Keep a Gratitude Journal (DW#646)

One of the most basic and popular gratitude practices is to keep a regular gratitude journal. Keeping a gratitude journal allows you to have a specific place where you remind yourself of the gifts, grace, benefits, the good things and the people you enjoy.

The experts sometimes disagree on whether a daily or a weekly journal practice is more effective. Some studies have found that journaling weekly (rather than daily) may be more effective as daily journaling may lead to boredom and writing without feeling.

My suggestion is that you start daily to establish the habit and then see what works best for you long term and continue that.

In any case, the most effective journaling practice is

Regular: either daily or weekly. Keep a regular time.

Specific: You will experience more gratitude when you consciously and deliberately bring to mind the exact and specific details of the situation that calls for gratitude.

For example, recalling and being grateful for the thousands of hours of effort that our parents have put into raising us, the fact that they want the best for us, and the little things that they did for us – are all far more effective than simple saying that we are grateful for our parents.

So consider going specific and deep with your journaling. Writing five sentences about one thing you are grateful for is more effective than writing one sentence for five things that we are grateful for. So the daily list does not have to be a long one. Consider making a shorter list but elaborating on more details.

Fresh: Don’t count your blessings in the exact same way every day. Vary it up. You may want to choose different areas of your life to focus on each time you write in your journal.

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