Throughout our journey on earth, we are in a constant search for happiness. We try every trick in the book, when we already have what we need. However, we can all use a tool to help us along our journey. That tool is a gratitude journal.
A wise man once said, “You cannot be in two states of being at the same time.” You cannot be both happy and sad. You cannot be grateful and dissatisfied at the same time.
Using a gratitude journal, you can keep a constant reminder of the things in life that make you happy. By consistently focusing on what you are grateful for, you can begin to see the best in yourself and others.
Check out these tips for why you need a gratitude journal today!
The Art of Gratitude
Gratitude is defined as “the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness (Oxford Languages)”. This state of being is globally recognized as one of the key predictors of happiness.
Gratitude creates a mental predisposition to see the good in yourself and others. When you begin to focus on the good in your life, you will quickly shift your state of mind. Control your mind and you will control your happiness!
A gratitude journal forces you to take the time to list the items you are thankful for. By writing out things that make you happy, you force your mindset to lean towards happiness.
This daily discipline creates a ripple effect across all areas of your life. If you want a happier relationship, start focusing on the things your partner does that make you happy. Want to enjoy your work more? Find the good in your everyday job.
This isn’t an excuse to put your head in the sand and ignore what is going on. However, by seeing the light rather than the darkness, you will be closer to achieving ultimate happiness.
Happiness is a funny thing in that it is every fleeting. We chase and chase things, people, situations that we think will make us happy.
When in reality, all we need is within our grasp. Find the good in everything, and it will find it within you.
How to Start a Gratitude Journal
Starting any new practice can be difficult. The new routine is easy to forget and it feels like “another” thing we are adding to our plates.
However, this practice will take you less than 5 minutes a day and will be the most rewarding routine you have ever completed. When you start a gratitude journal you being to pull out emotions and feelings you didn’t know existed.
By intentionally focusing on the good, you being to create momentum that is unstoppable. Positive feelings and emotions set of a chain of events within you that draws more and more positivity.
Imagine a weight is dropped into an out stretched blanket. When the weight hits the blanket and continues to fall, the blanket is attracted towards the weight with rapid force.
Just like the weight, gratitude attracts feelings of happiness, positivity, and fruitfulness.
Step 1: Purchase a Journal
However, you need something to write on and something to write with. Pen and paper!
These simple tools will allow you to have a natural connect to your thoughts and force you to slow down. While a computer could work, it is too easy to get distracted and takes too little time to complete.
Part of this exercise is to force you to slow down, to reflect, and to look inside yourself. You will be amazed what you see when take some time to focus on your own thoughts.
Step 2: Create Your Routine
The second step in beginning your gratitude journal is to create your routine. You need to find a consistent time and place where you can be alone.
For most people, right when you wake up or before you go to bed are the best options. During these times you can be alone with your thoughts and actually reflect.
As a reminder to yourself, put your journal on top of your phone or alarm clock before you go to sleep at night. This will remind you to do the journal the moment you wake up.
When the alarm clock goes off, roll over and grab your pen and paper. Your routine has started.
Step 3: Use Your Gratitude Journal!
The final step of the process is to actually use your gratitude journal. Here is how it works – every day you grab your pen and notepad and you write 3 things you grateful for.
They can be absolutely anything, or you can make them targeted. If you are struggling in your relationship, try writing 3 things you are grateful for your partner does. If you want to focus on loving your children deeper, use the time to write for them.
However you want to spend the time, just make sure you write each day.
You will simply reflect, then write 3 things you are grateful for. It could also be helpful to date the journal just in case you ever want to look back on it. For example, your journal could look like this:
June 1st, 2022
- I am grateful for the warmth of the sun and the transition into summer
- I am grateful for the job I have and the people I get to work with
- I am grateful for the health of my family and friends
That is it! Super simple and only takes a few minutes. However, you will notice how you begin looking for things to be grateful for. As you begin to list 3 items every day, you will find patterns in the areas you are grateful.
Look for things to be grateful for and you will find them!
It is Your Turn!
Starting your day out with gratitude is a surefire way to bring positive energy. Additionally, find the routine that works for you and get to writing!
The only way you become a more gracious person is to focus on what brings you joy and happiness. Find the areas of your life that yield you happiness and capture them in your gratitude journal.
It is your turn. Start today. Purchase a journal and get to writing! You won’t regret it.
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