Illustrated by Abigail Dannatt

Gratitude Journaling

This year ‘Thank You Thursday’ is on Thursday 27th April which is a day dedicated to embracing positivity and the…

This year ‘Thank You Thursday’ is on Thursday 27th April which is a day dedicated to embracing positivity and the impacts generosity and gratitude can have to yourself and others.

How to start a gratitude journal?

Choose a journal

When choosing a gratitude journal, you should consider:

  • Do you prefer to write in a physical journal or record your thoughts digitally on a phone or laptop?
  • Will you be carrying your journal around with you or keeping it in one place?
  • Do you want lined or unlined pages?

These are all factors that contribute to which journal is ultimately right for you.

Traditional journals offer maximum flexibility as they offer durability and portability, although notepads can be effective for jotting down reminders throughout the day to record your thoughts.

Focus upon the benefits of the journal

You will find it easier to stick to your new habit of journaling if you have an awareness of the benefits of doing so!

The benefits of gratitude journaling include:

  • Lower stress levels
  • A greater sense of calm
  • Increased level of clarity
  • Learning more about yourself in the process
  • Gaining a fresh perspective that allows you to recognise blessings in disguise
  • Increased focus upon aspects of life that make you the happiest

Set aside time for writing

It is important to make journaling part of your routine by making it a habit, this could be achieved by attaching it to an already existing habit such as reading before bed or with your morning cup of tea.

Also, by shifting your mindset and thinking about journaling as something you want to do (not as a chore) should increase your motivation to maintain this habit.

Start With Gratitude Journal Prompts
If you’re new to gratitude journaling, it can feel nerve-wracking to stare at a blank page.

However, you could try writing about simple prompts to get your thoughts of gratitude flowing.

  • Reflect upon when you were thankful for something a loved one did for you.
  • What are ways you could show thanks to someone without explicitly saying “thank you”?
  • What is something that makes you unique that you’re grateful for?

If you do not feel inspired by the above prompts there are so many ideas you could browse upon online by simply searching ‘gratitude journaling prompts’!

Do I keep a gratitude journal?

I find keeping a gratitude journal a great way to track my happiness over time. I choose to especially monitor my mood during periods of great personal stress, such as when assignments are due or starting a placement.

I enjoy looking back on past pages and seeing my progress regarding the benefits and how my inner monologue has become more positive to myself and others!

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