Keeping a Gratitude Journal

By now, you may have heard about the important role that gratitude plays in being happy. One of the things I do to practice gratitude is I keep a gratitude journal. I first read about this on Shay Shull's Mix and Match Mama blog, which I am a big fan of! And if I recall correctly, she heard about it through Oprah. So, thank you Shay Shull, and thank you Oprah!

How I Got Started
Before I started keeping a gratitude journal, I wrote in a regular journal. I thought that writing down any negative thoughts and feelings would help me manage them, but instead, I found my mindset became even more negative by dwelling on the negativity. Also, I was always worried about someone reading my journal because it really didn't reflect the person I wanted to be.

When I learned about gratitude journals on the Mix and Match Mama blog, I decided to change my approach. Instead of writing down what was bothering me and things that had happened, I wrote down five things I was grateful for that day. It was really simple to do and left me feeling a lot better than writing a regular journal entry.

What I Write About
I find that a lot of times I write about things that I accomplished during the day, or things I did with my kids, like play board games or read books. Other times, I might write about unexpected and wonderful things that happened, or things I had been hoping for that came to fruition. Sometimes I just write about a nice cup of tea I had or something yummy I ate.

A More Positive Mindset
Keeping a gratitude journal every day gives me a set time to think about the ways I've been blessed that particular day. I always do it when I bring the kids upstairs to get them ready for bed and usually, my kids will take part by naming one thing they're grateful for too. If my husband is home, he'll join in as well. It's a really positive practice for the whole family, and I find this mentality carrying through to other parts of my life. There are other things I do to cultivate a grateful heart, but this is a habit that reinforces and formalizes grateful thinking.

In Conclusion
Writing in my gratitude journal every night has been such a natural addition to our bedtime routine. It has never felt like a chore, but rather, is just a lovely way to cap off each day. Most of us are so blessed and have so much to be grateful for, but it's easy to get mired in the daily grind and problems. Taking a few minutes at a set time each day to focus on gratitude can be a great way to start fostering a positive mindset.


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