Why use our gratitude journal template? Expressing our true feelings out loud can be rather troublesome, is it not, well for some people who don’t mind sharing their thoughts, they can be quite the open book, and no one would be taken aback, but if you are, let’s say an introvert, it will be a whole different story.
Well, it’s completely alright to be buckled up and reserved it’s no harm done however, there are instances when you want to come free from all the pressure built up inside, but unfortunately, it’s hard to confide in others, hence without having an escape bubble you accumulate tension, stress and other hard feelings which inevitably may lead to depression or worse.
A study conducted in the UK in 2020 revealed that one of the biggest factors causing depression is not “confiding in others”; this was taken with a large sample size of 100,000 people. Although people make an effort, it’s plainly hard for them and their surroundings don’t understand that most of the time, obviously when feelings are misread, it can affect any kind of relationship and have an adverse effect on one’s mental health. This is very dangerous as mental health is the basis for one’s happiness.
Given the recent situation of covid-19 where everyone has to stay home and be together with their families or friends the chances for interaction increases but once again there are some who don’t like to, to avoid problems from that situation journaling greatly helps.
The title is kind of self-explanatory right, it’s a journal to record all the things you’re grateful for. But, some may wonder what’s the need for keeping an entire journal just for the things we are thankful for, how many pages can we fill? Well, it is quite normal for people to make assumptions like that because not many are aware of this topic, so that is also one of the main reasons why gratitude journaling has to be discussed.
how to start any journal
Before getting into the specifications of a gratitude journal, let’s briefly go through how to start any journal. First of all, decide if you want to stick to the traditional habit of journaling in a notebook or using the latest apps out there.
I personally prefer the notebook because we can directly pen down our thoughts, so if you decide on a notebook, then get one that suits your aesthetic trust me, when it looks enticing, you will feel highly motivated to start writing in it.
Then the next step is just writing, start small. You need not pressure yourself with paragraphs on the first try, even because consistency is key when it comes to journaling.
Free gratitude journal template
Surprise, we are also providing you with a template to start writing your very own gratitude journal. Do check it out, and let this be a start to your beautiful journey of gratitude journaling.
What is Journaling?
Journaling is the art of storing, for example your memories, feelings, secrets, or even important work information mostly in a notebook. It can also be like a log system. It’s very special as journaling is usually done by hand, you write about what happened in your day or how you feel about something. To make it theatrical, it’s more like ‘documenting your everyday life story in a notebook’.
History of journaling
The profound habit of journaling has started ages ago it almost dates back to 15th century Italy. Just a quick fun fact ( the famous Leonardo Da Vinci kept a journal of 5000 pages recording his inventions and observations) how cool is that!
Fast-forwarding to today’s scenario, no one’s asking you to squeeze all your brain juice and jotting down all your ideas in a notebook, instead of writing a few sentences of the day’s happenings, would be a great start. It need not be detailed at all, just a small overview. This helps to improvise any shortcomings and sometimes may provide a laugh or two.
Make journaling your best friend
A surprising but not so surprising fact is that your journal can be your best friend, your confidant, and much more. You know why no one else can see it but you, there is so much freedom of expression like no other. You can express yourself with complete honesty with absolutely no fear of any external opinion, which at times can have an adverse effect on one’s self-worth and self-confidence.
Journaling is very flexible; it doesn’t just stick to being your own personal diary, it can be used to document various other information too. There are many types of journals with interesting titles, let’s get to know them!
Types of Journal
There are dream journals, self-reflective journals, 5-year journals, travel journals, food journals, pregnancy journals, morning pages, gratitude journals, and many more. The titles of the journals are mostly quite self-explanatory. Some portray their long-term goals, some share their journeys and experience, and some remind one to be grateful.
Starting your gratitude journal
Writing in a gratitude journal is not limited only to bullet points as most of you think, it can take a natural flow as any other piece of writing.
Most people face what you call the starting trouble before they venture into new areas. That can happen in journaling too, so finding a good place to write helps a lot, especially with gratitude journaling. Seat yourself comfortably with good space and always try to have a positive and clear mindset before starting your journal. The comfier you are, the less tension you feel.
When to write
Once you are settled in, think about all that you are going to write and what you possibly can learn from it. I know there is a lot of thinking to it, but it is all worth it. As mentioned earlier, consistency is key, so to best maintain consistency, pick a time that suits you best to journal in that way you can automatically stick to the routine easily.
It is also reported by studies that “writing in a gratitude journal three times per week might actually have a greater impact on our happiness than journaling every day.”
It is often easier to think and execute your plan in your mind than to bring it to act as you might face some hurdles and find some difficulty in how to go about the journal. To avoid this, you can browse the internet for gratitude journal prompts and many more. You can also get creative by adding pictures and all sorts of things.
How you can write in your gratitude journaling
After all, that thinking let us get to journaling. If you are planning on journaling each day, have at least 5 entries, in this case, write about 5 things you are grateful for. Of course, it can be more or less but try to keep the number the same every time if possible.
I am stressing the numbers because our motive here is to remember an event and think back about all the good things that took place, and reflect upon it. Now, if the list is too long, then the joy and reflection part would not be as efficient as we want it to be.
After you figure out what 5 things you are going to write, don’t just list them, elaborate them superficially and go in-depth, maybe not huge paragraphs but a few long sentences including all the little details that you can remember. By practising this method of writing, you might even be more grateful for that event, knowing how beautiful it was.
Most people wouldn’t have thought about this next one, that is the subtraction method. The name seems rather out of context, but no, this is when you think and reflect about the things that could have happened if certain people or certain events did not occur in your lives.
Try to think back about all the negative events that you have avoided in life because it greatly helps you in being humble and sets your mindset to not take things for granted.
good fortune method
You can also write your good fortune as gifts or presents so that over time your perspective will evolve and your value for those ‘gifts’ will greatly increase, and you will surely make the most out of it.
It’s completely fine to repeat an entry of an event but make sure to make different details shine at different times, again this greatly gives a brand new look to your perspective.
Writing your gratitude journal is very simple, and there aren’t many other steps involved other than the ones mentioned above.
Benefits of keeping a gratitude journal
After learning about gratitude journals and how to write them, it only makes sense that you also get to know why you write them and what you can gain from maintaining one. Let us begin with the most obvious and one of the most important ones: reduced stress levels.
When you document all the good things that you have experienced, your brain automatically releases the stress and tension, this is because you are thinking about all the happiness and joy you felt, so reliving that moment helps you loosen up and relax.
By repeating this, you naturally begin to block away stress and any kind of pessimistic feeling and take on a more optimistic approach with your life.
understanding what matters
The next one would be “understanding what matters” now as people all around the world have been facing the global pandemic and are confined to their homes with lots of time at hand they see things which they previously ignored or were too busy with other work.
For example, having your family around you would not have seemed to be a big deal back then, but now, as you see and hear others stranded at different places separated from their family, you realize how blessed you are. Including thoughts like this in your gratitude journal helps you in prioritizing what truly matters in your life.
Moving on, young people especially do not have a lot of self-esteem, and that is very dangerous to their overall well-being. In order to increase your self-esteem, being grateful plays a big role, when you are thankful, you are more aware of the good that people do for you.
You feel loved, you realize you matter, and you are appreciated all this makes you feel good, which naturally lifts up your self-esteem.
From a more physical perspective, your sleeping habits improve drastically. The science behind that is when you practice positive emotions like gratitude, your body activates the parasympathetic branch of your nervous system, also called the relaxation response. This makes it quicker for you to fall asleep.
If you are going through a hard time, try reflecting on your gratitude journal. It gives you the strength that you need to get back up and do your thing. This happens because you remember life isn’t always hard on you, it is more beautiful than you realize.
Final Thoughts & Gratitude journal prompts
Below are a few prompts to get you started
- Grateful to be alive
- Thankful for the people around me
- Grateful for my work
- There are plenty more
Under these prompts, you can add whatever you feel that best relates to the prompt you pick and start writing.