I LOVE SHARING INFORMATION THAT I HAVE DISCOVERED THAT BRINGS ME JOY, AS I HOPE IT DOES THE SAME FOR SOMEONE ELSE. THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE READ MY DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.
Whatever happened to gratitude? A gratitude journal is a valuable tool to embrace your blessings. The smallest detail can enlighten your life!
Start a Gratitude Journal
When I moved to Florida from Ohio in 2018, I never expected to feel so much loneliness and a sense of not belonging.
I was excited about moving as it was a fresh start and I was moving to “The Sunshine State”. I mean sunshine, warm weather and the beach only an hour away, what’s not exciting about that?
As depression, loneliness, anxiety and insecurity set in I found myself falling more and more into a “why is this happening to me?” mentality.
I had to leave behind two of my older children, my family, my lifetime friends, my home where I raised my children, my work friends, my job, and most importantly my comfort. Even though all of that was true, I was constantly looking at the negatives instead of looking at the positives.
Sitting in my bedroom, reading a book I heard this older women’s voice, like she was standing right by my left ear say, “It’s time to be grateful for what you do have”.
I know you’ve read about this many times where someone says, “then one day I heard this voice and everything changed”. BUT do you really pay attention when it happens to you?
I truly believe we ALL do hear messages, guiding us and encouraging us, but most of the time we ignore them. Now I could have ignored it, but I had this feeling in my gut that I had to listen.
WHAT ARE YOU GRATEFUL FOR?
The easy, effective way to practice gratitude is once a day write down at least 3 things your grateful for.
Simple enough! I started my journal with simple things, “I am grateful I have a job”, “I am grateful I have a car”, “I am grateful I have a safe home”.
I started to notice a shift in my mindset. I started enjoying writing in it every day, thinking about what happened the day before that was a blessing, something that I actually was taking for granted.
I started writing more freely instead of it being “forced” and instead of 3 entries I was doing 5 entries and some days I had 7 entries.
WOW it definitely was working! Now let’s get you started with a gratitude journal!
Pick out a special gratitude journal
- Find a cover that makes you SMILE
- Pay attention to the size
- Enough pages for an entire year
- Lines are wide ruled to write comfortably
- Has a ribbon to mark your page
- This brand is my favorite journal to use, they have great covers, perfect size, wide ruled pages and a ribbon.
Purchase pens that are just for your journal
- Select pens that are comfortable to hold
- Blue ink or black ink
- Gel pen or regular
- Thick or thin point
- I personally love these blue gel pens, they glide over the paper and I don’t feel like I have to put a lot of pressure on the page which helps me to concentrate more on my thoughts.
Decide when you want to write in your gratitude journal
Would writing in your journal before you go to sleep be a habit you can form quickly and easily or would it be better in the morning?
I started out trying to do it before I went to sleep, but I found I usually was exhausted and just wanted to go to sleep, or I would come to bed after my husband and I couldn’t turn on my light.
I decided to start doing it with my devotion in the morning it all just started to flow!
The mornings felt more refreshed and the entries started becoming more heart felt and personal instead of materialistic. Examples like:
- “I am grateful for the sunshine that warms my body and brings me so much brightness”.
- “I am grateful for my health and the health of my family and friends”.
- “I am grateful for the safety I have in my home and my surroundings”.
- “I am grateful for my freedom that I can go outside for a walk or to the grocery”.
- “I am grateful God loves me unconditionally.”
POSITIVE THOUGHTS BUILD SELF-ESTEEM
Focus on positive thoughts and build self-esteem
It has been stated by many psychologists, doctors and spiritual healers that gratitude is the NUMBER ONE easy thing anyone can do to change their mindset.
What is mindset? A simple definition is, “Your mindset is your collection of thoughts and beliefs about yourself that shape your thoughts and habits that affect how you think, what you feel, and what you do.”
Why did I underline “you” in the sentences above? Because your thoughts ARE your thoughts!
It’s what you have CHOSEN to think and feel. Once you make the decision to CHOOSE and practice gratitude your thoughts automatically start changing to more positive, uplifting, warm thoughts which leads to building your self-esteem.
Another easy way to strengthen positive thoughts read my post 3 Reasons Making Your Bed Every Day Can Bring You Joy