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Starting a Gratitude Journal

Many studies have shown that the simple act of writing something down can have lots of benefits. Writing down your goals can make you more motivated and more likely to achieve them, writing down your to-do list helps you keep track of the tasks you need to accomplish, and writing down your grocery list definitely helps prevent forgetfulness when you get to the store. But have you ever considered writing down the things you’re grateful for?

  Gratitude is something that is easy to forget about. We spend the time around Thanksgiving counting all our blessings and remembering all the things we’re thankful for, but when the holidays are over we often go back to our busy, stressful lives and the practice falls by the wayside. But gratitude is something you should be thinking about much more often, and you don’t need to wait for a specific holiday to remind you to do it.

  However stressful and busy our lives are, we all have things to be thankful for. But sometimes we get so caught up in complaining about our problems that we don’t take time to think about our blessings as well. That’s where a gratitude journal comes in!

  There are lots of ways you can keep your gratitude journal – online or in a notebook, lists or full-paragraph descriptions, every day or once a week. The important thing, though, is just to start. Grab an old notebook and a pen, or pull up a document on your computer, and think of all the things in your life that you’re thankful for. Typically, it’s easiest to do this at night if you have time, when you’ve got the whole day to look back on and remember, but if you’ve only got time first thing in the morning, or over your lunch break that’s okay!

  As with any habit, the more often you do it the faster it will stick. But while writing in your gratitude journal every day is a great idea, it can also lead to burnout. Like any other habit, it may take some time to get used to, and you may find yourself writing the same things each night. Don’t be afraid to cut back to once or twice a week instead of writing every day. Taking the extra time in between entries may help you reflect more each time you do sit down to write.

  Gratitude is such an important practice to have in our lives, and a gratitude journal is a great way to reflect on all the things we have to be thankful for!