What is a Gratitude Journal and How Should I Start?

Gratitude is the attitude of being grateful. It’s an appreciation for what one has, not to be confused with appreciation or thankfulness. Gratitude is a habit that can improve your health and overall wellness, as well as increase happiness in your life. A gratitude journal is simply a written record of things you’re grateful for in your life. Having no way to measure how much we appreciate something may seem silly at first but it does have its benefits:

Gratitude can improve your life in many ways. Research has shown that practicing gratitude can improve your health, strengthen your relationships and help you find more meaning and purpose in life. It can also make you feel happier, more optimistic and less stressed—which is why it’s an essential part of many self-care routines. When a person feels grateful for what they already have in their life, they’re able to focus on the present instead of worrying about what they don’t have or haven’t accomplished yet.

A gratitude journal is a place to write down things that you are grateful for.

It can be written in a notebook, on your phone, or even on your computer. It can be as long or short as you want it to be, and it doesn’t have to be perfect. Some people find it helpful to write about what made them happy each day, others may prefer to focus on the big things that happened during the week or month.

The best part about this practice is that there are no rules!

You can write about anything that makes you happy—from great moments with friends and family members having fun together at home watching movies/playing games/having dinner together;

to wonderful experiences like traveling somewhere new (or even just going out into nature). Whatever makes YOU happy!

Tips on how to start

  • Get a journal. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but it should have enough pages for you to record your gratitude in—that is, unless you plan on making multiple entries per day. You could also use a notebook or even just a sticky note if that’s all you have access to at the moment.
  • Choose a time of day and place where it will be easy for you to make your entry. I prefer writing down my three things before I go to bed because my mind tends to wander into dark places when I’m sleepy (to be honest with myself). On the other hand, some people like finding peace while they’re walking through nature or sitting outside with their pets. Find what works best for you! Once again: do not force yourself into doing something if it doesn’t feel right yet or if there are other distractions around you (like children running around or loud noises). This process needs space in order for it work properly!

You may find that keeping a gratitude journal can help you in many areas of your life.

  • If you’re going through a difficult time, it can be a valuable tool to cope with stress and negative feelings.
  • It’s also been shown to improve mood, reduce anxiety, and increase happiness.
  • Gratitude has been linked to greater happiness and optimism—and it’s easy to see why when you consider all the positive effects of expressing gratitude on both yourself and others:
  • It makes us feel more connected to others, which strengthens social bonds with family members and friends. -It increases our sense of purpose (and therefore meaning), which helps us feel less lonely as well as more optimistic about the future. -It gives us hope that things will get better despite what might seem like insurmountable obstacles at the moment.”

How can you make the use of a gratitude journal even better

As we start to revel in what the gratitude journal is doing for you, you can get even more focused on celebrating your graciousness.

  1. Enjoy the details
  2. Get into the moment, right now
  3. Ask why this was important to you
  4. Change directions in your thinking – consider things that before you may have taken for granted
  5. Do something else completely

To wrap it up

We’ve talked a lot about the benefits of keeping a gratitude journal, but it’s not for everyone. If you’re not sure if it will work for you, try starting small: pick just one thing to be grateful for each day, and see how it goes from there. You may find that keeping a gratitude journal can help you in many areas of your life—or at least give yourself an excuse to spend more time being grateful! Who knows? It might end up being one of those things that changes everything…