What to write in a gratitude journal - Ideas, Tips and Examples

What to write in a gratitude journal - Ideas, Tips and Examples


Journaling is a long process that gets exciting with time. You start experimenting with different layouts, fonts, and aesthetics, which makes the process of journaling even more exciting and fun than it already is. One can never go out of ideas when they are trying to find a theme for their journal.

However, when you are talking about a gratitude journal, it can be quite challenging to think about what to write in your gratitude journal. If you feel that you are not someone who can continue with a gratitude journal for 365 days of the year, you can also try keeping a gratitude glass jar where you would throw one chit every day, or you can even go for any gratitude journal app on your mobile phone or tab.

If you do not track your gratitude list, you will find yourself unsure about every step you take in your life. If someone suddenly comes up to you and asks you about one thing that made you smile today, could you answer it without giving it a second thought?

Most of us can’t, and that is not our fault. Our brains are manipulated in such a way that we focus more on the things that upset us rather than the ones that made us smile. Gratitude is the most desirable trait, but one has to keep practicing it continuously to cement it in their life. Living a life of gratitude is not as easy as it sounds, but the results are worth every hard work.

All of us plan to create the best gratitude journal for our yearly spread, and you do not have to add too many stickers or keep up with a theme for your gratitude journal. Make it pleasing to your eyes so that your brain gets the will to return to it.

Keeping a gratitude journal is by far the best method to improve your mental well-being and influence your headspace. There is no specific age when you should start a gratitude journal; you just need to start it right away. Your gratitude journal will give you strength and gratitude and thus help you lead a successful life.

Keeping a gratitude journal is very private and personal, thus unique to everyone and their life. It is rightly said that gratitude is the best attitude as it’s unique in every aspect. Its sole purpose is to focus on the science of gratitude, which is what you are grateful about, what deserves your energy, and what you need to do in your daily routine to lead a happy life.

You can even write down the bad things that happened to your life that helped you be the strong person you are right now. You just have to write it down in a positive outlook stating that you are grateful for getting the difficulties in your path because of which you have learned a lesson in your life which you are never going to forget.

6 Ideas to write in a gratitude journal

However, if you are new to this Gratitude journal and you are searching for a list of gratitude words to incorporate in your journal, then here are a few ideas for you –

1. A part of your morning routine you are grateful about –

You could simply write about the coffee that you make for yourself after getting up from bed makes you feel happy and ready to fight for the whole day, or you may even write about the cold shower that makes you feel lively. You could thank the sun for being bright, or you could state your gratitude towards the morning walk to take every day and how that has helped you get a clear vision of life and your health.

You could also write to you have this feeling of gratitude for kids, the ones who smile from their house to their school bus and are unaware of the hurdles that life will throw on them as they grow. You just need to look at all the small incidents that you come across every morning and find out the ones which might seem common to you but are something to be grateful about.

2. The music helps you run away from reality and troubles –

Most of us take help of music to run away from reality. Running away from reality is good as long as you remind yourself to come back stronger. You could write in your Gratitude journal about the music that made you smile or the one that made you feel stronger.

You could write about the music that made you think about your crush, and you spent the entire time having a huge smile on your face, or you could write about the song that rubbed your tears in the darkness of the night when you had no one to help you. Either way, you will realize that it is something you should be grateful for.

You could just list all the songs that have become a part of your life and write one or two sentences about the song. You could also write down the lyrics of the part of the song that you vibe with the most or the one that you know you need to come back over and over again. Thus you could try pointing out the music in your Gratitude journal as well.

3. Activities or hobbies that you wish to incorporate five years from now –

Try to think of yourself five years from now and what habits you want to see in you then. Write down all the habits and hobbies you would want to have five years from now, and this way, you will have a clear vision of what you need to work for.

For example, if you dream of yourself as an entrepreneur and traveling the world five years from now, you will get this vision that the 9 am to 5 pm job you are in right now isn’t the direction that will keep you happy. You will then start looking for the path that makes you content, and you will start working for it.

Thus incorporating a point that will include the activities you see yourself performing five years from now will give you a direction and a will to work for your goal, thus keep you with a satisfied and grateful feeling for the entire period.

You could also do it differently, like write a letter to your future self compliment her about her strength and how well-mannered she is. Tell her that you are proud of her for the decisions she took, and you are proud of her because she is everything you are afraid to start right now. This will give you the confidence to work on your weak points and your goals now.

4. Five small things that you are grateful about –

you just need to take out your gratitude journal and point out five small things you are grateful about. If you had a long hard day at work and you are passing through a tough phase in your life, you could write that you are grateful to have the energy and strength to carry on the next day as well.

You could write about your garden, or the birds chirping at your window or about the old man who has the will-power to go out on a morning walk every day. You will soon find out that many small things are happening in your daily life that you could be grateful for.

You could write about the steaming hot food that gave your warmth in the cold weather or the food made by your mother with love, or you could even write about your gratitude journal that looks so pleasing that it gives you the strength to search for small happiness in your life. Just close your eyes and pick out five things randomly that comes to your mind when you think about happiness and then write it down. It’s as simple as that.

5. List at least three people you are grateful for having in your life –

All of us have such people in our lives who are responsible for what we are right now. This could be people who have been by our sides, such as our parents or our siblings or the people who taught us what kind of people we don’t need in our life.

There will come many people in your life who will teach you a lesson, and others will come to hold your hand when you fall. You should be grateful to both these people. Sit down and list three people who have been by your side and have always wanted your good.

The people who are important to you, and you cannot afford to lose them. They make you feel good. After that, you can write about three more people who have come into your life to teach you a lesson. This could be your childhood best friend with whom you don’t talk anymore, or it could be your first boyfriend or girlfriend.

Numerous people affect your life, such as the positivity of the roadside vendor or the sense of responsibility on the face of the maid in your house. Try to figure out these people and write what makes you feel grateful to have them in your life, even if for a short period.

6. Something you are grateful to have –

This could be any materialistic or non-materialistic thing as well. You could write about the letter your loved one gifted you or the handmade gift that your best friend made for you after surfing YouTube for a long time.

Think about the times when people had put in the effort to make a smile on your face and write about it in your gratitude journal. Write about the time when your parents took you out for an outing because you were sad that your grades had not been up-to mark or the time when your grandmother gave up on her sleep just to tell you about her childhood stories.

Relive all those memories in which you had laughed to your heart’s content and write it down so that you get to relive it as many times as you can.

These small moments of happiness are what are going to help you keep yourself composed during hard times. Close your eyes and remember each time you were grateful for being alive and write it down in your journal.

You do not have to spend a lot of time on this. Just fifteen minutes every day would be enough to keep you happy and content in the long run of life. If you have a busy schedule, you could even make it a routine to journal at least three times a week, and that too shall do all the good you are searching for.

1+ Opinions

  • suvangi
    67 pts
    Rising Star

    Writing not just helps you to organize your thoughts but also provides a medium for you to express them. While you have your journal, for all your wild thoughts, maintaining a gratitude journal will help you lead a life filled with positivity and thankfulness.

    Psychologists have come up with many benefits that appear once you start practicing thankfulness in your life. The most popular and basic way to enter the field of gratefulness and have an attitude of gratitude is to keep a gratitude journal.

    By simply writing down some lines on gratefulness, researchers have found that it benefits the person with better sleep, fewer symptoms of illness, and a sound mind. Gratitude is a powerful emotion that is enough to turn your world upside down (in a good way) and open you to unending options of joy and success in your life.

    There are many basic benefits of gratitude journaling, such as increased mental happiness by lowering both emotional and physical pain. The feeling of gratitude gives you better sleep at night and increases your concentration power. It will shift your perspective and only led your thinking to better and good things in your life.

    Here are some “rules” (actually ideas) you need to follow if you are planning to start a gratitude journal and stick to it forever –

    1. Get yourself the most aesthetic, the most pleasing journal

    Buy something that makes you excited about writing, because let’s face it. No one wants to write down five things every day about what made them happy. It’s nearly impossible to find out five things that made you happy.

    So the best way you at least would want to open your gratitude journal is to find a journal that looks pleasing to you so that your brain is interested in opening the pages and filling them in. it will also help you when gratitude doesn’t work, i.e., when you do not have the strength to get to your gratitude list and fill it.

    Make your journal selection very special for you, and get creative and make it as personal as you want. After all, the entire journal is yours, and no one is going to read it. No one is going to judge you for what you are writing, and you can be most honest with the list. So, gift yourself something that you would want to go to every night.

    2. Start your day with gratitude journaling

    You could make a to-do list and keep journaling as one of the points in your list. You could either start your day with writing in your gratitude journal or end your day after writing in your gratitude journal. You could start a routine such as “operation gratitude letters” and then write a letter every day on gratitude.

    You could also download templates from the internet and write on them if you do not want to maintain a gratitude journal. The benefits are worth everything. You will be amused with all the positivity you feel throughout the day once you start maintaining your gratitude journal.

    3. Create a ritual to journal every day

    The daily repetition of the work is the only way we can turn it into a habit. Set n alarm or make a to-do list and keep Gratitude journaling as your top-most priority. You will be thrilled at the end of the day after you finish jotting down the points in your gratitude journal.

    Create a ritual to journal every day and if you are someone who cannot keep up with a habit, try giving yourself rewards each time you write in your gratitude journal.

    4. If you have a busy, tightly packed schedule, write at least once a week

    For some people, maintaining a gratitude journal could be a very overwhelming thing. After all, writing in your gratitude journal is going to be your leisure time activity. That’s why if you have a busy schedule, try to write at least once a week.

    Write everything that made you happy during the entire week. Write about the sound of the birds chirping, about the petrichor, or the soft, cozy bed that you crave on Saturday nights.

    Target a goal to write at least once a week for half an hour and fulfill the target. Set the alarm on Sunday evening to write in your journal and do it instantly. After all, Gratitude journals are effective because it compels your mind and body to work on the path of gratitude and calmness.

    5. Make your brain believe that gratitude is a great attitude for self-development

    Once you start practicing gratitude in your daily life, you will realize that this is the path you need to follow for self-development. You can never learn things, such as personal growth or self-development. You attain them from your daily activities.

    Once you keep on with your habit of Gratitude journaling, your brain will automatically learn the fact that gratitude is a great attitude and that self-development is the ultimate goal. Thus, life will take an ultimate transformation, and you will feel safe in your own body and mind.

    6. Try to connect to something very specific and write to-the-point

    Do not write anything blandly without feeling it. Try to feel it before writing it down in your journal. This way, it will give you satisfaction to your mind and will also help you write the points flawlessly in your gratitude journal. The more detailed you will be while writing, the easier it will be to connect to yourself.

    For example, you could write about a book you read today. You could write how the book took away your breath for a while and how you could not leave the book aside before finishing it. You could write about the favorite character and how the protagonist of the book did not seem to please you. Write down every little detail and be specific with it.

    7. Try to explain the feeling that you had and write down your experience, rather than just jotting down the points

    Expressing is what makes your gratitude journal worth the memory lane. Feel gratitude while you write about it. Try to explain it as much as you can so that the next time you come back to it, you feel the same feeling you had while you were writing it.

    If drawing images or pasting pictures make it worth your imagination, do it. Make it as personalized as you can because you never know when this is going to be the air for you to breathe.

    Forget about everything at that moment and write only about the good thing, the incident and the life event and how it is everything that you need in your life. This way, you will also wake up with gratitude and spend the next day with a sense of calmness in your soul and mind.

    8. Try to make categories and fill them every day

    Making “categories” instead of writing something randomly. This will give you a clear idea of what you need to think about, and writing in your gratitude journal would be an easier process.

    Like, try to make categories such as health, relationships, people, goals, and random. Fill in one point in each category every day, and you will find enough ways to fill your gratitude list, and you do not have to think about what to write.

    9. Start with a five-minute gratitude journal routine and increase the time gradually

    A general gratitude day activities would include a sound mind and a healthy body throughout the day, but you need to maintain the rule of five-minute journaling for this to happen. This means that make a ritual of journaling at least five minutes every day before going to bed. Write anything that comes to your mind. If you had a bad day, just write, “I am grateful because I’m strong,” five times and end it.

    The easiest way to come up with ideas on what to write in your gratitude journal is to think about what happened in your life today. You will see that the next day you will wake up with gratitude and spend the day with a smile on your face.

    You do not need to add self-criticism in your gratitude journal, but if you want to add an incident that falls in the category of self-criticism, try to put it up like a lesson that made you stronger. While at the beginning of starting a Gratitude journal, you might fall short of words and ideas for your gratitude list.

    So here are fifteen Gratitude Journal prompts that you can modify in your list –

    1. The air, the ocean, the trees, the rain, basically everything you see around yourself

    2. Your family, your friends, and the people you love

    3. A sweet old memory

    4. Your favorite playlist

    5. The description of your crush

    6. Your favorite meal

    7. What you want to accomplish in ten years

    8. Places you want to visit

    9. The most important life lesson you have learned

    10. One small thing you accomplished today

    11. About the scent makes you feel lively

    12. The type of art that makes you stare at it long

    13. Appreciate your appearance

    14. Write about the positive qualities you want in yourself

    15. Old relationships you are grateful about

    Journaling is a process that is meant to give you pleasure and happiness. You do not have to make it a burden in your life. It’s like the little “me-time” you are giving yourself. Try to enjoy the process thoroughly and learn every bit you can along the process of writing your Gratitude list.

    It is the place for you to keep your heart overhead, and that is the sole purpose of keeping a gratitude journal. Over time, you will develop a love for gratitude journaling and have a positive mindset and healthy relationship with everyone around you.

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