Keeping a Gratitude Journal

Exercise Steps

Purchase a journal or notebook with lined pages. A simple way to make each journal unique to the individual is to make a collage from magazine cutouts on the front cover of an inexpensive scribbler. The theme of “things I’m grateful for” can be used in the decorating process: family photos, recipes, favorite sayings, fabric swatches or a child’s drawing.

Write down five things they are grateful for each day. This can be done anytime, at work, school or home or at all three. It is recommended in that you keep your journal by your bedside and write in it each night before going to sleep.

There are many things to be grateful for:

  • being alive and changing our lives
  • thrift shops and garage sales
  • having dreams
  • M&Ms and chocolate
  • mud and little boys
  • a computer that works most of the time
  • the assistance we receive from our social network
  • soft kittens and warm mittens
  • making it through each hour, each day
  • butterflies and freedom
  • the peace and quiet of sleeping children
  • seeing the trees wave in the wind
  • being able to read
  • having a friend to phone
  • a sunny day

If you are involved in a group or family that have all decided to keep journals, you can get together and have a discussion to see how keeping a journal has helped or influenced you. If you are alone in this endeavor, ask yourself, “Am I feeling a little more content with life and with what I have.

The nice thing about this exercise is that younger family members can write one word answers such as, “I am grateful for birds, my children, orange juice, sunshine”. As children become more confident with their writing, they will begin to write longer descriptions of what they are grateful for.

Some people want to draw pictures or paste pictures in their Gratitude Journals. You can too.

At first it is normal to write about simple, immediate and tangible things. This leads to writing about ourselves, our families, our innermost thoughts, about our communities and the world around us. “I am grateful for places that believe in peace. I don’t want there to be any more wars.” I am glad I live in a community that does not feel so much hatred.” I’m glad my husband and I settled our disagreement.”

The Gratitude Journal works. You would be amazed by what it teaches you and how much more comfortable you feel with life-just the way it is. People who belong to organized groups and discuss gratitude journals express the same sentiments. Their attitudes have been more positive, they are able to find the good in tough situations, and they are more aware of what makes them happy.

There is a good book by Sarah Breathnach called Simple Abundance which describes the benefits of keeping a Gratitude Journal. Breathnach states that a Gratitude Journal could “change the quality of your life beyond belief.”

Breathnach says, “As the months pass and you fill your journal with blessings, an inner shift in your reality will occur. Soon you will be delighted to discover how content and hopeful you are feeling. As you focus on the abundance rather than on the lack in your life, you will be designing a wonderful new blueprint for the future. This sense of fulfillment is gratitude at work, transforming your dreams into reality.”