The Benefits of Gratitude Journaling

Do you journal?  It has been proven that journaling has many impressive benefits due to the simple process of writing down parts of our lives we are thankful for.  Gratitude journaling is a simple process in which can be done several ways.  Basically the process I prefer involves writing down five things that happened in the past week you are thankful for. They can be as simple or as complex as you’d like.  After all, it is YOUR journal.  

In order for this to be most effective research has found some important key parts of the process to help you have optimal results. 
Don’t just go through the motions. It had been proven that journaling is more effective if you first make the conscious decision to become happier and more grateful. The motivation and goal of becoming happier does play a roal in the efficiency of journaling. 
Go for depth over breadth. Elaborating in detail about what you’re grateful for caries is more effective than a list of superficial list of many things.
Get personal. Focusing on people has more of an impact than focusing on things you are grateful for.
Try subtraction, not just addition. Reflect on what your life would be like without certain blessings instead of just thinking about all the good parts. 
Savor surprises. Journal about events that were unexpected or surprising, as these tend to elicit stronger levels of gratitude.
Don’t overdo it. Writing occasionally (once or twice per week) is more beneficial than daily journaling.
Here are some prompts to help you in your gratitude journaling.  Enjoy!
1. What made you smile today?
2. What is one thing you love about yourself?
3. Who are you grateful for and what do you love about them?
4. What accomplishments in your life have brought you the most happiness?
5. What is different today than a year ago that you are grateful for?
6. What do you like about the current season?
7. What is something that one of your family members did today that made you happy?
8. What is something beautiful that you saw today?
9. What made you laugh today?
10. What is something that was hard to do but you did it anyway?