Featured,  Journaling,  Mental Health

Become Gracious & Grateful with a Gratitude Journal

Being grateful for what we have in life is certainly not always an easy task. We know deep down that we are all lucky in some way. We may be grateful for our kids or that we are not living in poverty. What we find hard though, is bringing that gratitude into our daily lives. It’s all very well knowing we are better off than most, but when we are having a tough time, that sometimes doesn’t seem to mean that much.

We battle through our day, making sure all our jobs are done, looking after other people, perhaps fighting whatever inner demons are ours, and by the end of the day, exhausted, gratitude may not be the first thing that comes to mind! But if we look back on that day, there is always some good in it. Maybe you had a chat with someone in the store that cheered you up or a hug from a loved one before bed. The important thing is to remember these moments so they are not lost, and a gratitude journal is a great way to start.

How to Make and Use a Gratitude Journal

Negativity may seem like just an emotion that we all go through. The issue with negativity is that it can cause reactions beyond just your emotional well-being. If you find yourself dealing with or surrounded by negative thoughts on a routine basis, you may find yourself also feeling depressed and anxious.

This can affect your eating, sleep patterns, and much more. One way to get rid of the negative influences in your day is to start finding the gratitude. Journaling can help. Here is how to make and use a gratitude journal to remove the negative influences of your daily life.

The Set-Up of a Gratitude Journal

Gratitude journals generally resemble a mixture of a traditional journal and bullet journal. They are not really meant for full-blown journal entries. Instead, they focus on very specific moments or events in your day that you can feel grateful for. You do not elaborate on them. You simply find the good in each day.

The journal page should have the date and possibly the time if you are writing down the events as they happen. The key to this journal is to use a bullet style to mark off each event or gratitude and to reflect on those at the end of the day.

When to Use a Gratitude Journal

Ideally, you should use the gratitude journal at the end of your day. It should be used as a way to reflect on the good things that happened during your day. There will be some days that you may only be grateful for the day ending so you can rest. That is fine. The point is that no matter how bad your day is, you are finding something to be thankful for or the gratitude in that day.

How the Gratitude Journal Helps You

A gratitude journal works a bit slower than other journaling methods. Over time, the journal is supposed to help you remove negative energy from your life, reduce stress, and reduce depression by finding the good in your world. You may start off with just one or two entries. As you move on with routine journaling, you may find that you are finding less bad and much more good in your day. These are the gratitudes you list. This will lead you to mindfulness and peace in your daily life and a new way to look at things.

A gratitude journal can be as simple as a few lines or just one line. You can put it in your normal calendar, planner, or just in your tablet. Just make sure that you find at least one thing to be grateful for each day no matter how bad the day was.

I bet as you have been reading this article, a few things have come to mind about what you are grateful for so far today. And if not, that’s okay too! It’s the concept of starting to think in this positive mindset, even just in small steps, that can eventually have a lasting effect on your mood.

Why not try writing one thing you have been grateful for today in your regular journal right now. Your mind may have to get through a few things first.

Here goes an example: The day started with the kids driving you mad, a traffic jam, a scowl from your boss on the way into the office and…then a quick chat with your co-worker before you started work which made you smile. There’s your first one! And you might well have forgotten all about it if you hadn’t stopped to remember.

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