Have you heard of a gratitude journal?
Gratitude journals are a physical space dedicated to being grateful.
It is a notebook, or other pad of paper, where you take time on a regular basis to reflect on what you’re grateful for.
But more than that – gratitude journals help us cultivate the internal state of gratitude.
Gratitude is a mindset. By cultivating it, you increase your mental capacity for positivity – without changing anything in your external world. It is pretty powerful 🙂
In this post, I show you the basics of gratitude journaling so you can begin one for yourself!
The Gratitude Journal Method
Allow gratitude journaling to encourage you to grow a positive mindset by listing a few things that you’re grateful for every day (usually 3). That’s it!
Here’s how to do it:
- Choose a journal, notebook, or other pad of paper. Dedicate this space to gratitude journaling only.
- Choose an interval of time: every day or once a week
- Set a reminder to write in your journal
- When it is time, open your journal!
- Write out 3 things you are grateful for…
- If you feel like it, write more!
- Spend a moment feeling grateful for each thing… at least 20 seconds each
- Close your journal and put it in a special place, so you can easily find it next time
- Enjoy your feeling of gratitude all day 🙂
Maybe you’ve got the journal out, pen in hand, but no inspiration comes?
Something normal – is to feel writer’s block. You’re not sure what to say. Then you think negatively of yourself for not knowing how to be grateful on command.
Here are a few questions to get you started:
- What am I grateful for today that’s new?
- What has positively changed my life recently?
- What makes me feel glad to be alive right now?
- What are my greatest positive influences?
- What has changed my life for the better?
- What is good about my life?
A Grateful Mindset
Gratitude is a feeling.
Feelings are connected to thoughts.
Thoughts lead to behaviors.
Behaviors create more feelings.
By stimulating positive feelings regularly, we begin a cycle of living more positively overall.
What the gratitude journal does specifically, is encourage the link between positive feelings and positive thoughts.
Write what you feel grateful for. Naturally. Effortlessly.
Then allow yourself to think about it.
This puts us into a mindset inspired by the grateful feeling.
That mindset – in turn – will lead us to create a life of actions, people, situations, and things that inspire more gratitude and positivity!
This is the power of the gratitude journal.
The Should Trap
One trap we can fall into is writing down things we aren’t actually grateful for.
Why would we do that?
Because we think we should feel grateful for it.
And by writing it down… maybe… we can force ourselves to like it. Maybe we can feel… how we think we should feel.
Alert! This is something you want to avoid.
Why? Because it won’t work.
Why forced gratitude won’t work:
Why won’t forced gratitude journaling work? Because it is counter-productive.
In order to cultivate more positivity throughout your day, you have to stimulate the feeling.
When we write something we aren’t actually grateful for – we stimulate a different feeling.
That is, instead of inspiring gratitude, it will inspire more of something else. Perhaps resentment, confusion, dislike, or general negativity.
And in the Law of Attraction, this will simply create more of what you’re ungrateful for in your life.
What to do instead of forcing it:
If you find yourself writing things you aren’t actually grateful for, just use the gratitude journal to explore this further.
- Why do I think I should feel grateful for this?
- Why don’t I feel grateful for this?
- Why might it be okay for me not to feel grateful?
- How can I change my life to encompass more things that I’m actually grateful for?
With any luck, you can have a personal breakthrough 🙂 Now that’s what I want to use a journal for 😉
For me, personally, gratitude journaling has stimulated positive benefits in my life: emotionally, mentally, behaviorally, and physically.
It even inspired me to journal more, and now I’m hooked. 😉
What is your gratitude journaling status?
Want to raise your positive vibes super fast? Then you might like my Consciousness Challenge!
I wish you all the best on your gratitude journal journey!
Dr. Erienne Weine
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