How to Write in a Gratitude Journal - Ideas, Prompts and Entry Examples
How often do you find yourself letting wonderful moments pass by without a second thought? Sometimes it’s easy for our brains to hone in on the worst aspects of our lives, whilst the happy times and positive opportunities go under the radar. Psychologists have even theorised that our brains are evolutionarily wired to hone in on negative events.
Gratitude journaling is a great way to bring the positives into focus and balance your mind. Expressing gratitude is not just about showing your appreciation. If you’re feeling sad, angry or stressed, it’s also a great boost to your mental and physical wellbeing.
Want to learn how to write in a gratitude journal? Read on to learn more.
Gratitude journaling benefits to boost your wellbeing
Before getting started with your gratitude journal, you'll naturally want to know more about how gratitude journaling benefits will impact on your life. Gratitude journal health benefits include a substantial boost to your mental health. Though it is not a substitute for therapy, gratitude journaling has been shown to ease stress and improve mood. When you dwell on the positives in your life, you can start to see the negative events in context.
There are also gratitude journal health benefits for your physical health. Gratitude journaling can help to improve your sleep patterns, which supports your overall mental wellbeing. It has also been shown to contribute to heart health.
As well as gratitude journal health benefits, there are also benefits for your relationships. Giving thanks for the cup of coffee your partner brings you in the morning or the laughter you share together strengthens your bond and helps you to make more beautiful memories.
How to write in a gratitude journal
There is no one way to write in a gratitude journal. The way you choose to express your gratitude, the topics you focus on, and the times you write can all be tailored to suit your needs.
If you’re a morning person, for example, you might prefer to keep your journal by your bedside and start gratitude journaling as soon as you wake up. Are you more of a night owl? Then journaling before bed might be the best choice. This is particularly useful if you suffer with insomnia, as gratitude journaling can rest your mind for a peaceful sleep.
Creating a fixed gratitude journaling routine can either be a help or a hindrance. It’s best to follow your instinct and find what works for you. You might prefer to record three key things you feel grateful for, or you might choose to express gratitude for whatever comes to mind.
Gratitude journal entry examples to inspire you
Like any activity, gratitude journaling can become a chore if you don't find the right strategy to make it work for you. You might find yourself giving thanks for the same two or three things over and over again. Eventually, if journaling becomes boring, it's more likely you'll give up on it.
When you find yourself asking, 'What should I write in my gratitude journal?', it's a sign you're in need of inspiration. Here are several gratitude journal entry examples and techniques to help you get the most from your gratitude journal.
Write in detail
The more detail you put into expressing your gratitude, the more you will be able to appreciate what matters to you. Not only will your feelings of positivity be heightened, but you’ll also have a better idea of how to develop your gratitude into more opportunities for the future.
For example, if you write ‘I am grateful for my new job’, this is a bit vague. Better gratitude journal entry examples would elaborate by going into more detail, e.g. ‘I am grateful for the extra free time and better pay that comes with my new job.'
This way, you have a clearer sense of why the job matters to you - and you can focus on how you might like to use that extra free time.
Express gratitude for negative events
Though it might seem contradictory, when difficult times arise, gratitude can help you to process negative events.
Think over the negative event or issue in your mind. Ask yourself: what have I learned through this experience? What opportunities have been presented to me?
For example, ‘Whilst leaving my hometown was difficult for me, I’m glad I have the opportunity to focus on myself and enjoy a new environment.’
Give thanks for your emotions and sensory perceptions
Expressing gratitude for events, people or objects comes naturally, but we might not think to be grateful for our emotions. Give thanks for the feelings of awe that wash over you when you watch the sun rise. Record your gratitude for the rush of joy that you experience when hugging a loved one. Express your gratitude for your ability to see the blue sky and feel the summer breeze against your skin.
Weekly gratitude journaling prompts for motivation
Looking for some more gratitude journal ideas? As well as gratitude journal entry examples, it helps to use prompts to inspire you to express your thanks in a whole new way. Here are some weekly gratitude journal prompts to spark your imagination.
- Ask yourself: 'Which of my inner strengths do I feel grateful for today?'
- Look in front of you. What can you see that makes you feel instantly grateful?
- Give thanks for one of your senses.
- What opportunity are you grateful for this week?
- Express gratitude for a childhood memory.
- Write a thank you note to someone who has impacted your life.
- Give gratitude for something a loved one did that made you smile.
- What do you feel grateful for first thing in the morning?
- Give thanks to something that has improved your life over the past year.
- Express gratitude for a skill or ability that you have.
- Write about a challenging experience that you now feel grateful for.
- Express gratitude for something you find comforting.
- Express gratitude for something you enjoy at work.
- Describe a favourite piece of art or writing that makes you feel thankful.
- Give thanks for a happy memory you shared with family or friends.
- Write about a friend you feel grateful for.
- Write about your living space. What do you feel grateful for in your home?
- Give thanks for a time when you surprised yourself with your abilities.
- Thank yourself for taking time to care for your mental wellbeing.
- Express gratitude for the natural world around you.
- Give thanks for the past week, then for the opportunities of the week ahead.
When you build gratitude journaling into your daily routines, you gradually turn your attention onto the positives in your life. If you were wondering ‘what should I write in my gratitude journal?', then hopefully you’ll have found some amazing inspiration in this article.
Now you know how to write in a gratitude journal (and have some inspiring gratitude journal ideas in mind!), you need the perfect journal for your words. Browse our collection of sleek and minimalist gratitude journals to discover the best journal to express your feelings of gratitude.