One of the drawbacks to keeping a journal, at least for me, is that when you use the written word to process and cope with whatever’s going on in your life, you can end up writing too much about problems and negative, stressful things. It may be therapeutic to get all that stuff out, but you’re left with a record of your life at that time that portrays it only as difficult. The comforting, amusing and inspiring things that happened are passed over and forgotten. If you want to make sure you focus more on the positive things in life, a gratitude journal is a great way to do that. It’s also an excellent prompt for those who have difficulty starting to keep a journal in the first place.
What is a gratitude journal? It’s quiet simple– find a notebook you like, and each day, sit down with it for a few minutes to write down two or three things you felt thankful for that day. Maybe it was an email from an old friend asking how you’re doing. Maybe it was a walk on the beach with your dog. Maybe you knocked a few difficult tasks off your to-do list at work. It can be that simple.
It’s so easy for us to feel sorry for ourselves. On a bad day, you might think you have nothing to feel thankful about. But if you can’t think of anything, you’re just not thinking enough about how lucky you really are! Be grateful for your health, your family, your home, your senses and all the things they reveal about the world around you. There are lots of obvious things to be thankful for, but if you stop and think and write about it, you’ll find the more subtle things we should all appreciate but can so easily forget.
A gratitude journal doesn’t have to be kept in any particular way– you can write a lot or a little, draw pictures or paste in a photo. It doesn’t even have to be a separate journal– you could just set aside space on a page in a notebook you’re using for other things. The important thing is just to find a few minutes each day to stop and think about gratitude, to open your mind to new ways of seeing the positive in your life, and to lock in that feeling by putting something on paper.
If you’re really stuck as to how to begin, start by appreciating your gratitude journal itself: the look of the cover, the feel of the pages, and that you have the means to buy it. And in this holiday season, I’m sure you’ll find many more things to be thankful for! Happy Thanksgiving!
This Thanksgiving special thanks to our Lovenotebooks.com Blog contributors. The above blog post by our guest blogger Nifty from notebookstories.com