Being grateful in a crazy world isn't always easy, in fact, sometimes it's very hard to be thankful. Keeping a gratitude journal is a great way to be reminded of what you are grateful for.
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Why a Gratitude Journal?
Any journal is a great way to record your thoughts, but a specific gratitude journal is a good way to stay positive and have a positive outlook. If you grumble and complain, no one likes that, but if you are humble and grateful people will want to be around you.
The Bible says, “In everything give thanks.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18. It doesn't give us options, it's simple, “in everything”, all things, the whole enchilada, no exceptions!
As a Christian being grateful in a crazy world is the best way to live. Jesus did so much for our salvation that being grateful seems like a small task. If you're not a Christian then a gratitude journal is still an important tool in your life. Creating positivity is universal, Christian or not.
Gratitude Journals for Beginners
If you are just starting your path in journaling you will need to start with the basics. You don't have to have a fancy journal, a notebook will be fine, but if you want a journal Dayspring offers several journals for you to choose from. Shana Nicole has some great journals.
The Happy Planner also has great notebooks and journals that you can use for your gratitude journal too!
You will also need a pen or pencil, and I like to dedicate a pen to my gratitude journal and keep it with the journal so I never have to hunt for it.
Once you have those two things you are ready to start.
What to Write in a Gratitude Journal
This is the easy part, write what you are grateful for. Now I will tell you that once you get past the basics it can be tough to find things to be grateful for, but you have to think about everything! Some days I'm grateful for coffee, some days I'm grateful that my kids are going to school! Nothing is too small to be grateful for. Nothing!
Types of Gratitude Journals
Prompt or no Prompt
There are journals that are blank, and then there are journals that have prompts to guide you in your journaling. It's a personal preference what you use. I like both, so I alternate with my journals.
Gratitude to God
Use your journal to thank God daily for all he has done for us. It's a great way to grow closer to Him, and strengthen your faith.
A great way to strengthen your relationship is to use a couple's journal. Journal your gratitude together! Gratitude as a couple is a great bond to build.
Depression and Anxiety
There is no better way to take your mind off depression than to be grateful. I need to clarify that this is not a medical diagnosis or treatment, but many therapists recommend journaling to help with depression and anxiety. It helps me and is certainly worth a try if you are struggling. I talk more in detail about journaling and mental health in this post. Check it out!
Teaching kids to be grateful at a young age is a great way to build a foundation of gratefulness, then as they get older they have something to look back on and see how being grateful helped them. If the kids are not writing yet let them make a gratitude journal using stickers! Kids love stickers and going through a bunch of stickers to find what they are grateful for is a great way to spend some time together.
Tips for Gratitude Journaling
While there are no set rules for gratitude journaling having some guidelines is helpful for you to build a healthy habit.
- Write daily-Even if it is just a sentence or two, making gratitude a daily habit is important.
- Write alone-It's hard to concentrate in a room full of loud noises. If you don't get by yourself it can easily become an excuse not to write.
- Set the mood-Setting a mood for writing is another tip. Play some soft music, maybe burn a great-smelling candle, fix a cup of tea and relax.
- Don't overthink-Being grateful should come naturally and not be a task. You don't want to push something that just isn't happening. That's a sure-fire way that will lead you to quit.
- Just write-Just writing is a great way to get your mind flowing towards gratitude.
Being Grateful in a Crazy World
Being grateful in a crazy world isn't easy. If you take the time to think about things in your life you will find something to be grateful for. Take the time, set the mood, get your journal and write!