Journaling is a great way to give your mental health a boost. Starting a gratitude journal, a place where you can write about things you are thankful for, is a fun an easy way to begin journaling and reflect on things that make you feel grateful. If you are hoping to use a gratitude journal to help you manifest your aspirations, we are here to help. Here are some tips and tricks on how to start a gratitude journal.

Benefits of Starting a Gratitude Journal

If you are debating whether making a gratitude journal is right for you, consider some of the mental health benefits of this practice:

  • Helping you focus on the positive: If negativity is constantly bringing you down, starting a gratitude journal can be a great way to help you focus on the positive things in your life.
  • Recognizing the people who enhance your life: When your life is full of great people, it can be easy to take them for granted. Starting a gratitude journal can help you write down just how thankful you are for your mom’s love or your best friend’s constant support.
  • Boosting your ability to empathize: Grateful people are more likely to feel empathy and are less likely to be aggressive. Making more time for gratitude in your life can help you find peace with the people around you and rid yourself of angry feelings.  
  • Increasing mindfulness: A gratitude journal can help you be more present and mindful of things that have a positive impact on your life.

How To Start A Gratitude Journal

For anyone ready to harness the power of gratitude, use these simple steps for how to start a gratitude journal.

1. Choose Your Journal

The first step to creating a gratitude journal is selecting a book to write in. Some people will opt to purchase a notebook from a stationary store or online, while others may buy a simple journal from the grocery store and decorate it themselves. You may want to include photos of people or places that make you happy or quotes that inspire you to feel grateful. Etsy has many options for fun and inspiring notebooks to make your gratitude journal.

2. Set Aside Time to Use It

Making writing in your gratitude journal a habit is a tangible way to make the most of this experience. You may want to start your mornings by writing in your journal, or use the 10 minutes before you fall asleep to make entries. While you do not need to write in this journal every day (though you absolutely can!) be sure to set aside a few set times per week in order to make this exercise a habit.

3. Explore Creative Prompts

Sometimes the biggest struggle with journaling can be deciding what to write about. You may opt to write simple notes about things you are grateful for every day or explore a number of different prompts to explore feelings of gratitude in various areas of your life. If you are wondering how to start a gratitude journal that includes interesting prompts on various topics, try some using some of these gratitude journal prompts:

  • Write about one person in your life you are grateful for.
  • What are five things you love about the city you live in?
  • What is one small thing you are grateful for today?
  • What is one experience you had in the last week you are grateful for?
  • What foods are you most thankful for?
  • What is one thing that made you laugh uncontrollably recently?
  • Write a letter to someone who has made a positive impact on your life.

For more activities you can do to boost your mental health and motivation, consider these self-esteem building exercises

Megan Herndon

Megan is a Seattle-based writer who covers health and wellness. She has worked in content marketing and journalism for a number of organizations including The Seattle Globalist, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and The Jakarta Globe. She has a BA in journalism from the University of Washington and is currently working on her second UW degree, a Master of Communication and Digital Media. Born and raised in Hawaii and currently embracing the Pacific Northwest lifestyle, Megan loves all things active and outdoors including hiking, camping, outrigger canoe paddling, and yoga.

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