When I was 11 a brick wall fell down on me and covered part of my body from the torso to the last toe. I spent a week in hospital and came back very fine.
In P6, my seatmate brought me 5 coloring pencils because I was her friend and because I shared my biscuits with her. We were the only students with coloring pencils in that class and that made me feel special.
In S2, my friend gave me a watch and a thank-you card to celebrate our friendship.
On my 21st birthday a friend gifted me a pot of artificial flowers. She said that plastic flowers are the best ones because they don’t die and for that reason rather than buying me flowers on every birthday, I’ll just look at that one and know that I already got my gift from her. These flowers are well kept at home.
Why share these stories? Because in any way it could be worse. Sometimes we focus on the negative things, that we forget the little good ones. This drains our emotions. When you focus on plans that didn’t work, on the opportunities that disappeared in a blink of an eye,..on things you can’t change no matter how much you want them; your attitude toward things changes which later on affects your life.
Being grateful is one of the milestones to personal growth. Gratitude is, for me, the act of appreciating what you have received. It is to positively change your overall wellbeing. Because what we focus on we move towards. If we focus on the good, we tend to positive mindsets that are open to growth and change. When we are grateful we become happier and be able to overcome fear. Fear is what occurs when we’re left to dwell on topics that we feel are out of our control. But by being grateful, we can overcome fear. When we’re utterly grateful for everything we have, including our problems, fear has little place to live in our minds. When we’re fearful of things that put us into a state of scarcity, such as not having enough money to pay our bills we’re living in a state of lack which is stressful.
I have been practicing gratitude for a few months now and I can tell you it really changed my life. Everytime when I wake up in the morning I take five to ten minutes to identify what I am grateful for. When you do this more often you will find that you have many things to be grateful for and it allows you to start a day with a positive mindset.
How to Start a Gratitude Journal
I have created a 10 day challenge of journal prompts that you can use (which I will share at last) but this might be your first time into this and, you might still be wondering how you actually do this whole thing, right?
-get yourself something you can write (or type if that’s your style) on each day
Write. Preferably you will write daily.
Write the answer out to the prompt and let your heart lead the way! I suggest writing more than 1-2 words, but you’ll learn more about that later on in this guide to gratitude journaling.
Does this seem easy?
Good! There is no need to overcomplicate this because odds are, you don’t have time for one more thing to be overcomplicated in your life, am I right?
Benefits of Gratitude Journaling
Practicing gratitude isn’t just a shiny new object. It will literally transform your view of the world.
Daily gratitude practice can help you stop your habitual way of thinking (which is often negative believe it or not!) and give your brain a new story to focus on.
And that story just happens to tell you that there is so much in your life to be thankful for.
But by practicing gratitude, you will grow your ‘gratitude muscle’ which will give you the strength each day to keep the negativity away from impacting your life.
3 Principles to Guide Your Practice
Make sure to incorporate these 3 principles as you start following the 29 gratitude journal prompts:
Make it a routine
I suggest your routine includes daily practice of gratitude!
Try and aim for the same time in the day so it can start to become a habit and part of your daily routine. I find that when I start the morning off with my own moment of gratitude, my brain wants to keep looking for more positive things throughout the day, so if you can make sure and aim for morning practice of gratitude!
Be a realist
The practice of gratitude isn’t about lying to yourself or naïvely looking at the world.
With repetition, you will start re-wiring your brain to see the positives among the challenging moments.
Your brain will become used to hitting the stress regulation and pleasure centers, instead of the panic button more each day and in that act, you will begin to rewire the way your brain is programed.
Don’t write 1-2 words about what you are grateful for and then move on to the next thing on your to do list.
Write in detail and allow yourself to get lost in the moment. Writing a few sentences as you journal will help you really cement the new picture you are painting for your brain.
With these 3 key principles guiding your way and the 10 gratitude journal prompts I’ve designed for you below, you are one piece of paper and pen away from a happier (and less reactive) you!
10 Gratitude Journal Prompts
Each day use one of these gratitude journal prompts to guide your writing.
Also consider bringing this topic to the dinner table and have you family share their answers too!
-What are you thankful for today?
-What 1 thing do you love about your school/job?
-What strength are you thankful for?
-What is your favorite physical appearance of yourself?
-What helps you relax?
-Who are you most grateful for in your life?
-What is your favorite part of your morning routine?
-What is your favorite part of your evening routine?
-What goal are you thankful for accomplishing?
-What about today has brought you joy?
In addition to that,
-Today send a thank you note or text message to 1 person you are thankful for and tell them why you are thankful
-What about your home or neighborhood are you thankful for?
-Recall a time when you received a compliment, what about it made you thankful?
I trust that these prompts will be helpful.