Joyful Gratitude Journaling For Big Grateful Heart Guide
What Exactly Is Gratitude?
Gratitude is an emotion. It’s how you feel when you’re thankful for something. Think right now about something that you’re thankful for. It can be small like the socks on your feet or it can be larger like the roof over your head, your job, your family or your life.
Gratitude is also an awareness or recognition. When you express or feel gratitude, you’re acknowledging that there is good in your life, in you, in the world and all around you.
Feeling grateful changes how you feel inside.
It’s easy to let the negative thoughts, words, situations, events, and actions in the world take over your heart and mind. Many in society seem to focus on the negative. It’s on the news, in magazines and newspapers, and it may be the general tone of the conversations you encounter during the day.
Yet, the simple emotion and expression of gratitude diminishes all of that negativity in a powerful way.
Over the past ten to twenty years many disciplines have conducted studies on the impact of gratitude.
What Are Your Benefits In Giving Gratitude?
What they’ve found is nothing short of amazing. People who practice gratitude have found:
- They’re happier. It increases feelings of optimism, joy and satisfaction.
- Have less anxiety and depression.
- It’s good for your health. Studies have shown that a gratitude practice strengthens the immune system, lowers blood pressure, and reduces symptoms of illness.
- Get more sleep.
- Recover more quickly from challenges and even from traumatic events.
- Have stronger relationships.
- Stronger connections. People feel more connected to their community.
Gratitude changes your perspective on the life that you’ve been given. When you have gratitude in your life you:
- Feel less victimized by others or by life. Blaming no longer exists. Rather than look at what you lost or what you don’t have, you’re able to reframe situations and move forward focusing on what you can do and what you have.
- Have a more open heart. Gratitude helps you become more compassionate and empathetic. You’ll be able to connect with people even if you don’t think you have much in common with them. It’s a more rewarding way to live.
- Glass half full approach. With gratitude you’ll be able to recognize and appreciate what you have rather than what you don’t. As you begin to become aware of what is good and positive in your life, what is good and positive will grow.
- Attract more gratitude and happiness. It’s often found that people attract experiences and people based on what they expect. If you focus on and expect good things to happen, more good may show up.
The bottom line is that people who practice gratitude reportedly have a better quality of life. However, this is one of those things in life that you have to experience for yourself before you will be able to fully believe it and before you’ll embrace it into your life.
25 Reasons to Be Grateful Today
It’s sometimes hard to look around us and find something to be grateful for. But there are so many little blessings that make our life worthwhile! Looking for them will help us develop a grateful heart and increase the joy of our blessings tremendously. Need something to be grateful for today? Consider these…
Life itself. The blessing of being alive, of breathing and thinking. Never take it for granted!
- This one becomes more precious only when you lose it. But good health is truly a blessing to give thanks for.
- Our children, grandchildren, parents, siblings and spouse. Even extended family make life worthwhile and worth living.
- Your five senses—hearing, touch, sight, taste and smell. Can you imagine a life without these blessings? Even losing one of them is a heartache. Combined, they fill our lives with… life!
- While we sometimes fuss and wish we didn’t have to work, the blessing of a job to provide for our family is definitely something to be grateful for in these uncertain economic times.
- Think of the joy of walking outside and letting the sun kiss your face… hmm… can you feel it?
- Although it seldom comes at what we consider the “right” time, rain is so necessary to our very survival. Thank goodness we have it!
- So many in the world don’t have enough to eat. What a blessing it is for those who do!
- Loving relationships. The old song says, “love makes the world go round.” How true it is! Be thankful for the love in your life.
- Friends are the family we choose to love. And how wonderful they are!
- A loving touch can remove sadness, uplift a spirit and heal a heartache. Definitely something to be grateful for.
- The freedom to live and breathe and think your own thoughts is one of the greatest joys in the world.
- A home. It doesn’t have to be large or even impressive, but a home filled with love and laughter is a comfort for the soul. Give thanks for yours!
- Your education. Many people underestimate the value of education but those who’ve acquired it know what a blessing it is.
- Only when faced with the opposite—unkindness—can we truly appreciate the kindness we’re shown by others.
- The future. Hope for the future is what gives us strength for the day. Be thankful for what the future may hold.
- While we certainly don’t want to dwell in the past, an occasional visit down memory lane can be a good thing.
- There seldom seems to be enough laughter in our lives so enjoy it where you find it and give thanks that it touched your life.
- Some people would have no one to talk to all day long if not for a loving pet.
- Truth is hard to come by in the world we live in. That’s why it’s such a blessing when we do find it.
- Whether it’s reading, crafting, woodworking, skydiving or fishing, our hobbies and pastimes are often the most enjoyable time of the day. They’re certainly worth being grateful for.
- The trees rustling in the breeze, a gentle stream, squirrels and rabbits scurrying around the yard. Give thanks for the beauty and comfort nature brings.
- What a boring world this would be without color! Reds, blues, greens, yellows… even black and white make the world visually attractive and interesting.
- The sound of music (no pun intended) has an almost mystical, supernatural effect on the human psyche. Think about how good the music you enjoy makes you feel. That’s something to be thankful for.
- While we never enjoy them, trials and struggles strengthen us and make us better people.
Living life with gratitude will help you find contentment and comfort no matter what the day may hold. Search for your own reasons to be thankful today. Your whole attitude and demeanor will be changed!
How Do You Practice Gratitude?
The concept of practicing gratitude begins by creating a habit. For most people, the simplest habit and the most effective one is to create a gratitude journal. A gratitude journal is a process of writing down what you’re grateful for during the day.
Many people journal in the morning, or at night, or both as they are quiet times. You can keep the journal right next to your bedside. First thing when you wake in the morning, you journal about gratitude or do it before you go to sleep at night.
Now you can, of course, journal whenever it feels right for you. For example, you might find that journaling in the middle of the day, at lunchtime, helps you have a more positive afternoon and evening.
Also, many people journal on paper. They handwrite what they’re grateful for. The process of writing it down, as opposed to dictating your gratitude or typing it on to your computer or mobile device, seems to have a stronger impact on your brain and mindset. The act of writing seems to wire your brain differently and create a connection between your thoughts and the words on the page.
Does this mean that you can’t or shouldn’t create a digital journal? Absolutely not. If dictating your gratitude or typing it works for you then by all means do that. There are no rules for a gratitude journal.
Why Keep A Gratitude Journal?
Why journal? Why not just set aside a few minutes each day to think about what you’re grateful for? Journaling is the first step to creating a gratitude mindset. After all, the goal isn’t to be grateful for a few minutes each day. The goal is to shift how you think so that gratitude is your natural reaction and thought process.
Journaling helps you create a daily habit. You’ll think about gratitude once or twice a day for one month, two months, six months or more. The longer you do it, the more it becomes ingrained in your mind.
Once gratitude becomes a part of your daily routine, your thoughts begin to shift. Keep at it, continue journaling, and those changes become even more entrenched. Will you shift back to a negative mindset if you stop journaling? It can happen. If you’re aware, and this does happen, all you have to do is resume your commitment to a gratitude journal.
So What Do You Need to Start a Gratitude Journal?
There are a few considerations to start your gratitude journal. Not all of them are necessary requirements. However, it’s a good idea to have some sort of plan in place. It will make your gratitude practice easier and more successful.
Gratitude takes practice. Being grateful and shifting your mindset, thoughts, and beliefs isn’t an overnight process. It’d be wonderful if you could go to bed one night with the burdens of the world on your shoulders and awake the next day feeling light as a feather with no cares in the world.
That doesn’t generally happen. Instead, you’ll notice a gradual shift over time. You’ll feel yourself being lighter, more appreciative, and happier. It’s call a gratitude practice for a reason. Gratitude takes practice. Be patient with yourself and with the process.
We’ve already mentioned a few different options for daily journaling. We mentioned journaling in the morning or at night, or both. We also discussed a lunchtime habit. What matters more than when you journal, is that you journal when you can make it part of your daily routine.
Maybe you journal in the morning with a cup of coffee. Maybe you journal at night after you get ready for bed but before you close your eyes. For it to become a habit, you have to incorporate it into your daily life at the same time every day. Make it part of your day.
What are you going to use to journal? Are you going to use a mobile application? Are you going to use a notebook? There are some truly beautiful notebooks. Have you seen our range of pretty journals, notebooks and planners? You can find them leather bound for a rustic look or shiny for the fashionista.
You can find composition books with patterned covers or character covers. You might also want a pen or pencil that makes you smile and feel grateful. And of course, you can begin by purchasing our gratitude journal and using the space provided to document your gratitude.
The time you spend journaling your gratitude should ideally be uninterrupted time. It should be free from distractions including people, text messages and phone calls. This time allows you to reflect on the day as well as your thoughts and feelings. And if you’re using a gratitude prompt, then the quiet time will help you find your answer. Before we get started, let’s take a quick look at where you can find gratitude because sometimes it can be difficult to tap into this powerful feeling. In tomorrow’s post “89 and More Glorious Gratitude Journaling Prompts For Your Joyful Gratitude Journal“…
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May we thrive with joy and happiness as we release our gratitude to the world!
Ashley Yeo conjures seriously juicy journals, notebooks, planners, printables and paper stuff out of love, peaches and cream to help GIRL EXPLORERS feel POSITIVE and HAPPY via paper therapy. We do this by helping GIRL EXPLORERS harness their GIRL POWERS and discover POSITIVITY through discovering their PASSIONS and staying focused on their PASSIONS through streamlining their life flow and work flow for greater PRODUCTIVITY.