Starting a Gratitude Journal

A flowing river with trees, rocks, and orange wild flowers

We are currently living in a world where busyness is glorified, bad news is present everyday, people feel more disconnected, and social media triggers comparison and envy. No wonder a lot more people are lonelier today than before. However, with all this negativity around us, we can still choose to see the positive. We can do this by practicing gratitude regularly. Having a gratitude journal, either physical or digital, can reinforce this. Below are a few tips on how to start your own gratitude journal:

Set aside time.

Set a few minutes in your day to write on your journal. Having a schedule can help establish this as a habit. Find out what works for you. I usually do this before going to bed. I do pray and give thanks in the morning, but listing down things that I’m grateful for at night makes me recount the good things that happened throughout the day, even if it was a particularly bad day.

Start with listing down 3 things.

When you’re just starting, start with 3 simple things that you are thankful for – but this is just a guide. You can write as little or as many as you want. Writing on your gratitude journal should not feel forced. You don’t even have to write paragraphs. Listing down your blessings in bullet-form works just as well.

No blessing is “too small”.

It’s easy to be grateful for big things such as getting a new job or the birth of your child. But there are so many small things that we usually take for granted as well – a nice conversation, a hot cup of cocoa after a long day, a warm hug, or maybe positive feedback on your work.

Try not to list down the same things everyday.

When writing on your gratitude journal feels like a chore, you’re more likely to just put the same things over and over. If this happens, don’t give up just yet. Try thinking out of the box. Perhaps think of something that you’re looking forward to. Or remember an opportunity that presented itself to you. Maybe you could show or share your gratitude in some other way, like showing your appreciation to people by being fully present when you’re with them. The important thing is that you consciously choose to be grateful for what you have.

In our fast-paced lifestyle, keeping a gratitude journal allows us to slow down and actually take time to observe and be grateful for our blessings. This habit helps replace negativity with appreciation and positivity. One of my favorite quotes is “a grateful heart is a magnet for miracles”, and I truly believe that. Blessings are already around us, and being grateful allows you to open your eyes and take notice.

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