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Gratitude Journal - Focus On Your Blessings

Updated on March 13, 2016

Journals For Different Purposes

As a young girl, I kept a diary, writing religiously about my daily activities. As a teen, I poured out my heart in volume after volume of diaries and journals. Young adulthood found my journaling much more sophisticated, as I developed my writing style and became aware of the power that journaling held for me.

Today, I am an avid journaler, keeping many journals for different purposes. My basic, everyday general journal serves as a dumping ground, sounding board, and stress reliever. A "possibilities" journal records my aspirations, hopes and dreams. My mindmapping journal is where I go to brainstorm my article ideas. My scrapbooks and art journals are my creative outlet, and the one type of journaling I do to share with others.

My Gratitude Journal Helps Me Focus On My Blessings

The journal that has had the most profound effect on me is my Gratitude Journal. This special journal resides on my bedside night stand. Each evening when I go to bed, I write five things for which I am thankful that day. I find that doing this simple task before going to sleep calms me and erases the day's stresses and worries, helping me focus on my blessings.

Some days, my list will be about simple blessings or joys. Other days it has amazing revelations. Some recent entries include, "I paused for a moment on my walk, just as the sun was going down, and was struck by the vivid pink and orange ripples in the sky," and "I listened to my Renee Fleming cd today while I cleaned, and remembered how much I enjoy opera."

Journaling Through The Tough Times

There are days when I am hard-pressed to come up with five things to feel thankful for. You know, those days when you can barely get through the day. On those days, I write the basic things; my family, my health, work, husband, daughter, granddaughter, etc. I just make sure to take the few moments to write something, thereby keeping the journaling habit going. It's during those tough times that I find writing in my gratitude journal really helps me to pull through.

This daily exercise has literally changed my life! Keeping this journal helps me focus on what is right with my life. It helps me see and appreciate my blessings and overcome my difficulties. It has transformed me into a more positive thinker, with a grateful heart and attitude. My life is abundant, indeed, and the pages of my gratitude journal are a tangible reminder of just how blessed, content, and fulfilled I am.

Perhaps Melody Beattie said it best, "Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow."

"Gratitude is the heart's memory." old French proverb

When I first saw the striking colors of this clematis blooming in my garden, I wrote in my journal about the joy I felt in knowing I tended and nurtured that little plant, and how I now appreciate it's beauty.
When I first saw the striking colors of this clematis blooming in my garden, I wrote in my journal about the joy I felt in knowing I tended and nurtured that little plant, and how I now appreciate it's beauty.

How To Develop A Grateful Heart

I encourage you to begin today to work on the principle of gratitude in your life by starting your own Gratitude Journal. Make a special trip out to purchase the most inviting blank journal book you can find for your gratitude journal (or make your own custom journal). It is important to take your time with this. Decide if you want pages with lines, or if you would rather have no lines; a spiral bound, hard cover, or loosely bound book; a bright and cheerful cover, or a more subdued floral or pattern; a closure or not. These small details are important. They are what flavors your life. If your journal is attractive to you and comfortable for you to hold and write in, it will entice you to write in it and use it regularly.

Start now. List your blessings each night (or morning if you prefer). I promise that in just a few short weeks you will begin to feel more hopeful and positive. You will be more content with what you have. You will recognize blessings all around you that you once took for granted. Most importantly, you will develop a grateful heart.

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    • Happymommy2520 profile image

      Amy 14 months ago from East Coast

      I absolutely adored this article. I love the part where you included that "you will recognize blessings around you that you didn't before." I just started a gratitude journal and can honestly say that it has changed my life profoundly. Beautiful article! I will share it on Pinterest!

    • lctodd1947 profile image

      lctodd1947 7 years ago from USA

      This is an excellent hub. Being thankful is one of the best acts we can have because it helps the Lord know that we appreciate the things we already have. He is so good to us and when we wake up in the morning...it is something to be thankful for.

      thank you

    • DoodleLyn profile image
      Author

      DoodleLyn 7 years ago from Upstate New York, USA

      Thanks, Jen. I'm going to check out your online journal now. Will be in touch. Thank you for your kind words.

    • profile image

      Jen 7 years ago

      Beautiful post. I've kept a journal for years and I can definitely say that writing during the tough times is the most helpful. When you can't think of anything to be thankful for is when you need to dig the deepest, find it and write it. I have a journal by my bed, on my phone and online. No excuses!

    • DoodleLyn profile image
      Author

      DoodleLyn 8 years ago from Upstate New York, USA

      You're right, Christine. Gratitude is definitely a faith builder. Seeing our blessings in writing helps us to realize how blessed we really are! Thank you for stopping by.

    • profile image

      Christine Vivero 8 years ago

      Thank you for sharing this Hub. I used to journal but not as much. But I'll begin again with a gratitude journal - I believe it's a sure way also to build my faith.

    • DoodleLyn profile image
      Author

      DoodleLyn 8 years ago from Upstate New York, USA

      Hi Teresa, I love this Melody Beattle quote also. Thanks for stopping by.

      CM - Thanks you for stopping by my hub. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    • CMHypno profile image

      CMHypno 8 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

      Thank you for your lovely Hub on Gratitude - a very timely reminder

    • profile image

      Teresa 8 years ago

      I loved the quote by Melody Beattie. So true.

    • DoodleLyn profile image
      Author

      DoodleLyn 8 years ago from Upstate New York, USA

      Thank you, Ripplemaker. I had fun writing it, and it's an honor to have been selected. I celebrated with my friends over the 4th. Of course, they have no idea what a hubnugget is, but that's ok...any excuse for a celebration, I say! lol. By the way, I keep going to the hubnugget area, but the latest posting there is May's. How often is that updated?

      Fortunerep - I just make the time...like right now I'm "dog-sitting" for my neighbor, and writing in her back yard while the little guy runs around.

    • fortunerep profile image

      fortunerep 8 years ago from North Carolina

      Oh this is beautiful, and how do you find time to write Hubs!? You must have great organizational skills. love it.

      dori

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      And a big heap of congratulations for winning the Hubnuggets! Let's celebrate! :-)

    • DoodleLyn profile image
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      DoodleLyn 8 years ago from Upstate New York, USA

      EA Wright - Great things to be thankful for! I love blueberries too.

      Dashingclaire - Thank you!

      Ripplemaker - I will, I will!

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      I'm glad you are enjoying Hubpages immensely! :-) Keep writing..keep hubbing!

    • dashingclaire profile image

      dashingclaire 8 years ago from United States

      This is so nice!

    • E. A. Wright profile image

      E. A. Wright 8 years ago from New York City

      Over the years, I've had friends tell me this kind of journal keeping has worked wonders for them. You've reminded me of their wise advice; thank you. My five for the day: I'm thankful for blueberries being in season, for soft pillows, for roses, for family, for fireworks.

    • DoodleLyn profile image
      Author

      DoodleLyn 8 years ago from Upstate New York, USA

      Probyte2u - Thanks so much for your kind words, and for tweeting my hub. I appreciate the encouragement. I will repeat, I love it here in HubPages. What wonderful people!

    • DoodleLyn profile image
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      DoodleLyn 8 years ago from Upstate New York, USA

      Karen - that's a good point about writing down the things you are grateful for helps you recognize them more during the day. thanks for stopping by my hub. It certainly couldn't hurt to send them a journal!

    • DoodleLyn profile image
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      DoodleLyn 8 years ago from Upstate New York, USA

      Marie - Thanks for stopping by. I sent you an email.

      Cathy - Great to hear from you. I miss everyone! Thanks for visiting my hub and voting for me.

      Ginni - It's so good to know I can count on my friends. I miss you! Thanks for stopping by my hub and voting. Hope to see you around in the stamping world soon.

      Ellen - It's good to know I have the support of all my stamping buddies. It was nice hearing from you. Thanks for the support.

    • DoodleLyn profile image
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      DoodleLyn 8 years ago from Upstate New York, USA

      You're right, ebourne. Journaling doesn't cost anything, except a little of our time. But it is time well invested.

    • probyte2u profile image

      Eidul Ameen Bin Sahul Hamid 8 years ago from Part Buntar, Malaysia

      Hi DoodleLyn, you have written a very good hub that we can use in our life. Keep up the good work ! I will tweet this :)

    • profile image

      Sam 8 years ago

      Hi, I did some research on gratitude for fun and pleasure. Anyone who reads this (including the author of this hub) can have a free copy by any and all means of the ebook from http://www.gratitudebook.com Just email me at info@strawberrybags.co.uk for your copy.

    • Karen Banes profile image

      Karen Banes 8 years ago from Canada

      I remember seeing someone who kept a gratitude journal interviewed once (I forget who and where) but she made the point that even knowing that you 'have' to write down the things you are grateful for at the end of the day makes you pay attention to all the small good things that occur during your day. Do you think it would be too strong a hint to buy some of the real mesery-guts I know a gratitude journal as a gift? :)

    • ebourne profile image

      ebourne 8 years ago from Washington, D.C.

      Thanks for a delightful hub. I've been journaling since childhood as well, and recently have begun to make an effort to include more entries about what I am grateful for right now in my life. It helps me to live more in the moment.

      After witnessing an unfortunate incident between my parents when I was a little girl when my dad found my mom's secret journal, I don't tend to write any deep, dark secrets in my journal.

      Journaling is great, cheap therapy and it's something I think I'll never stop doing.

    • profile image

      Ellen Hinds 8 years ago

      I enjoyed this concept of writing. I liked your ideas of writing it is wonderful.

      Good luck. I will keep checking on you. Good to talk to you. I am still stamping with a lot of your stamps.

    • profile image

      ginnijay 8 years ago

      I enjoy your concept of writing down 5 things you appreciate. It will be fun to see how the appreication changes or repeats over a period of time. Just stopping to think is a great activity in our busy world.

    • profile image

      Cathy Vossler 8 years ago

      Great to hear from you, I was wondering what creative works you were up to. Best of luck, Cathy

    • profile image

      Marie  8 years ago

      Congrats and Good luck. Great ideas. Been wondering about you hope you can visit in July.

    • DoodleLyn profile image
      Author

      DoodleLyn 8 years ago from Upstate New York, USA

      Hi Holly! Glad you found me too! I hope you follow through with your journal. It really has been a blessing to me.

      Ron - Thank you for your encouragement. I doubt I could have added anything to your homily, but thank you for your kindness. Yes, we'll be there on the 4th.

    • profile image

      ron tocci 8 years ago

      Wonderful message on thankfulness....I preached on it recently, and I could've used some of your wisdom...Maybe next time.

      See you on the 4th.

    • profile image

      Holly 8 years ago

      I'm glad to have found you again.....I plan on starting a journal soon, I can see the benefits.

    • DoodleLyn profile image
      Author

      DoodleLyn 8 years ago from Upstate New York, USA

      RedElf - Thanks so much. I appreciate your support. I look forward to an enjoyable experience here on HubPages.

      VioletSun - You're right, getting up each morning and greeting a new day is an option so many people never get, so appreciating what each day brings can bring us such joy. Thank you for your encouragement.

      Charla - Not necessarily better, but yet another option. I like your idea of checking off the answered prayers, too. Thanks for commenting.

      Sylvia - It sure does beat counting sheep! Thanks, my friend. You are truly one of those blessings my life has in it!

      k@ri - I do hope you'll give it a try. It just really stresses the blessings so much when we can go back and read them! Glad to meet you.

      Connie - Guess you should have used the kind of diary with a lock! lol. But no worries here with a gratitude journal, because even if someone read it, it would only be a blessing to them, too! Thank you for your kind comments, and your congratulations. I am humbled and honored, and really love it here on HubPages. What a welcoming community.

    • DoodleLyn profile image
      Author

      DoodleLyn 8 years ago from Upstate New York, USA

      Ripplemaker - I've been away a couple of days visiting my daughter and family, so what a lovely surprise to come home to this comment from you about my hubnugget nomination! I'm honored, and really encouraged to write more. Thanks so much for your confidence. Since I only gave this section of the "guide" a brief glance when I signed up a few days ago, I had to go back and read about what hubnuggets are all about. No stress here to keep performing! lol. Seriously, I do love this community already...so glad I found HubPages!

    • Connie Smith profile image

      Connie Smith 8 years ago from Tampa Bay, Florida

      I have a hard time with the concept of a journal since my mother found my diary and I was grounded for weeks! Still, I love the concept of the positivity of a gratitude journal. What a great idea and a great hub. Congratulations on your nomination for hubnugget. This is a real gem.

    • k@ri profile image

      Kari Poulsen 8 years ago from Ohio

      This is a wonderful idea! I put aside time most days to reflect on my blessings and happiness. I never thought of putting them in a journal. Thanks! :D

    • profile image

      Sylvia Goeltz 8 years ago

      Very nice article doodlelyn. I think you are right on. If we focus on the blessings , it detracts from the not so positive. I hate journaling , but maybe I should give this a try. I did try just stating 5 things just before sleep, but that fizzled out fast.LOL.

    • Charia Samher profile image

      Charia Samher 8 years ago

      I have a different way of recognizing my blessings; I crossed out the prayers that had been answered to remind me to be thankful for those. But I guess making a journal would be better, to be thankful for the other things that came my way even if I didn't ask for it. Thank you for this. =)

    • VioletSun profile image

      VioletSun 8 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

      Glad to have found you in Shirley's latest hub. This is a wonderful reminder for all of us to always count our blessings for there are indeed many, just breathing the air is something to be grateful for.

      Thumbs up!

    • RedElf profile image

      RedElf 8 years ago from Canada

      Congratulations on your nomination. Thanks for this timely (for me) piece. Lovely. Looking forward to reading more.

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Hello DoodleLyn, I'm back! This time with the wonderful news! Congratulations, this hub is a HUBNUGGET nominee! Yipppeee! Isn't that wonderful? Just click this link to visit the voting poll and read all the fun things about the Hubnuggets! https://hubpages.com/community/Summer--and-the-Hub...

      Enjoy yourself. You are doing a great job! :-) Love and light.

    • DoodleLyn profile image
      Author

      DoodleLyn 8 years ago from Upstate New York, USA

      Thanks for the warm welcome, Linda. I watch Joyce Meyer also - try to catch her show every morning. It's on at 6:30 AM here, which is a little early for me, but I see it most mornings. I really enjoy her, she's very down to earth and has a gift for teaching. Sounds like you keep really busy. Thanks for the positive comments.

    • lindagoffigan profile image

      lindagoffigan 8 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Great hub. Welcome to hubpages. I keep a journal also and use it for the same reasons that you mentioned. However, I now write a food journal as well and after my daily walk record where I walked and then start with the journal. I also have a gratitude journal that I write a short prayer that I received from Joyce Meyers and then write one thing that I am grateful for or have accomplished and is proud of. Thank you for encourages others to record their thoughts in journal. Writing can be an excellent stress reliever.

    • DoodleLyn profile image
      Author

      DoodleLyn 8 years ago from Upstate New York, USA

      I can honestly say I'm overwhelmed by the support I've received from people on HubPages. Thank you all sooooo much for making me feel welcome here. As you know, starting out in a new venture is scary, so it's good to know we have friends out there!

      Brenda - You'll remember! Just send yourself an email through your compuuter's calendar to remind you...that's what I do with important things.

      Camping Dan - Great to hear from you. Yes, I love my general journal for the same reason, looking back helps me realize how far I have come. What seemed like a problem months ago, is now ancient history, and relatively insignificant. Gives me hope for the future and helps me handle day-to-day frustrations and anxieties.

      KCC Big Country - Thanks so much for your big welcome, and your kind comment. I, too, carry one of my journals around with me....never know when the urge to write, or as you, brainstorm, will strike.

    • KCC Big Country profile image

      KCC Big Country 8 years ago from Central Texas

      My journal goes everywhere with me. Some days I write more than others, but it is a great way to relieve stress and brainstorm new ideas.

      This is a fantastic hub! You're going to do well here at HubPages!

    • Camping Dan profile image

      Camping Dan 8 years ago

      This is a good idea. I started writing in a journal years ago, but just general stuff. This alone was a big help so I could reread later and try and see things more clearly.

    • profile image

      \Brenda Scully 8 years ago

      Great idea, I will try it out..... I am supposed to write morning pages, but forget all the time, hope I remember this one...

    • DoodleLyn profile image
      Author

      DoodleLyn 8 years ago from Upstate New York, USA

      Hi Dottie,

      Yes, we all need a gentle nudge now and then, don't we! They say if you do something seven times I think it is, a pattern if formed and it becomes a habit. For me, I know that right after I brush my teeth and hit the sheets, my journal is waiting for me. Thanks, Dottie, for your comment.

    • Dottie1 profile image

      Dottie1 8 years ago from MA, USA

      What a grateful way to begin your first hub. I have to admit I've slacked off a bit in keeping my journal up to date and thank you very much for the reminder that I need to get back to it. Today I promise myself I will reconnect to writing in my journal. ~Dottie

    • DoodleLyn profile image
      Author

      DoodleLyn 8 years ago from Upstate New York, USA

      Wow, a note from ripplemaker! When I was looking into this whole hubbing thing, I was attracted to your hubs, and thought some day I want to be that good! I really appreciate your comment and encouragement. I will be writing more soon.

    • DoodleLyn profile image
      Author

      DoodleLyn 8 years ago from Upstate New York, USA

      Thank you, Jodi. I really appreciate your commenting on my hub. As a newbee I'm feeling a little lost out here, so it's wonderful to have some encouragement. I just checked out your hubs. You are a very talented writer, and I have already learned so much from you.

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Yes writing it all down can jog our memory when we forget. And the act of expressing our gratitude in print or in any other form just helps us focus on the good things which in turn bring more of that into our lives. Great hub. :-) Thank you for sharing. :)

    • Jodi Hoeksel profile image

      Jodi Hoeksel 8 years ago

      This is a lovely hub! I agree wholeheartedly about journaling. Gratitude journaling is very powerful as well as making vision boards!

      Thank you so much! : )