My Gratitude Journal – Am I Grateful?

Thank you

About six weeks ago I posted about my plan to keep a gratitude journal.  It was born out of a realisation that I had been a little bit grumbly lately.  Also I had read in one or two places of the benefits of keeping a gratitude journal and decided to give it a go.  I’m a keen journal keeper and have been for many years, so I’m interested in different forms of journaling and never adverse to trying something new.

So how did I get on?

‘Okay’ is my fairly underwhelming answer.

I knew when I started it, it would need to be easy to keep, not too time consuming, or a repetition of things I had already written about in my regular journal.

I managed this by keeping to a bullet point format.  At the top of each page I wrote the date and ‘Today I am grateful for…..’  I then listed 3 things I was grateful for that day.  I didn’t go into great detail and sometimes it was barely more than a couple of words.  This meant I was able to maintain it every day.  (well almost, I didn’t take it on holiday with me, as I already had my weighty travel journal).

It seems to me that the most obvious time to write in a gratitude journal is at the end of the day.  To ensure it became a habit I kept it on my bedside table with my regular journal.  Interestingly I rarely struggled for things to be grateful for.  Even on very normal or even frustrating work days I could always find things to say ‘Thank you’ for.

One of the most positive things for me was  reading back over the last week or month and realising how much I have to be thankful for.  At the time those things may have seemed very small, but when put together collectively serve as a useful reminder of how many things in life I take for granted and how many of those things I can be grateful for.  Over the last month I have been grateful for a Saturday with no alarm clock; waterproof trousers on an especially wet cycle ride home from work, and the new Rick Astley song which makes me smile every time I hear it. ( I make no apology for this, have you heard it, its marvellous!).

Will I continue?

I think so yes.  Well certainly until the end of the year or maybe until my journal is full.  This is a particularly lovely  journal after all, (see pic at top of page!) and I don’t want to leave it with lots of unused pages.

Writing has always been an important part of how I express myself, and process things, so in a sense this is simply an extension of that.  When something is written it is somehow more tangible and real.  I like that.

It’s also a good discipline.  It is so easy to take things for granted and barely give them a thought.  Taking time to really think and concentrate on  what I should be thankful for has been a good exercise.  The platitude ‘I have so much to be grateful for’ began to resonate and become more than simply a platitude. I also found it was a good way to focus on what I wanted to thank God for at the end of each day.  So maybe that in itself is reason enough to continue.

Is  a gratitude journal something you keep or have thought about keeping?  I would love to know your thoughts.

Gratitude Journal

Images, Changing Pages

 

2 Comments

  1. September 7, 2016 / 10:14 am

    I’ve never kept a journal, but have occasionally tried a week of mentioning a new thing each day I was grateful for. Several years ago I traveled out of the country and on return told everyone they needed to do this at least once. We have so much to be grateful for in our part of the world that we take for granted, when there are so many others who view these amenities as a luxury.

    • September 9, 2016 / 6:51 am

      Thats a lovely idea too. You are so right. Actively thinking about or writing down the things we are grateful for helps us to recognise more fully how fortunate we are, partially in our part of the world.

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