Personal Development

A Beginner’s Guide To Starting A Gratitude Journal

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What is gratitude journaling? Put simply, it’s the act of writing down things you are grateful for. It really is as simple as that, but it can be a powerful tool as it makes you more aware and appreciative of the good things in life. This improves your mental health and wellbeing, as well as setting you up with a positive attitude which will invite more good things into your life.

Maybe you are new to gratitude journaling and you’ve been thinking of starting a gratitude journal? In this post we’ll explore the benefits of gratitude journaling and delve into some hints and tips to get you started.

An open gratitude journal

Why should I start a gratitude journal?

You might be thinking, “Why should I start a gratitude journal at all? Why not simply practice more gratitude in my life, and think about the things I am grateful for?” Well, the act of writing things down makes them more tangible and solid, which helps you feel the gratitude more strongly. It’s also a record you can look back on in the future, and revisit your gratitude when you need a pick-me-up, rather than just thinking about it for a fleeting moment. Also, by actively writing things down you will more easily form the habit of gratitude.

First steps in starting a gratitude journal

When starting a gratitude journal, you don’t need anything fancy – a blank notebook and pen will do just fine. However, if you are new to gratitude journaling, it’s a good idea to use a specially designed journal with prompts and a template to fill in, such as The Guided Gratitude Journal by Manifestation Pulse. This is a fully templated journal created by a team of manifestation coaches, and it leads you step-by-step through the process of gratitude journaling. It gets you into the habit of daily gratitude journaling, with the help of prompts.

A copy of The Guided Gratitude Journal by Manifestation Pulse

You may have heard of the ‘law of attraction’ before, which is the principle that ‘like attracts like’ and you can manifest the things you want in life by raising your vibration to attract positive things. This journal is very much based on this principle. The law of attraction tends to be seen as a spiritual or even magical process, and while I don’t really believe in that side of it, there is a real scientific and psychological basis of why it can work.

If you are thinking, feeling and acting in a positive way, other people are going to respond to that in a positive way, bringing you opportunities. And there’s the matter of confirmation bias, where you are more likely to notice the things you’ve been thinking about. But I won’t go too much into my thoughts about the law of attraction in this post – let’s get back to gratitude journaling!

An open gratitude journal

What to write in a gratitude journal

When you’re first starting a gratitude journal, you might be unsure what to write in it. The Guided Gratitude Journal is great for this because it gradually takes you through the process. It starts with an introduction to gratitude journaling, explaining how it works and the benefits it can have. Then, days 1-7 of the journal teach you what kind of things to write down, the best way to word them, and get you thinking about the different aspects of your life that you can be grateful for.

An open gratitude journal

After that, you should have got the hang of gratitude journaling, so the pages become simpler with less text and more space to fill in what you are grateful for, and your reflections on these things. The format remains the same through the rest of the book, with the exception of ‘reflection points’ every 30 days which encourage you to look back at how far you have come on your gratitude journey.

A gratitude journal open on a page titled 'Reflection Point'.

Here are some ideas of the kinds of things you could write about in your gratitude journal:

  • Friends, family and relationships
  • Enjoyable experiences you’ve had
  • Lessons you’ve learned
  • Nature, good weather, animals
  • Good food and drink
  • Safety, security, warmth and shelter
  • New opportunities that have arisen for you
  • Kind things that people have done for you
  • Gifts you’ve received

As mentioned earlier, The Guided Gratitude Journal gives prompts to help you think of things to be grateful for. Even when you get into the main section of the journal where each daily template is the same, there is still a different prompt on each page. I really like this aspect of the journal because it shows that thought has gone into each and every page, rather than just a copy-and-paste. It also keeps your journaling feeling fresh, and gives you new ideas of things to be grateful for. This is helpful if your mind goes blank, and it gets you thinking about different aspects of your life that you might have taken for granted.

An open gratitude journal.

Benefits of gratitude journaling

The obvious benefit of gratitude journaling is that you will nurture the feeling of gratitude, and feel more grateful and appreciative in life. Some other benefits include:

  • Feeling gratitude even for negative experiences, because of what they can teach you.
  • Having a more positive attitude.
  • Feeling happier and more satisfied with your life.
  • Getting to know yourself better.
  • Relief from anxiety and depression.
An open gratitude journal

Personally, I started keeping a gratitude journal around 5 years ago, although in recent years I don’t write in it as often as I used to. However, when I do write in it, I find it really helps me to appreciate the little things in life that are good, and not take them for granted. By focusing on these good things as much as possible, my mind has less time to focus on negative things, and therefore I feel better overall. It’s such a simple thing to do and yet it really makes a big difference to my mental health.

I’ve started filling in The Guided Gratitude Journal and I’m hoping this will get me back into the habit of gratitude journaling and take it to the next level with the help of the prompts.

A copy of The Guided Gratitude Journal by Manifestation Pulse

Gratitude journaling: are you ready to get started?

Hopefully this post has given you a good introduction to starting a gratitude journal and maybe even encouraged you to start one today. Whether you are new to gratitude journaling or a seasoned ‘journalist’, I recommend The Guided Gratitude Journal because not only will it help you build the habit of gratitude, but it will open your mind to more things to be grateful for. It’s also such a beautiful book to write down your grateful thoughts in.

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A Beginner's Guide To Starting A Gratitude Journal

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