Week 2: Gratefulness Journaling
Welcome to week 2 of the Gratitude Challenge. How did you enjoy your week of noticing all the wonderful little things you have in your life to be grateful for?
Today we’re going to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and start our gratefulness journaling.
Gratefulness journaling takes the practice of noticing a step further. It involves first noticing things you are grateful for, then taking action and actually writing down those things in a journal.
You might be wondering why it’s necessary to write down the things you notice.
There are two reasons why I think this will help you cultivate gratefulness:
First, when we write things down, it gives us time to reflect. Writing, especially writing by hand, forces us to slow down and think.
When you write about what you’re grateful for, it allows you to pause and consider why you’re so grateful.
Second, writing down the things you’re grateful for reinforces them in your mind. It’s like noticing them a second time and being grateful for them all over again.
This practice of “double gratefulness” can literally double your joy. By writing down what you’re grateful for, you strengthen those good feelings of appreciation, helping them become more of a fixture in your daily life.
There’s no need to over complicate this. Get a notebook–any kind will do. And, in the evening, take a few minutes to write down at least ten things from your day that you’re grateful for.
They can be big things, like getting a raise at work, or little things, like holding your daughter’s hand on a walk.
Then, write down why you’re grateful for those particular things. What about them makes you happy? Why are you grateful for them? How do those things make your life even just the tiniest bit better?
Finally, after you’ve written each thing down, say a brief word of thanks for it, out loud, if possible. Take the opportunity to be grateful again in the moment.
This practice doesn’t need to take long; you should be able to do it in 5-10 minutes. The goal is simply to get yourself in a state of gratefulness at the end of the day.
Now, before we move on, take a moment to share in the comments how this went for you. Did you find it challenging to come up with ten things to be grateful for? What was it like writing them down?
Next week, we’re going to talk about the powerful practice of saying, “Thank you.”
Initially when writing in my gratitude journal I thought I was being selfish. Listing things that I didn’t think were really important, but when I spoke them out loud I realized how each entry described my daily life and my emotional attachment to what I innately know is true about me and also about the people I love and “why”.
This process is a bit liberating. JHSMEL