Do you often times find yourself feeling down about where you are at, focusing your attention on what you don’t have in your life, and unsure of how to turn your mindset around? Perhaps you got laid off, got ill, had an argument with someone you care about. This is where a practice of gratitude journaling can be supportive to evolving your mindset and your outlook on life.
The list is endless on what our minds can tend to focus on. Instead of throwing a mental party for one spiraling on thoughts that make you feel anxious and down, try introducing a gratitude of framework into your life.
Just as you would brush your teeth, cook yourself a meal, or anything that is now second nature to you – being very intentional about gratitude is one practice you should incorporate into your daily life in order to regain perspective on what truly matters to you. Gratitude journaling, or any kind of journaling for that matter, is a form of self-care that can help you throughout your day. Here’s some basic steps to how you can start capturing your attitude of gratitude and start a gratitude journal you’ll actually keep in your life.
Stay the course with your gratitude practice by writing in a cute journal
Getting a journal that is aesthetically pleasing to you can visually motivate you to use it and turn to it on a more consistent basis. Below are some options we’ve been loving.
Write in your gratitude journal daily
It takes 66 days to form a habit (not 21 days like is often believed). Give it your best shot for two months of your life and start a gratitude journal to see if it makes a difference. It can be hard to remind yourself to do something new, let alone, every day, but to get long-lasting benefits of happiness, positivity, and perspective, try setting aside 5-10 minutes daily to reflect on what you are grateful for. Pro tip: Treat this, as you would a workout or a work meeting – this is a meeting appointment on your calendar that you can’t ditch out on. Schedule it in your calendar if you have to!
Write in your gratitude journal at the same time
To develop a habit or new addition to your daily routine, it helps to have consistency. Much like any routine, you come to expect certain habits. I know that one of the first things I do each morning is make myself a cup of matcha. As second nature as that has become for me, so has gratitude journaling. Pick out a specific time of day that works for you. I find that setting up my mind with a more positive framework in the morning helps me build upon healthy thoughts throughout the day. I know that others like to wind down the evening by doing a nightly gratitude reflection. There is no right or wrong time to write in your journal. The most important thing is you find a time that works best for your schedule.
Be specific with your gratitude
If you said you were grateful for having a job, how does that land with you internally? It may resonate but it’s helpful when you can add additional context to why the job is an important aspect for you. Perhaps you are grateful for having a job that allows you work-life balance where you’re able to spend time with family and friends at night with a computer that’s shut off. Or perhaps you are grateful for the job because you get to work on interesting projects that allow you to learn on the job, which will set you up for future success.
Whatever it is that you write about what you are grateful for, the more specific you can be the more the gratitude touches deeper into your life.
Start writing with gratitude prompts
If journaling is a new practice for you altogether, sometimes starting can be a bit tricky. Try writing to basic prompts, such as what’s below, for starters. These can be a building block into helping you think about your life in a variety of ways.
- What was the best part of your day? Describe in detail.
- Share a time a friend or family member did something thoughtful for you?
- What is an accomplishment in your personal or professional life?
- What do you like most about where you live and why?
- Do you have an able body in some ways? Describe what your body does for you daily.
Let us know below if these tips help you! Journaling has often times been used mostly to vent or to write out uncertain or negative emotions. What would happen if we changed all of that stressful energy into journals filled with gratitude?