Journaling for Gratitude

Take a moment to think about the last time you reflected on something positive. Has it been a while? For many people, it can feel easier to focus on things that go wrong. Journaling for gratitude helps bring awareness to the things and people we are thankful for. It provides an opportunity to express appreciation for all aspects of life that we often take for granted. Additionally, it serves as a tool for alleviating stress and anxiety, while helping to promote a positive mindset. Now that you have an understanding of what journaling for gratitude means, you might be wondering how to write all these thoughts out. Below are steps you can take to help you through the process of journaling for gratitude:

Pick a journal: This part can seem a bit overwhelming since there are so many to choose from, but it can also feel satisfying finding the journal that resonates best with you. If you purchase a journal online or pick one up at the store, you get to decide what you want based off the cover type, design, size, and of course cost. Remember that we’re in a technology driven era, so digital journals are an option as well.

Establish a schedule: Next, you want to consider setting aside specific days and times to journal. Don’t be afraid to start small with journaling once per week. For example, every Wednesday at 8pm. It’s important to be realistic in establishing this schedule, to prevent it from feeling forced. This will help you maintain consistency in journaling, and can eventually lead you to incorporating journaling as part of your normal routine.

Reflect: This is the time to find a quiet space that will allow you to reflect on everything you are grateful for. Think about the people in your life. This can include, family, friends, colleagues, mentors, teachers, or your favorite barista who greets you with a smile each morning. Consider all the things you have in life, and how those things have enabled you to feel happy. Lastly, reflect on life experiences, both old and new.

Write it down: You took the time to reflect, now let’s write! There is no pressure to write a lengthy journal entry, instead, focus on writing down your thoughts and how you feel. Remember this is your journal, meaning the way in which the writing is formatted is up to you. You can write in paragraph form or use bullet points, but the key is transferring those positive thoughts onto paper.

Use more than words: This is the fun part if you want to incorporate more than writing in your journal. Journaling is a space where you can express yourself in any way you please. Utilize that creative side to encompass drawing about things your grateful for, or even take the time to make a small collage within your journal, using pictures and quotes.

Journaling is a common mindfulness technique used in Dialectal Behavioral Therapy to emphasize the importance of self-reflection and awareness. Focusing on gratitude is an effective way to improve overall well-being. It’s essential to set aside time to reflect on the positive aspects of life, especially during moments of intense stress. If you ever feel lost on what to write about, search for gratitude journal prompts online for guidance and inspiration.    

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