Gratitude Journal : Benefits and Results
How to begin a Gratitude Journal
A gratitude journal does not need any sort of format or style. It can be written on scrap paper, a fancy notebook, or any electronic device like your iPad/phone/computer. Just as long as you can bound or save the journal and have it available daily. That is really the only requirement. I like keeping my gratitude journal on my iPhone so I have access to it all times and can add an entry at leisure. Just remember to write down the entry such that it will be easily recalled at a later time.
Your entries can be one word, a phrase, or a sentence. It really is up to you. I like to keep mine short and concise. For example, if I enjoyed having lunch with my friend Catherine, I would simply write "lunch with Catherine".
The benefits of writing a gratitude journal are endless. At first it may seem silly to write about events, meals, or activities you enjoyed throughout your day. It may even take a while to jog your memory and find a list of things you are grateful for on that particular day. But with time, it will become easier and you will find that as the day goes along you will be more mindful of things that are pleasant and things that bring a smile to your face.
Becoming aware of your likes and dislikes, as you write and read your gratitude journal, will help you differentiate what activities and events you should partake in. The gratitude journal almost helps to keep a barometer of what is considered pleasant for you. I did not realize how much I enjoyed eating sushi and eating Chinese food until it consistently appeared in my journal. That may sound silly but I didn't realize those where special treats for me (that I don't indulge in often). I also realized that I enjoy spending time partaking in something spiritual, such as mediation or listening to a good sermon. Knowing this now, I intentionally spend more time in spiritual activities.
There is definitely a spiritual quality to writing a gratitude journal. It keeps you present and helps you see and enjoy your activities throughout your day as you are more aware of the happiness and gratitude you have towards life. Often times, the most simplest of activities or events appear in my journal. It is these simple things of life that we often take the most granted. If you can stop and see the beauty in the little things, you have made great progress!