Why You Need to Start a Gratitude Journal Right Now

It will change your life.

Hello, Sunshine!

When I was first brainstorming ideas for this little blog of mine, I came up with the idea to talk about gratitude journals. But as I was getting ready to start writing about it, I realized something: I haven’t been keeping a gratitude journal! You might be thinking, “What?! Sonia doesn’t follow her own advice?!” And the answer to that is sometimes I don’t (although I know I would attract an abundance of joy into my life if I did!). Anyway, I definitely was not about to be hypocritical, so instead of writing my post, I got out a cute little notebook, and I started listing the things I was thankful for. I’ve been doing it for about a week now, and I already feel like I have grown so much. So, without further ado, I am so excited to share one of my FAVORITE happiness-inducing techniques with you!

Listen—you need to start your own gratitude journal RIGHT. NOW. It will change your life. And it’s such a simple concept! I’ve outlined the practice in a few simple steps, shown below:

  1. Pick out a cool notebook. Or some scrap paper. Really anything will do.
  2. Find your favorite pencil, pen, crayon, quill, or bottle of finger paint.
  3. Open your notebook to a blank page.
  4. Write down one thing you’re thankful for today.
  5. And then another.
  6. And then another.
  7. And then another.
  8. And then another.

Literally all you have to do is make a list of things you’re thankful for, which can be as simple or as detailed as you’d like. I try to elaborate on the things I write just to make sure I’m being mindful and intentional in my practice, but if that’s not for you, that’s fine, too. Also, I write down five things I’m thankful for in my journal every day, but you can write more than that if you feel so compelled. It’s all about what YOU need in YOUR life!

I actually heard about gratitude journals from one of my high school English teachers. She told me that she kept a gratitude journal, and that it really helped her focus on the positive things in her life… and although you may be wondering, “how can such a simple practice change someone’s whole outlook?” it really can!

Think about it: Under normal circumstances, it can be really easy for us to fall into patterns of negative thinking. Our society and the people around us generally train us to notice the things in life that aren’t going our way. Ask yourself how often you complain about work, school, your responsibilities, or even the people in your life whom you love. I’m willing to bet that even if you love your job and school and the entire human race, it is not difficult to find little things to complain about. And when you start complaining about the little things, it’s not long before things start spiraling out of control. Before you know it, everything just seems to be going against you.

Keeping a gratitude changes all this because it changes the way we look at our circumstances. It trains us to notice the positive things that happen during our days. As I said, when we start complaining about little things, it’s not long before the little complaints turn into big complaints. On the other hand, when we start noticing the little things in our lives that we love, it’s not long before those little things also turn into our big things, and suddenly, positivity rules our lives! And it’s not even a long process. I’ve been keeping my gratitude journal for about a week now. Not that much time at all. But I’ve already noticed myself smiling more, being kinder to others, feeling more love in my heart, and being more appreciative of all the things that are going right for me. This might seem like a quick turnaround. A few weeks ago, I was feeling exhausted and even a little bit depressed about some things that were going on in my life. But now, I literally feel like a brand new person. I’m awakening to the gifts within each day, and I feel wonderful. Who knew all it took was a little bit of gratitude?

If you haven’t tried a gratitude journal before, you NEED to start doing it TODAY. Do it every day. Consistently. Only five things per day (or more). See how magically your perspective can change in one short week, and then keep feeling that gratitude in every aspect of your life.

With Love,

Sonia

How do you practice gratitude in your daily life? Tell me about it in the comments!

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