Tips for Starting a Gratitude Journal

gratitude journal
Everyone has something to be grateful for, and writing it down can even boost your happiness. Learn how to start your own gratitude journal now!

The Importance of Being Grateful

Usually it is not enough to simply decide to be grateful – we must actively practice it to cement its place in our lives. Performing simple daily acts of gratitude such as writing in a gratitude journal can have a big impact on your health and happiness!

It only takes a few minutes a day, but it can give you a lasting mood boost that can take you from feeling “okay” to feeling “great” on a more regular basis.


What is a Gratitude Journal?

A gratitude journal is, quite simply, a tool to keep track of the good things in life. No matter how difficult and defeating life can sometimes feel, there is always something to feel grateful for.

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them

John F. Kennedy

Regularly journaling about the good things in your life can help prepare and strengthen you to deal with the rough patches when they pop up.

It’s extremely simple to start: simply write down (or type) the things you are grateful for on a daily basis. You can use a journal, diary, notebook, or just a piece of paper. If you’re committed to being green or just find it easier to do things digitally, you can use one of the many gratitude apps! My top 2 favorite apps are Daily Gratitude and Gratitude Journal.

Daily Gratitude App

Below is how Daily Gratitude app looks like. You can select between 2 different views by clicking the ‘Change View’ button, and you can add a new entry by clicking on the top right icon.

Underneath each day you have your daily target progress: a complete circle means that you reached your target! If you always forget to write, go to settings and set a daily reminder so you know when it’s time for your mindful practice.

By changing the calendar view you can see the entries of the selected day below your calendar. Click on your Gratidude Entry to see it in full screen. Style your gratitude entries with emojis. And if you ever feel bored to text, you can use the Voice to Text feature to express your gratitude!

It’s really easy to use, as you can see. For now the app only available for iOS, but it will soon be available for Android too!

Once you have your app or your physical journal ready, simply start noting the things you are grateful for. Got a promotion? Journal it! Mastered a new yoga move? Journal it! Received good news about a potential health problem? You guessed it – journal it!


Benefits of Using a Gratitude Journal

  • Gratitude journaling, like many gratitude practices, can lower your stress levels;
  • It can help you feel calmer, especially at night;
  • Journaling can give you a new perspective on what is important to you and what you truly appreciate in your life;
  • By noting what you are grateful for, you can gain clarity on what you want to have more of in your life, and what you can do without;
  • Gratitude journaling can help you find out and focus on what really matters to you;
  • Keeping a gratitude journal helps you learn more about yourself and become more self-aware;
  • On days when you feel blue, you can read through your gratitude journal to readjust your attitude and remember all the good things in your life!

What is the Difference Between a Gratitude Journal, Planner, Diary, and Notebook?

The main difference between a gratitude journal and other similar items, like planners, diaries, and notebooks, is the focus of the action:

  • Gratitude journaling focuses on what you are grateful for;
  • Filling out a planner focuses on what you need to do;
  • A diary’s focus is on what happened in your day;
  • Notebooks are for taking notes about the present, or future events, to help you remember important points.

The gratitude journal is unique as it is solely dedicated to noticing and appreciating the positive things in your life!


Ideas for Things to Write in your Gratitute Journal

Your gratitude journal must be unique to you and your life. No one can tell you what makes the cut for you and your particular circumstances, but there are some suggestions that might help if you’re struggling in the beginning:

  • List three small ways that you can share your gratitude today
  • Write about a person in your life that you’re especially grateful for and why
  • What skills or abilities are you thankful to have?
  • Write about a challenge you’re experiencing right now that you can be thankful for
  • How is where you are in life today different than a year ago–and what positive changes are you thankful for?
  • What activities and hobbies would you miss if you were unable to do them?
  • List three body parts that you’re grateful for and why
  • Write about the city you live in and things you are grateful for about it
  • What are you taking for granted about your day to day that you can be thankful for?
  • What materialistic items are you most grateful for?
  • Write about the music you’re thankful to be able to listen to and why
  • Who has done something this week to help you or make your life easier and how can you thank them?
  • Describe foods or meals that you are thankful for
  • What elements of nature are you grateful for and why?
  • Which part of your morning or night routine are you most thankful for?
  • What is something you’re grateful to have learned this week?
  • What aspects of your work environment are you thankful for?

When Should you Write?

Plan to write in your gratitude journal every night for 15 minutes before bed. Set an alarm reminder on your phone or schedule it in your calendar. I’ve found it easier to write at night so that I can include things that I am grateful for from that day.

Keep your gratitude journal by your nightstand so you will see it before going to sleep and remember to jot down what you are thankful for. Write as many things as you want in your gratitude journal. Writing down 3-5 things that you are grateful for each day is a good number to aim for.

Your gratitude journal doesn’t have to be deep. What you are thankful for can be as simple as “family” or “the new book or movie I recently enjoyed” or “this morning’s breakfast.”


gratitude journal

The gratitude journal is a unique tool solely dedicated to noticing and appreciating the positive things in your life. Start writing things down today and appreciate the small things everyday!


Check other posts about hobbies of mine in the Hobbies section of my blog

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