Three Truths to Know Before Starting Your Gratitude Journal
Last week, we went through the benefits of keeping a Gratitude Journal. This practice will draw on more positivity, optimal health and resiliency. Do you want that for your life?
Today, I will show you how to start your Gratitude Journal and be happier.
You can think of it as a diary that captures what you are grateful for. Limit it to capture your gratitude items rather than everything that has happened in a day. The effect of reading through the journal that plays back positive moments in your life has powerful effect as mentioned above. Five minutes a day, 10 minutes every other day, or half an hour a week will work wonders. Find out what works best for you. Keep at it until it becomes your new habit. You can type it out on a computer or write it out by hand. Some people like to carry the journal with them so that they can record entries as things happen. Here are some guidelines regarding quantity, quality and frequency for your Gratitude Journal:
If you are comfortable in writing, allow your thoughts and emotions to come through as you recall your gratitudes. However, you do not have to write a volume to get the benefits of keeping a Gratitude Journal. You can start jotting down simple items that you are thankful for, then sprinkling in more descriptive narratives. If you are new to writing down your thoughts and feelings, starting off with a list can get the momentum going. Positive thoughts will emerge and you will feel more positively. A simple list can look like this:
- I am grateful for my dog…
- I am grateful for a glass of clean water…
- I am grateful for this place that I called home…
When you get comfortable reflecting on the positive things that are in your life, start to dig deeper to your feelings, emotions, and imaginations. Allow yourself to savor the moments and relish the magic, the gift that you have. For example, instead of a simple list, you write something like this:
- I am grateful for my dog. She waited for me at the door yesterday as usual. But this time, she seemed to know that I was in distress. She immediately jumped on my lap and looked at me, wagging her tail. She sat still, watching me, listening to my sobbing, sharing my pain… Then, she joined me for a pleasant walk outside. The fresh breeze from the smell of fall leaves awakened me to notice the golden, yellowish-reddish maple foliage around me.
- I am grateful for a glass of clean water. It felt so refreshing as I gulped down the whole glass of cold, filtered water from the fridge. I needed that drink. I was thirsty. My throat was dry. My mouth had bitter taste…
- I am grateful for this place that I called home. It is more than a place to live. It is my safe haven. I feel secure here. I am productive here. I have my family here with me. I am not alone. They mean the world to me. I remembered our last gathering when we had a baby shower for my daughter, Ginny. All her close friends came over. My mom and her aunties were also here. We laughed. We ate the scrumptious healthy home-made snacks. We opened gifts, took pictures, played games. We shared tips in caring for babies. We showered Ginny with our blessings.
You do not have to do it everyday if you find that laborious. Or, it feels like a chore as if you have to wash the dishes. Do it once, twice, or three times a week. Some people do it weekly. You have to do it regularly over a period of time in order to establish that as a habit. Once you start doing it, the benefits that you gain will be your best motivation. Even if you slack off, and lose that routine, come back to your journal if you start to feel negative, frustrated, or depressed. Your Gratitude Journal will steer you to the upload slope. Make it your habit not only to write new entries, review past entries and start feeling the bliss. There is much to be thankful for!
What has been most helpful to you as you write down your thoughts?
What truths have you uncovered about your Gratitude Journal?