Researchers have finally proven what common sense would already tell us – that keeping a daily gratitude journal can change your life! Richard Emmons PhD, from the University of Berkeley, proved that as little as 3 weeks of your gratitude journal can positively shift your experience of life. Woo hoo! But there’s more to it than just grabbing a pen and paper. Find out the 3 different levels to a gratitude journal and how the level you choose can make a massive difference to the impact it will have for you.
How to start a gratitude journal
It’s easy to imagine the benefits of keeping a gratitude journal – it can help you have a more positive outlook on life, cut your stress levels and – as psychologists have recently proven – it can even have a positive impact on your health. The Secret tells us to keep one, to manifest our dreams, Oprah is raving about them, spiritual teachers have understood the benefits for thousands of years. So if you’re not keeping one yet, it’s about time to start!
The level to which you choose to take your gratitude journal can make a big difference to the impact it will have in your life. To help you choose what you want from your journal, today I’m sharing with you 3 different ways you can use your journal and an overview of how they will change your life.
Most of us don’t think about this beforehand, so we’re missing out on huge hidden benefits. And the best bit is that the 3 levels all take about the same amount of time, so the only difference is where you want to go – and how deeply you want gratitude to become part of your daily experience of life!
The 3 Levels Of Gratitude Journal
1. The Diary
At the most basic level, your gratitude journal can be a diary – somewhere you jot down things you feel grateful for. Most people like to choose 3-5 things a day. And they find it helps to do it at the same time each day, to create a routine.
You don’t have to write an essay – brief notes are enough. The key is to make sure you feel the gratitude you are writing about, not just mechanically making notes about what you figure you shoul feel grateful for 😉
Also, it doesn’t have to be words. If doodles and sketches are your thing, that’s great too!
This is a great habit to cultivate, because you will be regularly looking at things you feel grateful for, which helps to tune your Monkey Mind’s radar to a positive frequency.
You can easily grab any paper, diary or journal and get started – you can even do it online (though there’s something magical that happens when you physically use a pen to write down what you’re feeling grateful for!).
It’s a great place to start and will create a lovely book for you to re-read, in the future.
What You’re Missing Out On
You are only getting about 10% of the potential benefit of keeping a gratitude journal.
You will be gently shifting your focus to see what is present in your life, rather than what is missing. But it will be a much slower process than the other options – and that’s fine, if that is what is calling you!
Buy yourself a beautiful blank journal and make a commitment – to your future – to write in it every day. Enjoy the process and let us know how you get on, over at the Miracle of Gratitude Facebook Page. And you can also register for a free Monday Morning Gratitude email, with the latest gratitude articles, insider secrets and top tips.
2. A Personal Development Tool
If you’re feeling a bit more committed, you can change your gratitude journal from being ‘just a diary’ (completely ok, if that’s what you want!) to being more of a personal development tool. By knowing your ‘why’ – why are you keeping this journal – and keeping this in mind, as you’re writing. Also, having a regular schedule and process for spotting the progress you’re making and the shifts that are appearing in your life means you can work with your journal to develop new habits and change the way you’re thinking.
When you know ‘why’ you want to do something, it is easier to set your intention and it impacts the kinds of actions you take. By having a clear vision, you are more likely to write your journal entries each day, finding it easier to stay motivated.
By having a clear process for tracking the shifts you’re making in your life, you will spot and celebrate your successes which, in turn, reinforces these shifts and helps to keep you motivated.
What You’re Missing Out On
You’re still – most likely – going it alone and potentially missing out on the deeper-acting ways you can work with gratitude in your life. However, working with your journal as a personal development tool is a wonderful way to weave gratitude in to your day-to-day experience, in a gentle and low-key way.
If you’d like to discover more ways you can weave gratitude into your daily life, you’ll probably enjoy my 7 Day Gratitude Kick Start programme. It’s designed to inspire and motivate you, as well as to help you discover how easily gratitude can shift your experience of life, no matter how busy you are. Here’s where to find out more: 7 Day Gratitude Kick Start.
3. Life-Changing Experience
If your heart is calling you to make gratitude a more central part of your daily life, then it’s time to let your gratitude journal become a more potent life-changing experience.
In just a few minutes each day, you can work with gratitude affirmations, inspirational quotes and beautiful life-changing gratitude techniques, to fundamentally shift the way you live your life.
It doesn’t have to be radical or scary, but it can fast-track integrating gratitude into your thoughts, words and deeds, opening your heart to love and joy in a way you might not have expected.
Bringing in affirmations and specially-designed gratitude techniques can offer you short-cuts to retraining your Monkey Mind, shifting your thoughts from grumbling to grateful.
The impact will be faster and long-lasting – and you will find it potentially more profound that the other options, as you gently weave gratitude into every aspect of your life – including the areas where you had been resisting it.
What You’re Missing Out On
Doing this on your own is fine, but sharing the journey with like-minded gratitude-seekers gives you moral support and encouragement, whilst helping you to really ground your experiences by sharing them with others.
You will also find that deep-acting gratitude techniques will nudge you until you let go of the old habits, grudges and resentments that have been keeping you stuck where you no longer want to be. So if you’re very attached to that old baggage and are reluctant to let it go, once and for all, then this probably isn’t the route for you. 😉
If you’d like to make the most of your gratitude journal as a life-changing tool, then you might enjoy Gratitude: A Daily Journal, which I created to inspire you, week by week, through easily transforming your life with the Miracle Of Gratitude. Here’s why you can find out whether or not it’s for you: Gratitude: A Daily Journal.
So my question to you today is: which kind of gratitude journal do you want to keep? And when are you going to get started?!
You know it’s time, or you wouldn’t have read this article. 🙂
Please share via the comments box!