How to start a gratitude journal

What is gratitude?

Gratitude is feeling thankful for all the little things in our lives.

When we practice gratitude, we focus our attention on the positive things, we start feeling love and appreciation for everything. It is one of the most inexpensive and non-time-consuming ways to improve our mental health. So, starting a gratitude journal is worth giving it a shot.

And by doing just 5 minutes of gratitude a day, in the long run, the benefits are endless:

  • Reduce negative emotions
  • Improve sleep quality
  • We feel happier and more alive
  • Improve confidence
  • Better mental well-being

Starting a gratitude journal can feel overwhelming and building a habit can take time. So, in today’s post I’m sharing with you some tips on how to start a gratitude journal:

Get a gratitude journal

This can be an old notebook you already have or a brand new journal you purchased specifically for this purpose. Find what works best for you.

You can use:

  • Premade gratitude journal

Premade gratitude journals have everything already laid out for you in a template and they can give you a clear structure to follow. You can find lots of them on Amazon for example.

  • Printables:

They already have everything already laid out for you in a template too. You can find lots of them on Etsy or Pinterest for free where you can print out a page for each day.

  • Apps:

There are plenty of gratitude apps and this can be a great option if you work better in digital format.

  • Notebooks/paper/phone/computer notes:

Or you can write whatever is in your mind without having to follow any template. You can use paper, a random notebook or you can write on your computer or phone notes.

Set a time of the day to write in your gratitude journal

I personally suggest you write in your gratitude journal at the beginning or end of the day to start or end the day on a positive note.  Do whatever works best for you. Make a habit of going there at the same time every day.

Choose your method

There are so many ways to practice gratitude. You can follow templates, you can write whatever is in your mind or you can answer a few questions everyday like the following ones:

  • 3 things I am grateful for
  • 3 people I am grateful for
  • 3 things that would make today amazing
  • 3 amazing things that happened today
  • 3 things that would have made it better

Just think about what you’re grateful for. Think about what’s happening in your life, reflect on the people around you and your day-to-day.

Don’t worry about your handwriting, just let go, and write your gratitude however they come out.

Allow yourself to feel and be open-minded

Allow yourself to let the feeling of gratitude come into your body. Gratitude is a powerful emotion that will instantly release any stress and tension.

Be open to whatever you’re feeling thankful for, don’t judge whatever comes up. Give gratitude for anything, no matter what it is. And as you write, be aware of the depth of your gratitude for certain things.

Starting to practice gratitude is the simplest way to build meaning and improve your day-to-day. It will help you realize that stuff we often get upset about does not matter all that much. And you’ll definitely start feeling more happiness and joy in your life 🙂

19 Replies to “How to start a gratitude journal”

  1. I read ypur blogs mostly in the morning and it becomes like being a part of my morning routines and fills and creates in to be positive time for the entire day.

  2. Life is what we make it. We can make it as good, or as bad, as we want day to day. But at the end of the day it’s all about what we have made it. Think about it!

  3. I’m doing thing in my journal right before I sleep. Journal, 5 things I am grateful for, Affirmations, and then Plans for tomorrow. These are all things that really changed my life since the day I start doing this. Thank you for sharing this. 😊💕

  4. Aayush Pawar says: Reply

    It’s been a month now since I started this . I had just given a try and now I want to continue this habit . I think this is the best way to kickstart your morning.
    Thank you 😊👍

    1. Let me tell you that I downloaded the gratitude app to start this gratitude journal… I didn’t expect much, but now it’s something I just can’t stop doing, I love the affirmations, the questiona and stuff. I think I’m really reflecting about my life and this was a big step to change my life, to make it better. I’ve been following your ideas in this post and I wanna thank you for all the good things you give. You can’t imagine how much I love the 21 days app.
      The process of being happier with what I have is getting easier and, when days are though, doing these exercises help me a lot

      1. Which gratitude app did you download? I’m new to this and trying to find a good one to get me started.

  5. Your blog posts are really amazing and they are worth reading! Thank you so much!

    1. Karla Sprague says: Reply

      My life right now is in shambles and hurt Beyond repair. But I still have so much to be grateful for. And although I’m grateful for those things I can’t keep the overwhelming things that are so horrible out of my mind what do I do about that???

      1. Karla, i know well what youre talking about. Ive gone through a 20 year series of traumas, all pretty disconnected, and combined with my depression, it all felt like uncontrollable horror around every corner with no light in sight. Im finally coming to an end on that (knock on wood) but i believe theres a time and place for things and that time, gratitude made me more angry. So, best to be honest with yourself, give yourself what you need till you can find things you feel grateful for. Sometimes we need self compassion to be grateful for ourselves and our strength🥰

      2. Ankit Rameshchandra Udapure says: Reply

        Thanks to this blog who initially motivate to be thankful about what we should and reason for gaining positivity through this

  6. Thanks for sharing

  7. I already do gratitude Journaling but this article had simple ideas that I had not used or thought of to really improve my consistency! I shared to FB to hopefully inspire others as well!!!! Thank you 😊

  8. Vijaya Waghmare says: Reply


  9. Safi Mahmoud says: Reply

    I am so grateful for reading your post♥️📖

  10. Thanks for sharing this.. Will give it a try from today.. I have so much of depression.. Hope it will help me to come out…

  11. Im terrible at building routines but i found a cool journal i will try to post, called am and pm journal with just a few questions starting forward in the morning and reviewing at night. Its undated, and i dont use it as much as i should but i just hop on when i think of it, and the positivity and gratitude are truly helpful to remind me more often of things we often take for granted.

  12. Brittany Ybarra says: Reply

    Thank you for sharing this. I have read & told myself a million start Journaling but to start is a bit overwhelming. I have hit a plateau on this journey & this has helped me feel less stuck. Thank you so much!!

  13. Karla, I have been in that same place, and understand how difficult it is to Feel Gratitude, especially in the depths of a depressive state. In fact, I struggle not to get frustrated with posts like this that indicate it’s an easy thing to do. During a particularly tough year recently, I decided to just try to recognize “the good” on any given day. I can never maintain a single journal and staying organized while depressed is additionally difficult, so I aimed to write 1-3 things on any scrap of paper, tear it off and put it in a jar. Sometimes I would miss a day or 2, or write about several days at once, but at the end of the year I had a jar full of small things that kept me going. I looked back through it recently and it still felt very valuable.

  14. I love this article, actually I’ve been wanting to start a gratitude journal for a while and I didn’t have any ideas on how to start, but I found this, so thank you so much you have helped me. Thank you ❤️🤞🏻

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