How and what to write in your gratitude journal
Gratitude is a pillar to build a happy resilient life. I recommend to everybody to have a consistent gratitude practice. There is so much research to validate that you can transform your life with gratitude. I have seen the benefits personally and in my clients.
One of the easiest ways to start is to do a gratitude journal.
Pen and paper is the best
It has been proven that writing with pen and paper is more beneficial than doing it electronically. So get a notebook, pen and begin.
Do it every day
If you do it once or twice a week, is better than nothing. If you can commit to doing it every day it has proven that you will enhance the positive effects. Consistency is important to get more out of your journaling.
Add it to your routine
Pick a time that you can stick to every day. Think about your daily routine and fit in in a block of time that feels natural and easy for you. I’ve found that people that journal after a daily task are most successful. Like doing it after your morning coffee or before going to sleep.
There are multiples ways and things that you can write in your gratitude journal. It can also be a tool to enhance more positive emotions and enrich your life. Here are some of my favorite ways to squeeze out the most benefit from your journal.
Set a calm ambiance
Think about doing it in a place that is relaxing and calm. You can even make it cozy with a candle, dim lights, a cup of herbal tea, a cozy blanket, a nice notebook, and a special pen. None of these things are required but they can help you build a gratitude ritual and more mindful experience.
Begin with a smile
Before you start writing close your eyes and smile. Hold your smile for a few seconds or longer. It will relax your mind, face, and body. It will send a message to your brain of safety and that you are are doing enjoyable.
You can make the practice short and simply write the things that can come to mind that went well in your day. Positive activities, to-do list completions, good news, good weather and things that made you smile today. It has been proven that You only need to write three things that you are grateful for to experience the benefits.
Enrich the journaling
These are additional things that you can add to your practice. You can do these things daily or when you have extra time.
You can close our eyes and visualize yourself experiencing the things that you are grateful for. Imagine yourself with your husband when you went out together and you were laughing. Remember the time when your children came home running towards you to hug you. This will enhance positive emotions and create a deeper experience.
Journal about things that you can experience with your five senses. Think about going to the park and journal about the weather, the sky, sounds, smells and things your touch or felt on your skin. Consider an enjoyable meal and write the details of how you use your five senses to enrich the experience.
Flip the negative or stressful moments
Write about times on your day or from your past that things felt stressful and challenging to you. Then reflect on what you learned from that experience.
Reflect on the people in your life that have helped you and supported in a special way. You can do a list of people and write to them to thank them for their support. It could be a letter, an email or send them a card.
“It is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful.”
What is the person that you are most grateful for in your life? Write down why you are so grateful to that person.