Gratitude Journaling – How to journal effectively

how to journal effectively

We all know how beneficial gratitude journaling is, but how to journal effectively is a different story.

Here are a few tried-and-true gratitude journaling practices to help you journal effectively.

How to make gratitude journaling work for you?

Get a gratitude journal that gives you enough space.

Keep a gratitude journal where you can record as many things as you like. Every day, try to write down 5-10 things for which you are grateful.

Journal regularly.

To reap the benefits of gratitude journaling, it’s best to practice it consistently. This means finding ways to fit gratitude into our already jam-packed, overly stressed schedules.

Understand that it will not be easy every day. 

When things are going well, you may find it easy to journal. However, when your world is falling apart or things are just not going too well, it can be more challenging to maintain your gratitude journal. At times like this, it is important to  make a paradigm shift and consciously focus on the positive while also acknowledging your difficulties.

Offer reasons for your gratitude.

It’s easy to say that you are grateful for your partner, children, pets, etc. This does not make for an effective gratitude journal. Instead, if you feel grateful for your partner on a given day, write about why. For example: “I’m grateful for my partner because he makes me laugh every day, he brings out the best in me, he is a great example for our kids, and he is a good provider for our family.”

Don’t just go through the motions

Have an “attitude of gratitude.” You need to feel the emotions for this to work for you.

Try to be grateful for five things a day.

This does not need to be a rule. Accept that there will be days when you need to give yourself compassion and a little wiggle room.

Write when inspiration strikes.

Don’t always wait until your writing time. If gratitude strikes you, go write.

Do not limit your gratitude.

It is common for people to get into a rut of being thankful for certain types of things, like people in their lives, their possessions, etc. Don’t limit yourself this way. You can be grateful for meaningful relationships, your car, your phone, pinterest, food, feelings, places, everything!

Take your time.

If you truly want to get the most out of gratitude journaling, don’t rush through it. Enjoy the process.

Don’t include negativities.

Do not include anything depressing in your journal. Keep your gratitude journal focused on the positive things in your life, and don’t let anything get in the way of your ability to express gratitude.

Don’t limit your gratitude journal to writing.

If you can make drawings about the things you are grateful for and it inspires you to do so, go for it. 

Savor the surprises.

Journal about the events that surprised you—these are more likely to inspire feelings of gratitude in you.

Don’t repeat. Instead, focus on different parts.

Instead of once again writing, “I’m so grateful for my partner,” write about why you feel gratitude for him/her today. For example: “he made the best lasagna today. I’m so grateful that he is such a great cook.”

Stick to it.

According to conventional wisdom, it takes three weeks to form a new habit, so commit to daily journaling for at least three weeks before passing judgment.

Gratitude journaling – how to get into the habit of journaling daily.