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

Plants for Beginners

How to Grow a Tomato Plant in a Pot

Growing a tomato plant from seeds is not only cost effective but also yields healthy, tasty, and fresh produce. On top of that, it is a really cool project!

Propagate Succulents in 5 Easy Steps!

Learn how to propagate succulents from leaves in 5 easy steps! In about 3 weeks you can easily grow new succulents from the ones you already have!

Best Indoor Plants for Beginners

There are indoor plants, that thrive inside the house and provide cleaner air while adding a touch of natural color to your home. Check my favorites!


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

Photography Tips For Beginners

Photography
I’ve always loved Photography, but never actually learned or mastered the techniques. This lack of knowledge led me to do an online course on Udemy about it, and I will now share the main things I’ve learned there.

Shot Composition Types

  • Perspective
  • Vantage Point
  • Rule of Thirds
  • Dead Space

1. Perspective

Low Angle

The lower that you shoot, the bigger your subject looks.

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High Angle

High angle can make your subject appear smaller and increase the depth of an image.

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Lateral Movement

This is basically moving left to right and shooting the subject from the left, center or right and choose the angle you think looks the best.

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1st Person POV

This shows the photographer’s point of view, usually showing a leg or an arm. This places the viewer in the eye of the photographer.

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2. Composition

Vantage Point: Point of focus created by leading lines. There are two different types of leading lines: geometric and organic.

Geometric

These lines are often found in streets and buildings. They are straight and obvious to follow.

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Organic

These lines are often found in nature like mountains, trees, rivers, etc. They tend to bend and curve more but always lead to a specific area.

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3. Rule of Thirds

This is the act of separating your frame into 9 parts with 3 columns (grid). You can place the subject on the first or last column to draw attention to the composition as a whole rather than a single point. It includes the background as a second subject and gives a wider picture of what the main subject is looking at.

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4. Dead Space

Dead space is considered any space behind a subject without any distracting elements. It is used to highlight a single subject with nothing more than a wide-open area: with backgrounds that are far away, empty, and/ or have just one tone of color.

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Filling the frame

This is just a style choice, but sometimes it looks nice to add some elements to eliminate dead space with objects in the surroundings.

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Macro Photography

Macro photoghaphy means shooting extremely close up, commonely done on insects and plants.

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

Guitar for Beginners

tune a guitar

How To Properly Tune a Guitar

Now that you are on your way to playing, it’s important to learn how to tune a guitar. Learn which tuner to buy and how to tune the guitar to itself!

how to strum a guitar

How to Master Guitar Strumming

Strumming the guitar can be frustrating if you are not shown the proper way to master some basic guitar rhythm skills. Here are some exercises for you!

How to Read and Play Guitar Chord Charts

Learn to read guitar chord charts and practice open chords! Remember to play on your fingertips, respect the specified fingering, and it all will pay off!

Guitar Dexterity Exercises for Beginners

Find here some useful guitar exercises for dexterity for beginners. Practice and learn how to get your fingers to do what you want them to do!

How to Read a Guitar Tab for Beginners

A guitar tab shows you the strings and frets that are to be played, as well as some techniques that are to be applied. Learn how to read a guitar tab now!

Time to Learn the Musical Alphabet!

No matter what your goals are as a guitarist, knowing the musical alphabet and the notes will be a huge help to take your play to the next level!

Guitar Anatomy, Let’s Discover It!

If you’re about to start learning how to play the guitar, it really helps to know the basic anatomy of the guitar. Find out what’s what now!


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

A Beginner’s Guide to Cross Stitch

Cross-Stitching
Cross-stitching is a type of needlework that uses small x-shaped stitches to create intricate works of art. Want to try it but don’t know where to start from? This article is here to help you.

Materials you need for cross stitch

If you are new to cross stitch you might wonder what are the best supplies for cross stitch. Below is a list of the essential things you need to cross stitch:

  • Cross Stitch Fabric (most projects are made on Aida or Evenweave Linen fabric)
  • A Cross Stitch Pattern (you can check Pinterest for ideas)
  • An Embroidery Needle (the size will depend on the fabric, but 24 should be OK)
  • Embroidery Floss (after you select the pattern you want to copy, you can check the color codes that you will need to use for that project)
  • Embroidery Hoop (this is optional, but the hoop helps to keep the fabric stretched and you finish stitching you will have your work directly framed in the hoop)

Beginners Tips

First important tip is: start in the middle of your fabric! It’s easier and this way you make sure you have plenty of room for your work. You can quickly find the center by folding your fabric two times double.

Then thread your needle just as you would a needle for hand sewing. Don’t make a knot in the tail end. You will stitch over the tail as you work to secure it without needing a knot. Another important thing is to aim for an even tension on your stitches. Don’t pull too hard as they will warp the fabric, and don’t leave them to loose so they will look sloppy.

One annoying thing about cross stitching is that the embroidery floss tends to get twisted as you stitch. Every once in a while, let your needle hang freely to let the thread unwind.

Also very important: do not forget the backside of your project. Don’t make it look too messy just because no one is going to look at it. Avoid making long jumps because they might show through the openings on the front. When you have to skip more then 4 blank pixels, I recommend that you secure your floss and start with a new thread.

And finally, be consistent in your stitching. The first line of your cross should always be leaning in the same way. It doesn’t matter if you start your cross stitch going ‘////’ or ‘\\\\’ as long as you are consistent with this pattern over the entirety of your project.

How to make a basic cross stitch

Our golden tip for making perfect cross stitches is to start making all the first legs of your cross stitches as per your cross stitch pattern.

After that you can easily stitch the second leg without having to look at your pattern.

Cross stitching projects for beginners

Years ago, I found this cute Garfield pattern online and decided to give it a try. This was my first cross-stitching project and it came out really nice. I bought the materials I needed and just went for it! I found out that cross-stitching is actually quite relaxing.

Then, years later, as a gift to my boyfriend, I decided to do a cute little panda (as his nickname used to be ‘Panda’).

For this one I bought a kit with all the materials included. I didn’t have time to finish the background of this one, as I had to give this on a specific date, but I think it still looks cute anyways!

Over time cross stitch hasn’t really had the recognition it deserves. It is actually quite fun, relaxing and a bit of a secret talent to have. There is no such as getting bored when you can take your little cross stitch kit with you wherever you go.

Fear not, because all though a finished cross stitch project looks super fancy and detailed, it is actually really easy to pick up. Give it a try and be surprised!


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

Start Journaling With This 21 Day Challenge!

Journaling
Writing can be one of the best ways to deepen our self-awareness and gain clarity about various aspects of our lives. Start journaling now with this 21 day challenge!

One of my goals for this year is to try journaling every day. So I prepared this journaling challenge for you. It’s a 21-day challenge so you can really implement this as a new habit, with 21 questions for self-reflection through writing.

Some of the benefits of maintaining a journaling practice are:

  • Find clarity about your thoughts and feelings: Do you often feel confused inside without being able to be sure what you want or are feeling? Writing down what you are thinking and feeling for just a few minutes helps bring clarity to all of this;
  • Knowing Yourself Better: By writing regularly, you are able to identify patterns in your thoughts, understand what causes each of your emotions, and resolve issues that you may have difficulty dealing with;
  • Reduce Stress: Writing about negative emotions such as anger, sadness, disillusionment or shame helps to shed weight and reduce the intensity of those emotions. In addition, we often provoke stress reactions in ourselves because we have a constant and endless loop of thoughts that recur inside our head. The act of writing helps to break this cycle, almost spewing some thoughts from within us to paper;
  • Finding solutions to problems or conflicts: Writing lets you put your thoughts in order and helps you make much clearer connections between different concepts. In addition, problem solving is often found creatively and not just analytically, and writing is a creative activity, you are getting in touch with that part of your brain, helping creative ideas to emerge.

Week 1

Day 1

What’s more important in my life?

Day 2

My favorite way to spend the day is…

Day 3

What has surprised me most about my life, or about life in general?

Day 4

Today I make a list of all questions I need an answer for urgently

Day 5

How should I live, knowing I will die?

Day 6

When was the last time I left my comfort zone?

Day 7

Today I make a list of all the things that inspire me: people, books, music, art, quotes, websites, etc.


Week 2

Day 8

What worries me about the future?

Day 9

I feel happy and good on my skin when…

Day 10

What were my biggest mistakes so far and what can I learn about them?

Day 11

How much has my life been under my control so far?

Day 12

Is what others think of me really important?

Day 13

What do I want from life?

Day 14

Which is worse: failing or never trying?


Week 3

Day 15

What topics do I need to learn more about in order to achieve a fuller, more fulfilling life? (Hint: Put time on the calendar to do it!)

Day 16

How do I care about what matters most in my life?

Day 17

What am I abdicating?

Day 18

How would I like others to remember me at the end of my life?

Day 19

If I could talk to my “me” 10 years ago, what would be the most important thing I would have to say?

Day 20

What would you do differently if I loved myself unconditionally?

Day 21

Today I write the words I need to hear myself

End of Week 3 Challenge: Do a personal SWOT analysis


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