By Freelance Contributor | Strong Female Leaders
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Target Audience: Professional Women, Entrepreneurial Women

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Why do a gratitude journal?
A gratitude journal is a special kind of journal. Instead of simply writing down thoughts, it focuses on gratitude. Expressing gratitude for the positive things in our lives is scientifically proven to help us. No matter how we feel, gratitude can truly lift us as we look at the positive aspects of our lives. At the same time, gratitude can help ground us and remind us that life will truly be okay when we're dealing with difficult times.

There are different kinds of journaling, and there isn't one prescribed way for how to journal. The same is true for gratitude journaling. Here are some examples.

1. A list of things written on the notepad on your phone.

2. A cheap, spiral bound notebook, like the notebooks that are commonly used to take notes in class.

3. A beautiful, fancy journal you can find in an Etsy shop or at a book store.

All of these options are good. It's simply a matter of choosing which type of journal is right for you.

As you keep your gratitude journal, you'll start to notice a difference.
How to do a gratitude journal?
It can be a little unnerving to start something new! We acknowledge that. But the great thing is that once you start, you'll see how easy it is. When you start to keep a journal, you'll want to concentrate on what you're writing. For gratitude, you'll want to focus on special or positive experiences in your life. Here's a step-by-step process on how to do a gratitude journal.

1. Choose your template.
We recommend picking the template that will be easiest for you to keep track of/remember to use. If your journal is out of sight, it's out of mind. So, if you're using a smart phone app, dock it with your most important apps, or cluster it with the apps you most often use. If you write with a pen on a piece of paper or in a physically-bound journal, keep it somewhere you'll see it every day - like your nightstand, desk, or living room end table.

2. Decide what to write.
This might be the hardest part! You could have your gratitude journal out in plain sight but never write in it if you feel like you don't know how to use it. A great first step would be to think about the positive parts of your day. We'll talk more about specific examples of gratitude in the next section.

3. Decide how to write.
Are you a paragraph-type writer? Or do you prefer bullet points? Numbered lists? Calligraphy? Write how you want to! You'll be more prone to journal.

4. Decide how often to write in it.
If you already write regularly in your journal, you might want to start with daily entries. But if this is something you've never done before, you might start writing on weekends. The workweek can get so busy that something like writing in a journal can feel like an extra chore. You'll want to be in the right mindset or it won't be as effective.

5. Decide how much to write.
Maybe write a paragraph about each thing you're grateful for, or keep it simple by listing a few items without any explanation. It's all up to you!

Now you know how to start, whether you keep your journal on your phone and jot down a few things at night, or whether you get fancy and write a calligraphy-styled gratitude journal. If you want to form a habit, try writing every day for as many days in a row as you can. It's okay if you miss a day here or there! You'll develop the habit.
What are some gratitude examples?
Now that we know how to start a gratitude journal, let's look at some examples. First, we'll talk about examples of gratitude itself. Second, we'll talk about examples of gratitude journals.
1. Examples of Gratitude
Gratitude is a simple thing that's easy to over-complicate. Here are some examples of how easy it can be.

1. I'm grateful that it didn't rain today because I straightened my hair this morning.

2. I'm grateful that Coach Green called practice off because I'm too tired to take my son.

3. I'm grateful that the supermarket is only a five-minute drive.

4. I'm grateful for my mom. She always answers when I call, or she calls me back as soon as she can.

5. I'm grateful that I have good car insurance. I'm less worried about getting into an accident.

Or, if you don't want to start every sentence with "I'm grateful that" or "I'm grateful for," you could try writing like this.

6. It was wonderfully bright and sunny outside today.

7. My husband made dinner tonight when I was really busy.

8. I took the kids to the playground and enjoyed hearing their laughter as they played.

9. I got a belated birthday card in the mail today.

10. My boss commended my work.

We can choose to be grateful for the simplest of things, and those things will lift our spirits. These are just a few examples of gratitude to help you get your own ideas going!

2. Examples of Gratitude Journals

1. Pretty Simple Press has a gratitude journal that's perfect if you want to write a numbered list without much explanation. The journal's layout allows you to list three things for which you are grateful. Only one line is provided for each number, so you'll have to keep it brief.

2. The Gratitude Journal App is perfect if you want to use your smart phone to log your gratitude, but you want an app instead of jotting things down on your notepad.

3. Day One is a great app if you're a visual person. Day One allows you to include pictures with your thoughts. You can also share it with friends and family.

4. Another option is to download and print out a free printable. If you search for "gratitude journal" and then click on "free printable" on Google, a number of printables will show up. This template from Sage Grayson splits gratitude into four sections: A morning gratitude prayer, what I'm learning from my challenges, People I'm thankful for, and The best part of my day.

If that's not your jam, this printable from Grit Mindset has these five sections: What makes me happy, What I learnt, I am grateful for, and Tomorrow I am going to. This template also has a funky, colorful layout.

5. If you're looking for something a bit more expansive, try a wellness journal from Papier. While these journals aren't branded as gratitude journals, they're perfect for it. They have a ton of cute covers, from constellations to floral patterns and plainer covers. The inside of each journal is very much the same, with boxed sections to write in on some pages and lined pages with plenty of space for your thoughts. There are a ton of different sections, including: Feel-good goals, Wish lists, Gratitude, and Reflection.

Gratitude is a wonderful thing, and now you know how to get started with your personal gratitude journal. We hope our gratitude examples give you some ideas to find your flow. Remember that there's no perfect way to journal. Getting started is the key!

Journal with These
1) My 26 Week Gratitude Journal
2) How to Talk to Anyone: 92 Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships

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