, then get specific and get writing!
Even the simplest things can lead to feeling more grateful, especially when it comes to your health, and even just being able to move your body.
There are many reasons to start a gratitude journal, and while you start to note things down everyday, you’ll soon start to come up with more and more reasons to be thankful! Try it out for yourself and take note of how you feel, and even after a short amount of time like a week of doing it. You might be surprised at the results.