10 Tips to Keep A Solid Gratitude Journal

Do you remember? When we were young, we were familiar with the diary and often wrote in it?
This activity seems simple, but “diary writing” or “journaling” has many benefits even for adults.

Based on the University of Rochester Medical Center’s website, journaling has proven in improving
mental health and emotional stability. Journaling can help to control the symptoms of anxiety, stress,
and depression. Of the various types of journal writing, one that can help us to release negative
emotions is writing a gratitude journal.

Happyfeed.co shared that gratitude journaling is a habit of recording and reflecting on things that you
are grateful for on a regular basis. Writing a gratitude journal is getting more popular in psychological
and spiritual practices by naming it as “counting the blessings” or “documenting the good things”.

Gratitude journaling basically doesn’t have any strict writing guidelines to begin with. However, some
templates used on the internet usually start with three things you are grateful for in a day. Still, you
can modify and add more, from the smallest things to the greatest and significant moments to be
thankful for!

If you want to develop a gratitude journaling habit, it is not too late at all! Here are some tips you can
follow to start writing a gratitude journal:

1. Pick A Journal Book that You Like 

If you want to create a sustainable habit, you have to start with something fun that gives you
pleasure. Like when we were kids, we chose books with pictures of princesses or robots and colorful stationery for writing a diary.
Start by going to the nearest bookstore in your town and purchasing a journal book that you like! You
can also invest in colorful pens and markers to make your journal more aesthetic and pleasing.

Make sure to have a dedicated journal book. Also, don’t forget to place it in the visible and reachable
place in your room, so it catches your attention to always write in it!

2. Be Conscious to Your Surrounding 

Being aware of the little things around you will help to find reasons to be grateful. It’s as simple as
opening your eyes in the morning, getting a discount while shopping at the supermarket, or meeting
up with your old friends.

Keep your mind wandering and searching for what comes around, and write it down in your journal.
You can start with three things first per day, but if you can find more of it, it’s even better!

3. Be Specific and Write in Details 

The more specific the stories, the more you notice what events, persons, or moments you are grateful
for. By writing in detail, you will also learn to appreciate more moments and persons who bring you
happiness.

If you write a gratitude journal on a daily basis, don’t forget to mention the place and also the time.
For example: “My mom cooks me the most delicious bolognese pasta for my dinner!”, “Jack compliments my black dress I wear on prom night today”, “A barista in Starbucks writes my name
correctly today. He also gives me extra espresso without charge! Such a perfect morning.”

When you look at your writing the next day, you will still remember the moments and be grateful for
it once again.

4. Don’t Be Repetitive 

You probably go with a routine schedule, but don’t make your gratitude journal boring by mentioning
the same things every day. If you already find your writings are repetitive, try to explore and look up a
new perspective of your life.

If you overwrite the gratitude for your parents and friends, try to find something grateful from your
neighbor, siblings, or even your pets. Or you can modify your activity like going to the park, mall,
restaurant, etc, in the meantime. It will meet you with new things that give you reasons to be
thankful.

5.Don’t Be Too Strict About Your Schedule

Writing a gratitude journal should be rewarding and stress-relieving, not pressuring. So, you have to
be flexible with your schedule and don’t push yourself as it is a heavy obligation.

You should grow fond of this habit slowly until you get the benefit of it. Some people are comfortable
with journaling at night, some in the morning. Some people need to collect all the moments then
choose a specific time to write it all. Some people write right away after they experience events they
are thankful for.

You need to find your own pattern and try to add it to your schedule as it is something fun to do!

6. Focus on The Positive Things 

Not all days run smoothly without a hitch. Sometimes you go through bad and challenging days.
That’s totally fine and okay.

When those days come, focus on gathering your energy and spirit to get through them first. If you
still want to stick to your journaling habit, write simple things on it, such as “Thanks for the breakfast,
Mom”, “Lunch with my boyfriend”, etc.

Embrace the bad feeling first, and later fill yourself with positive thoughts that you can get from:
reviewing your old writings in journals, meditating, praying, sharing with friends, or doing your
hobbies, eating your favorite foods, and others.

7.Explore Your Creativity 

Journaling is not supposed to be a stiff activity. If you’re the type of person who prefers to draw,
paint, play with colors, or stick stickers in your journal, go for it!

Currently, on the internet, there are many examples of “how-to-make a gratitude journal” like a scrapbook that can be personalized and customized to your preferences. Gratitude journaling has to be fun
and enjoyable to do.

If you are into book-styling, you can do more efforts like printing a photocard, putting up flowers,
decorating with ribbons, and just create a gratitude journal that represents your creative sides.

8. Recall and Reflect

A gratitude journal is also made to be a reminder to stay positive. Every writing should contain your
full awareness that this world is worth living for. After a certain period of time focusing on positive
things, stop for a moment and see the changes that occur in you.

“Do you feel happier?” “Do you feel more content?” Rethink these questions over and over while
thanking God for everything you’ve been through. Review, recall, reflect on your gratitude journal and be
grateful for the positive things that keep you alive.

9. Put Your Feeling into Your Writing

Journaling is not supposed to be a stiff activity. If you’re the type of person who prefers to draw,
paint, play with colors, or stick stickers in your journal, go for it!

Currently, on the internet, there are many examples of “how-to-make a gratitude journal” like a scrapbook that can be personalized and customized to your preferences. Gratitude journaling has to be fun
and enjoyable to do.

If you are into book-styling, you can do more efforts like printing a photocard, putting up flowers,
decorating with ribbons, and just create a gratitude journal that represents your creative sides.

10. Keep Doing It!


There is a popular psychology theory saying that we need 21 days to create a habit. Means that you
need persistence, commitment, and a strong will to develop solid gratitude journaling habits.

Remember that the goal of writing a gratitude journal is to be more focused on positive aspects and
emotionally stable over bad situations in our lives. With all the benefits offered, developing this habit
will not be something imposing. But, count this as a positive and refreshing habit that will be valuable
for your mental health.

Surround and shower yourself with positive stories from people. This will also be a good
encouragement to stay positive. One of them is by signing up for UPDEED platform.

On UPDEED, you will meet many changemakers who share encouraging and motivating stories every
day. UPDEED also provides you with the “clap”, “comment”, and “appreciate” features, which enables
you to give compliments to others.

We also have a “Gratitude Wall” feature on UPDEED that works just like a gratitude journal. On our
Gratitude Wall, we highlight selected stories from some of the changemakers and thank them for
the impact they have had on the world and its surroundings.

Download our App on:

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