Gratitude journals are one of the easiest ways to practice cultivating more gratitude in your life which proves to have a significant impact on both our physical and psychological health and can help us to create a happier, healthier more vibrant life.
But what exactly is a gratitude journal? Why do we want to start a gratitude journal? And how can a gratitude journal actually help us to live a more joyful and fulfilling life?
Gratitude + Your Brain
When we let our brains run on default mode, they tend to choose negative thinking over positive thinking, and they do that for good reason.
Our brains are designed for survival, they are programmed to look for problems and obstacles as a way of keeping us safe and protected. But the problem is that since we no longer live in a world where we are in constant need of food and protection, our brains tend to create problems where they don’t really exist.
So it becomes our job to help train our brains to relax and to look for the good (hint: this is where gratitude can help).
Try to think of your brain as a GOOGLE search engine; it’s your servant. If you are thinking in terms of a problem and worrying all the time, your mind will work to seek evidence to prove this thinking true.
On the flip side, when you intentionally look for the good and direct your brain to focus on gratitude and the things that are working in your life, your mind will go through the day looking for more of that goodness.
It’s like a snow ball effect; energy goes where attention goes so let’s get really good at looking for the good (on purpose).
HOW TO BEGIN A GRATITUDE JOURNAL
STEP 1: Choose Your Medium
Where are you going to keep your journal? Personally, I like to use notebook but you can also keep it digital, by using your phone or computer. Ultimately you want to choose whatever will feel the most doable for you so that you can stay consistent.
STEP 2: choose a Time to JOURNAL
Do you want to do this daily, weekly, or even bi-weekly? Everyone is different, so there’s no right or wrong way to do this. It just makes it easier make that decision before hand.
Also think about the time of day that will work for you. I recommend first thing in the morning, this way you are setting yourself up for the day, but again, do what feels right to you.
STEP 3: CHOOSE A PROMPT
Think of one thing to be grateful for. Just one. It can be something big or something small.
Next, list five reason that you are grateful for this one thing. Having to search for these reasons will really helps to shift you into a feeling of gratitude (which is a great way to shift out of any type of negative or doubtful emotions).
STEP 4: CONGRATULATE YOURSELF
You just got started with your gratitude journal! Once you have shifted yourself into a place of gratitude and feeling good, use this time to think about your day and what you want to be putting your attention on.
Gratitude is a great starting place for creating the type of day you want to have.
Do you keep a gratitude journal? What are some of your favorite prompts when it comes to your journal?