7 Tips for Keeping a Gratitude Journal
By: Zakiyya Rosebelle
Here's a delightful way to be grateful throughout the year.
Meaning of Gratitude
The meaning of gratitude may vary depending on what is dear to you. There are people in this world who are grateful for just one meal. Others are grateful for a kind act or the affection of a loved one. A visit from a good friend may bring you delight for which you are grateful. A quiet moment of peace may be something you are grateful for if you have long, busy days. While the reason behind gratitude varies from person to person, the definition of gratitude is essentially the same: to be aware of the good things in your life, to appreciate them, and to be thankful for them.
Recognizing, appreciating, and expressing gratitude for pleasant occurrences can help you feel authentic happiness and contentment.Gratitude helps us focus on the good things in life rather than the bad. Studies have found that there are many benefits to the simple act of writing down things we are grateful for such as better sleep, fewer symptoms of illness, and more happiness among adults and kids. In order to help and inspire people to make gratitude a part of their day, I launched the great collection of The Happy Birthday Book and The Happy Rosy Day Book - a unique collection of gratitude journals designed to be a delightful reminder to enjoy life, practice gratitude, and record positive thoughts to document your happiness in your own storybook.
Journaling about happy things will make you more aware of the good things in your life. This awareness can have a positive impact since it is often easy to forget amid the stress and challenges we face. Start a gratitude journal to record the good things that happen so that you can learn to see and embrace the beautiful things in your life. Appreciating the wonderful experiences and moments that warm your heart can nurture positive thinking. With The Happy Rosy Day Book keepsake gratitude journals, “you will smile whenever you turn the pages and realize that you are living another year of life beautifully.”
How to Keep a Gratitude Journal
People from all walks of life keep a gratitude journal, from the young to the wise, from celebrities to the rest of us stars sparkling in our own little worlds. Today, there are myriad forms of gratitude journals, including those that are handwritten and even digital versions. I adore and recommend the classic, the traditional paperback gratitude journal whose pages can be filled, felt, read, and treasured.
There are two main ways to keep a gratitude journal. The first method involves keeping a daily journal in which you write a simple gratitude list every morning or night. I believe there are many things to be grateful for every day. However, some people find it stressful to maintain daily gratitude lists and have difficulty coming up with five things for which they are grateful each day. It is not beneficial to stress over gratitude exercises, because practicing gratitude is meant to have a positive impact. In fact, researchers suggest that writing things you are grateful for daily starts to diminish your view of how much happiness these things bring you. For daily gratitude, I prefer to keep, a simple, daily gratitude checklist.
Rather, it is better to keep a weekly journal that you write in once or twice a week. Write down five things you are grateful for during the week. It can be something as simple as “I am grateful for waking up another day to enjoy the wonders of this world” to something more intricate like “I am grateful for the quality time I spent with my family watching the funny, animated movie Stork. I am grateful for the mint-chocolate ice-cream cake we indulged in – yum! I am grateful for the feeling of comfort and bliss I experienced during this delightful evening.”
Please allow me to share with you my 7 tips for keeping a gratitude journal.
- Plan to be more grateful.
Research suggests that making the conscious decision to become happier and more grateful increases the effectiveness of journaling. Set a goal to be happier in life by being more grateful for your blessings and joys.
- Paint a detailed picture.
Instead of writing a basic daily gratitude list, write in your journal once a week or whenever you feel happy about something. An elaborate entry carries more benefits than a basic list. Use descriptive words to paint a detailed picture with your words to fully capture the gratitude and happiness you felt during that wonderful moment.
- Be grateful to people who make you happy.
Focusing on people you are grateful for is more effective than focusing on material things.
- Reflect on your blessings.
When you write about an event in your journal, reflect on what your life would be like without that joy. This can stimulate gratitude.
- Enjoy surprises.
Events that were surprising or unexpected can elicit stronger levels of gratitude; include these in your gratitude journal. Also reflect on the feelings that were roused by these surprises, such as being overwhelmed, tears of joy, excitement, relief, and happiness.
- Be creative.
A gratitude journal does not have to consist of just gratitude lists or merely words. Have fun with it! The Happy Birthday Book and The Happy Rosy Day Book have gratitude exercises and fun journal prompts with specific pages for each treasure you collect such as “theater tickets from your favorite movie” and “dried wildflowers from a picnic or outing.” Tape movie tickets inside, photos, dried flowers, empty teabag packets, restaurant receipts, and more. The love, beauty, happiness, adventure, and fun from this year of your life will be safely preserved in this treasure book.
- Read your gratitude journal.
An important tip that nobody surprisingly shares is this: read your gratitude journal. It is a happiness book! It is your happiness book! It is your story and depicts your most magical moments, beautiful blessings, and awesome adventures. If you are having a stressful day, read your gratitude journal. If you feel down, read your gratitude journal. When you want to relax with a good book and a cup of tea on a Sunday afternoon, read your very own Happy Rosy Day Book, because this is a most heartwarming book that is written by you to recollect your life’s most beautiful moments.
Gratitude encourages positive thinking. It nourishes an optimistic outlook and a rosy life. Experience the beauty and joy that can light up your life by practicing gratitude.
Begin Your Beautiful Life of Gratitude
Zakiyya Rosebelle’s “The Happy Birthday Book” and "The Happy Rosy Day Book" is a collection of keepsake gratitude journals that bring fun and cheer throughout the year by encouraging you to embrace the art of positive thinking, indulge yourself in the beautiful things in life, and celebrate and love yourself!