“Every night list five things that you are grateful for. What it will begin to do is change your perspective of your day and your life.” ~Oprah Winfrey
By Erin Scott
Are you thankful for what you have?
You may compare yourself to others—thinking that they are richer, wiser and more successful than you are. You may even think they have more than you have.
Stop. Resist this ugly habit.
Simple things can make you smile. Simple moments can bring joy. Appreciate them; embrace all that you have, and your life will be happier. One way to increase positive feelings is by keeping a gratitude journal.
Why Keep a Gratitude Journal?
Writing in a gratitude journal will help:
- Redirect your mind and body to positive energy
- Give you strength and hope
- Turn you into an optimistic person
- Help you to see what is great, not what is wrong
- Widen your perspective in life
- Keep you motivated and thankful every day
- Help you savor every blessing in life
- Give you restful sleep
- Make you feel good and livelier
Start realizing these benefits of practicing gratitude by committing to write in a journal, for 30-days, all that you are grateful for in life. Simple daily notes of gratitude each day will help you appreciate your life more. Here’s how to get started:
1. Choose a journal of your taste
You can use a mobile app or a document in your computer to write your daily entries. Alternatively, you can purchase a nice journal or customize a notebook with decorations, photos and a colorful photo for the cover.
Decide what’s best for you and what will make you feel the most connected when you write.
2. Write as many entries as you want
Ideally, three or five entries per day will help increase feelings of gratefulness. If you think that you have more to add, though, then write them down. Don’t pressure yourself too much; fill the pages with the joy you feel and enjoy the process.
3. Appreciate someone rather than something
Yes, you may have a new phone, a new car, or maybe a new house. However, wouldn’t it be better if you had new friends or the presence and love of your family? Which would make you feel more grateful? Write down the people who you are grateful for having in your life and the reasons why.
4. Narrow your thankworthy entries down
Instead of writing, “I’m grateful for my wife” write: “I’m grateful for my wife, who always listens to me and cooks my favorite lasagna.”
Be specific, and focus on the positive things these moments offer. In that way, you will appreciate the details of each moment.
5. Keep it positive
Seek positive things in every negative situation. Dwell on the possibility of a positive outcome in tough times.
I’m feeling sick and can’t work today, but I’m still grateful for my husband, who is always there to take care of me.
Instead of worrying and overthinking, extract positivity from negative situations and you will see the brighter side of life.
6. Make gratitude journal writing a habit
Writing special moments in your gratitude journal helps cultivate greater optimism in life. You can visit your journal every day reading what you wrote, and writing things that you are thankful for. You can do this before a good night’s sleep, listing all those thankworthy moments of that day.
Make this journaling a part of your routine and after a weary day, you’ll still be thankful for the gifts of life and love.
Lastly, what are you grateful for? Ask this question from day 1 to day 30. Then after 30 days, read what you’ve written. Reflect on these moments of gratitude and savor each word. You can choose to continue writing in your journal, or simply keep this one and go back to it often to give yourself a boost in happiness.
About the Author
Erin Scott, a marketing specialist, helps run the LitFire Publishing blog. She is a passionate reader and an active writer. She shares tips from writing to self-publishing to marketing. You can follow her on Twitter @erinscottlf.
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Erin Scott says
I’m glad you liked this article. Yes, counting the simple blessings everyday makes us more grateful.
Erin Scott says
I’m glad you loved the article. Yes, counting the simple blessings everyday makes us more grateful.
Katie Harp says
Great tips on gratitude! 🙂
I’ve always wanted to do this but never have. Maybe you’ll inspire me. I especially love the idea of being grateful for someONE, not someTHING!
Erin Scott says
Being thankful for the people who love and inspire me keeps me motivated in a great way Amanda!
Amanda | The Light Owl says
Gratitude writing is such a transforming practice! I love your feedback about keeping it specific. There is always something to be thankful for.
Thanks for sharing! I’ve heard gratitude journals are very helpful. It’s always a good idea to focus on the positives in your life.
I’m excited about this! I’ve always wanted to start a gratitude journal! Now I’m motivated to actually do it!
Erin Scott says
Mariah please do, it will make you feel better!
Mia Sutton says
I love this! I used to have a separate gratitude journal, but now I’ve incorporated it into my regular journal. It feels good to think of positive things. 🙂
Rachel Jaffe says
What great advice! I used to have a journal and it made me feel test. Definitely want to do this again!
Sophie Elisabeth says
This is a lovely post. I have been suffering with ‘impostor syndrome’ and I think this method could help me a lot! Thank you for sharing.
Dixya Bhattarai RD says
i think it really helps instill the idea of gratefulness.