Tips for Keeping a Gratitude Journal

Tips for Keeping a Gratitude Journal

May 27, 2021
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As we come to the end of May, the sights, sounds, and smells of summer are popping up all around. I can't help but feel grateful that we got through the past year and hopeful that there are better things to come for the rest of 2021 and beyond. 

During challenging times, it can be hard to remember to be thankful for all that we have. Keeping a gratitude journal is a great way to practice giving thanks for even the small things in life. We all have things that we're thankful for and regularly recognizing them helps us stay present and gracious.

Looking to start a gratitude journal? These tips will help you get started and love the practice.

  • The first thing to do is to get some beautiful stationery and pens that make you happy every time you look at them.
  • Once you have some good materials, start with a prompt. Most people who are just starting a gratitude journal don't know where to start. Using a simple prompt will help get your gratitude juices flowing.
  • When thinking about things you're grateful for, focus on depth over breadth. Rather than list a number of small items, go into detail about the things you're more grateful for.
  • Try subtraction, not just addition, when thinking about things you're grateful for. Reflect on what your life would be like without these things.
  • Don't overdo it and burn yourself out. It might be more effective to journal once or twice a week rather than every day, especially as you build the habit.

Keeping a gratitude journal is about forcing ourselves to pay attention to the good things in life we'd otherwise take for granted.

5 Prompts to get you started:

  • Who is a special someone that has taught you about unconditional love in the past or present?
  • Write down one good thing that happened to you today.
  • What are five personality traits that you are most thankful for?
  • What about your upbringing are you most grateful for?
  • Are you happy with how your day turned out?

Tips adapted from Greater Good Magazine GreaterGood.Berkeley.edu, November 17, 2011

Prompts adapted from Bullet Journal Diary of a Journal Planner, February 25, 2021

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.

Photo by Alina Vilchenko from Pexels