How to start a gratitude journal

Expressing gratitude is simply being thankful for people, things and situations. Numerous research studies have found that actively practising gratitude can improve your physical and mental health, increase your sense of connection with others and improve your sleep.

You may find it difficult at the begging but stick at it, once you get the hang of it you’ll see and feel the difference.

Here’s a few tips to get you going.

Pick your journal –

This one is open to personal preference, it could be a plain text book, it could be a diary with pretty flowers and rainbows or even your phone. Some may even opt to practice gratitude visually and draw or take pictures of what they are grateful for.

Schedule it –

One way to make journaling a habit is to try and practice at the same time each day. It may be first thing in the morning upon waking, on your lunch break or before you go to bed each night.

Start small –

Sometimes it can be difficult to identify the positives, especially if you’re feeling down. Start by looking around you or thinking more generally; I’m grateful for the roof over my head, I’m grateful for my friends, I’m grateful for my health.

Share your gratitude –

Some may find that sharing your practice with loved ones may increase the positive experience and make you more conscious throughout the day when identifying things that you are grateful for. Others may prefer to keep it to themselves.

Get Specific –

Once you get the hang of it, start to delve a little deeper and think about why you are grateful for the particular person, thing or situation. Eg. I’m grateful for the roof over my head because it is a safe place that I can relax in after a long day or I am grateful for my friends because they I know they are always there for me when I need them.

Journal Prompts –

  • What is a relationship I am grateful for?
  • What positive quality do I admire about myself?
  • What is one thing I am looking forward to today? (if journaling in the morning)
  • What can I appreciate about today’s weather?
  • What do I appreciate about the town/country I live in?
  • What is a simple pleasure that you’re grateful for?
  • What is something you bought recently that you are grateful for?
  • What is something you made recently that you are grateful for?
  • What is something about your health/body that you are grateful for?
  • What is something outside that you are grateful for?
  • What is something in the room you are currently sitting in that you are grateful for?