Did you know that the right kind of journaling can actually improve your physical and mental health? It’s true, but not all journaling is equal. Many studies have found that the best form of journaling to improve your mood and physical well being is gratitude journaling.
What are the Benefits of Gratitude Journaling
The power of journaling is strong! Clinical studies have shown that gratitude journaling can increase your happiness, establish goal attainment and improve physical health. In addition, gratitude journaling has been proven to improve sleep and lower cellular inflammation! So what are you waiting for?!
If those aren’t enough reasons, then here are a few more:
- Gratitude journaling can help you to gain a sense of focus and learn what’s really important to you.
- Become more self aware
- Feel more calm and less stressed
- Make you feel more accomplished and productive
- Become more mindful and appreciative
How do you Start a Gratitude Journal
Start by simply writing down 1-3 things you are grateful for. This can be as simple as “I am grateful for family dinners.” Sometimes the simple act of writing down one thought will naturally prompt you to expand on your day. As you reflect on your day or week, you can then see if there is anything you may need to improve on or a new goal that you would like to accomplish for the next day/week.
However, getting caught up in just writing down exactly what happened during your day is not gratitude journaling. There is a difference between keeping a diary and writing in a gratitude journal. Diaries detail your days events, whereas journaling about gratitude, your goals and accomplishments, actually help you to envision the best version of you. No matter how difficult your day was, gratitude journaling allows you to see the bright side and feel thankful for one small part of your long day.
To begin your gratitude journal, choose whether you want to write in the morning, at night or both. Personally, I prefer to write down my thoughts at the end of the day; however, some enjoy to begin their days with gratitude and focus. Either way, once you select your time of day that works for you, try to be consistent. Habits are successfully formed by creating a routine and gratitude journaling should become part of a daily routine for you.
What do you Write in a Gratitude Journal
Gratitude journaling does not need to be a lengthy task or exercise. Actually it is quite the opposite. Really a gratitude journal should include1-3 things that you are grateful for and then a few other journal prompts to help you reflect on your day or week. The difference between general journaling and gratitude journaling, is that you are not just writing down your day’s events. A gratitude journal helps you to focus on exploring ways to be the best version of you. This type of journaling helps you to focus on the positives and subsequently ways to make personal improvements.
Gratitude Journal Prompts
- What are your proud moments from the day?
- Highlight(s) of your week
- What do you want to improve the next week?
- List reasons you are grateful today
- What daily lessons have you learned from today?
- What is your weekly/daily intention(s)
- Write down 3 goals to accomplish for this day/week
- What are your daily affirmations?
You can choose to write about these prompts daily or weekly. I have created a free weekly journal worksheet with some of these prompts as well as two daily thoughts worksheets. You can choose to complete the daily thoughts worksheet in the morning, at night or both. One daily thoughts worksheet is designed to start your day off with positivity and gratitude and the second daily thoughts worksheet will help you to end your day feeling happier and healthier. All of these worksheets take less than 5 minutes to complete and are available FREE here.