“It is through gratitude for the present moment that the spiritual dimension of life opens up.” —Eckhart Tolle
Gratitude is uplifting, and journaling about gratitude is even more empowering than just saying you’re grateful. The act of writing down what you’re grateful for makes you more closely consider the thing, the person, or the event you’re grateful for. This practice brings the energy of gratitude inside your body and uplifts your spirit.
In September of 2015 an article titled, “Neural Correlates of Gratitude,” was published in Frontiers of Psychology. In this article, the authors wrote, “It has been established that gratitude leads to benefits for both mental health and interpersonal relationships.” Based on these recent findings, now is the perfect time to begin your journal of gratitude!
I decided to create a journal layout for my own personal use. There were several features I wanted my journal to have. First, I wanted a way to be able to see what I wrote a year ago on the very same day to compare where I was at then to the present. While I did find some five-year journals, the area to write in them was designed for just a single line a day and I needed more space to write, so I added this extra room to my journal.
Next, I wanted a space where I could reflect on what I had written in prior years. Often, looking back brings a lot of important insights to mind, and, it is nice to have a place to put them.
Also, I wanted a way to avoid getting into “gratitude ruts” (unknowingly repeating the same statements several times) by creating prompts to help me think about the less obvious things we all have to be grateful for throughout the day. I also wanted a quick way to see if I was stuck in a gratitude rut, so I came up with a set of icons that can be used to help quickly measure if I was finding the less obvious things to be grateful for each day.
Lastly, I also wanted a visual prompt to remind me to be grateful during the day and not just during the moments I write each night. The stopwatch icon appears on each daily entry page to prompt you to remember to be grateful for a moment that occurred in your day. However, it should also be used to remind you to be grateful in the moment several times each day.
Once I completed the layout, I liked it so much I thought I should share it with others. So that is how My Gratitude Journal: 3 Years of Blessings was born.
In addition to using this book to help us all remember the many things we have to be grateful for at the end of each day, I would like to challenge you to attempt several times during the day to just be still and appreciate the moment. This may be difficult to remember to do at first. You may even need to set an alarm as a reminder. I truly believe that while it is important to journal our gratitude, practicing it in the moment is life changing.