Keeping a Gratitude Journal

Final summer time, Camille Johnson was struggling. Her mom was dying, and the pandemic was raging. “I made a decision I wanted to do one thing,” she recollects. “I didn’t have any vitality; I wished to sleep on a regular basis.” 

“Then I remembered a couple of character in a ebook who was going by way of a despair,” she continues. “Her dad challenged her to jot down a thank-you observe to somebody each week. I began researching how gratitude will help us.” Camille was so impressed by her findings that she devoted a whole episode of her podcast to gratitude—and started maintaining a gratitude journal. 

Two months later, she mirrored on the advantages of this apply on her social media account. “It has been such a enjoyable factor to have a look at my day and see issues that I admire. Even after I overlook for just a few days, I take pleasure in wanting again, catching up and occupied with all of the issues … that I used to be grateful for.”  

Camille, who lives in Ohio, United States, has now been maintaining a gratitude journal for a 12 months. “I write in it at the very least as soon as per week. It takes me much less than 5 minutes, and it places me in a very good state of mind for the day.” 

What Is a Gratitude Journal? 

A gratitude journal is the place individuals document issues they’re grateful for. Entries could be written out in paragraph type, however many are easy lists, like Camille’s entry from 21 July 2021: 

An example of a gratitude journal entry from July 21, 2021.

What units gratitude journals aside from different kinds of private information is that the content material focuses particularly—even solely—on expressing appreciation. 

What Are the Advantages of a Gratitude Journal?  

As Camille researched gratefulness, she was impressed by its psychological and emotional energy. “I discovered that when you begin having extra gratitude and begin writing it down, you begin coaching your mind to seek out extra issues to be grateful about,” she explains. “This will help us overcome our pure negativity bias,” which is an instinctive tendency to dwell on destructive issues. 

“Protecting a gratitude journal has helped my mind make an effort to look out for issues I’m grateful for,” Camille displays. “Once I discover one thing, I feel, ‘I’ll have to jot down this down.’ Now, even when issues really feel arduous or heavy, I’m able to discover one thing I’m grateful for, like my favourite ice cream. It buoys me up. There have been a few days after my mother died that I simply needed to be grateful for a very good cry.” 

Scientific analysis helps Camille’s expertise. Gratitude is related to a greater high quality of life, extra constructive feelings, and wholesome social exercise. Being grateful can decrease signs of stress, nervousness, and despair. Gratefulness is even tied to a more healthy resting coronary heart price, higher coronary heart and immune perform, improved sleep high quality, lowered blood stress, and fewer bodily signs total. Individuals who maintain gratitude journals particularly have been proven to train extra, make extra progress towards their objectives, and really feel extra optimistic about their lives.  

Find out how to Begin a Gratitude Journal 

When beginning a gratitude journal, maintain it easy. “Originally, I’d simply write a few bullet factors,” recollects Camille. “One thing that occurred that day that I used to be grateful for. You may all the time discover one factor—or perhaps three issues—you’re grateful for.” For essentially the most highly effective expertise, consultants say, give attention to particular issues you admire in that second—not “my kids” however, extra particularly, “the sound of my son’s laughter,” for instance.  

Determining how journaling would match into Camille’s life required experimentation. “I began writing each day, however typically I’d overlook, so I’d catch up all through the week,” she recollects. (Because it seems, writing one to 3 instances a week moderately than every day can really be extra impactful for some individuals.) “At first, I’d take 5 minutes at evening, however I used to be too drained, so I began doing it extra within the morning, when I’ve extra time to replicate.” She paired her behavior with an current one so she’d bear in mind it. For her, it was scripture research, however others might take pleasure in journaling after a stroll or run, throughout a meditation, or whereas making a to-do listing. 

Gratitude journal that says "Today I am grateful" on front cover.

What in regards to the format of a gratitude journal? “I began in Google Drive, however typically it might be arduous to get out my laptop or do it on my cellphone, so I began utilizing a journal,” she says. What’s necessary is selecting a format you’ll keep on with, whether or not that’s an app, pocket book, day planner, diary, or digital doc.  

If it might assist to have some help while you begin a gratitude journal, take into account inviting a good friend or relative to begin one, too. You would possibly search on-line for a gratitude problem or discover gratitude teams in your favourite social media platform.   

How Can a Gratitude Journal Match into Your Life Story? 

I haven’t been good at maintaining a daily historical past of my life, however gratitude journal entries are a snapshot of my life,” displays Camille. “They bring about again the remainder of my recollections of that day.” Paired with photographs, her recollections develop into even extra vivid, like this household reunion picture that illustrates her entry about “working with all of the siblings to get extra meals made.” (Camille is third from the fitting, within the white shirt.)  

A photo of Camille's family in the kitchen having family dinner.

“Wanting again this manner offers me a broader view of my life,” she provides. “I don’t essentially suppose every part is constructive and glad, however I can see extra clearly that issues are working collectively for my good.” She likes the concept of leaving this sort of written legacy for her 5 kids. “I feel I’d moderately have them know me as somebody who was grateful for a handful of issues each day, as a substitute of an individual who was whining a couple of handful of issues each day!” 

Begin Your Personal Gratitude Journal 

How might a gratitude journal be just right for you? Strive it your self! Begin recording lists of belongings you admire in a pocket book or electronically. Or seize your gratitude lists with the FamilySearch Reminiscences app. 

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