Journaling is a practice that seems to be everywhere— heavily featured in our New Year’s resolutions, it is a common aspiration for those of us looking to live more intentionally. The task can seem daunting— discerning what is worthy of saving in your beautiful notebooks, of living on its pages forever. Gratitude journaling can be an entry point into journaling. With a clear intention in mind, it removes some of the more nebulous parts of the practice. As its name implies, gratitude journaling is the intentional practice of noticing, and recording, the good things in your life. This can take many forms, some of which are detailed below, but at its heart, it is a way to deepen your awareness of the things you may be overlooking, but can truly make you grateful.
Mindfulness, or the practice of maintaining a "moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment" as it is defined by The Greater Good Science Center at the UC Berkeley, is a way of becoming more attuned to the world around you. Originating as a Buddhist practice, it has slowly crept into Western practices and philosophy, gaining the widespread recognition it has today. Gratitude journaling operates as a form of mindfulness– of rooting yourself in the present moment and becoming aware of the good surrounding you. This awareness has long-lasting ramifications across all facets of your life. The intent of mindfulness practices is not simply to become better in the practice itself, but for it to extend into your daily life. With consistency, your awareness grows beyond those few minutes within the practice and your daily life becomes a little more mindful, a little fuller of gratitude.
Physically recording your thoughts is an essential step in this process. In mindfulness exercises, the focus is trained on a single thing in order to root ourselves in the present, whether that be breath, a distant point, or physical sensations. This soft focus sharpens our experience of the present, not only in the moments during our practice but eventually weaving itself into our daily experiences as well. In a similar way, gratitude journaling sharpens our awareness of the many things we have to be grateful for. With consistent practice, gratitude becomes easier and easier. It crops up in the places we least expect it.
Below are some prompts to get you started:
- What are three things that you are grateful for in this moment?
- What is the biggest challenge you have overcome recently? Reflect on the work you did to move past it; the things that helped you.
- How do you like to be uplifted by your friends and family? How can you lift them up?
- What little things have made your day in the past week?
- How can you make today great?
- What positive affirmations are you thinking of in this moment?
Ready to get started? DesignWorks Ink has some great journals to help if you are just starting in the practice or are a seasoned pro! Our journals are designed for writers, dreamers, and lovers of great design. Check out some of our great journals to help you get started in your practice today. We offer guided wellness journals, gratitude journals, blank notebooks with today's best designs. Start shopping here now!