Why I Use a Gratitude Journal

By: Dr. Stephanie Duffey • Aug 03, 2020

A sprig of green beside a gold pen and pink gratitude journal that says, "today i am grateful. "
Now it’s more important than ever to develop positive habits to get you through trying situations (umm… can you say global pandemic!?) That’s why I’m sharing how I practice gratitude daily. I began journaling about three years ago and have shifted to gratitude-focused journaling this past year. And let me tell you…it’s been LIFE-CHANGING! It’s completely altered my perspective and how I approach times of stress. Here are the four reasons why you should start using a gratitude journal:
1. When you focus on positivity this leaves no room for negativity in your brain. Seriously, I can attest to this! When you take the time to focus on the things going well in your life, you naturally become more positive. By writing down what you’re thankful for, it can make you even more optimistic because you are choosing to see more of the positivity in your life, while giving less power to negative emotions. You may have positive aspects of your life floating around in your subconscious, but writing them down makes them more real.
2. It causes you to look for things to be grateful for throughout the day. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the day-to-day hustle and bustle. Chances are, you’re in such a hurry that you’re losing sight of how much you enjoy your morning cup of coffee, or the beautiful weather outside, or lunch with a friend. When you’re searching for reasons to be grateful, you’re going to be more aware and you’ll manifest gratitude. Say for example, you’ve been thinking of buying a new car. All of a sudden, you start to notice that car all over the road. In reality, it’s been there all along but because you’re paying attention and seeking it out, you see it all around you.
3. It can keep stressful situations in perspective. I’m not suggesting that you can’t ever acknowledge stress. You should definitely take the time to process tough situations, but by focusing on the good, you’re more likely to see the positives. For example, the current pandemic has no doubt wreaked havoc. People have lost jobs, vacations and weddings have been canceled, and many of our favorite places have shut down until further notice. The silver lining though is that families have had more time than ever before to slow down and connect. Or maybe your work-from-home hours have given you the flexibility to start a new hobby or make more time for yourself. It’s all about perspective.
4. It helps form positive habits. When you’re consistently focused on gratitude, this is the default for your brain. The things you do frequently become a habit so you’ll start to form a positive mindset that’s engrained in how you approach a situation. I like to call it building an attitude of gratitude! Practice makes perfect but the more you seek out gratitude, the more natural it becomes.
I hope this encourages you to start your own practice of gratitude journaling. Here’s one of my favorite journals to get you started. Happy journaling!