Here is a simple how-to guide to create a Gratitude Journal.
Simple How-to Guide to Create a Gratitude Journal
I was a reluctant gratitude journalist. At first I thought they were sappy, goofy projects for sentimental people. But here’s the facts: Gratitude journals are good for you! There is a building body of research that shows that the practice of gratitude helps build emotional, social and spiritual health.
It appears that people who practice gratitude build their personal reserves that help to deal with life’s stressors and trials. Gratitude also strengthens relationship bonds both with people and with God.
Interesting that the advice in Scripture was right all along! There are at least 100 verses exhorting us to give thanks.
I began Gratitude Journaling a year ago. I found one of my unused journals and started a daily (well, almost daily) practice of spending 3-5 minutes listing things I am grateful for.
I have found over the year that:
I am thankful for big blessings
- answers to prayer
- unexpected gifts
Even though I’m not a sappy person, I have also become aware of the very many simple blessings around me:
- the sparkle of dew on flowers
- the many shades of green during springtime
- the songs of birds
- cats on the lap
I quickly started to add thanks for things I hoped to see but hadn’t actually occurred yet. I am NOT a “name-it-and-claim-it-person”; it just seemed sensible to me. The cool thing about that is that gradually, my concept of time changed, these things I listed in my journal on a daily basis became things I was genuinely, un-anxiously thankful for…as thankful as if I had received them. It was my first glimpse, I believe, into the timelessness of God…and of the scripture Hebrews 11:1 (Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.)
Ready to start your own Gratitude Journal? Here are some simple tips:
- There’s not a wrong way to make a Gratitude Journal- so just do it!
- Include big blessings you’ve been given
- Include the tiny things that make you happy (like dew on the flowers, for instance)
- It’s okay to list the same things every day if you are grateful for them every day
- It’s okay to list things you’ve prayed for and are waiting for answers
- It’s okay to list blessings you’ve seen God has bestowed on friends or family members
- Include areas of personal growth that God has helped you with
- Include practical, mundane things, like:
- ability to work
- had food to eat
- had clothes to wear
- Don’t put a number the number of things you must list each day
- On tough days, ask God to help you have a peaceful attitude about your gratitude
- You don’t have to elaborate but you may- it helps some people to write a paragraph (I simply list things)
- You don’t have to write neatly or spell correctly- no one is grading this!
As you work through your journal, you will probably begin discovering some new things about yourself. Why not leverage that into a time of great personal growth? That’s what Life Coaching is all about. I can help! Contact me at Pike Creek Psychological Center or by email.
Here’s a Facebook live I shared about Gratitude Journaling.