A man sitting on the ground in a forest, writing in a large pad

Unlock Happiness with Gratitude Journaling

The Power of Gratitude

Our brains have a negativity bias. They focus on threats and problems. This was helpful for survival in the past, but today it can lead to stress and a skewed perception of reality. Gratitude acts as a counterbalance. Take time to appreciate the good things in life, from a delicious meal to a supportive friend. From a finishing a successful project to completing a workout. Appreciating these little wins activates the brain's reward system.

Studies show this leads to increased happiness. It reduces stress, and improves sleep. Gratitude isn't wishful thinking, it's a tool for rewiring your brain for positivity.

Practising gratitude can:

Ok, you know the benefits and you've made the decision to get started with your gratitude journal. What next?

A happy woman sitting next to a swimming pool writing on a laptop computer

Getting Started with Gratitude Journaling

Building a new habit is difficult. It might be that you don't have enough time in your day, or you're busy with family commitments. Perhaps your work keeps you occupied long into the evening. Start slow, and try to build a regular habit of gratitude journaling. It doesn't matter how, get started today.

Choose your method

The classic journaling tools are the humble pen and paper. This is by far the easiest and fastest way to get started. Most of us have pen and paper lying around somewhere. Although a notepad or designated journal tend to be more popular for better organisation.

But as technology has grown, journaling apps and websites have sprung up to digitise your gratitude journal and store it online instead. We might be a bit biased, but Forever Diary is a perfect choice for keeping your gratitude journal online. With a blazing fast website and securely encrypted data, it's ideal for keeping your thoughts in one place.

Set a gratitude journaling schedule

There might not be any direct benefits to keeping to a schedule. But it's much easier to develop a habit if you have a trigger to kick off your writing. If you keep a physical journal, place it on your pillow when you make the bed in the morning. This prompts you to write in it before tucking yourself in to bed at night.

Alternatively, set an alarm on your phone or use Forever Diary's built-in reminder so that you never forget to make your daily gratitude entry.

Be specific in your entries

Let's be honest, being vague sucks. "I'm grateful for my friends" is all well and good, but who isn't? Be as specific as you can. "I'm grateful for my friend Lisa for taking the time out of her day to listen to the issues I'm having at work." "It meant a lot to me that David brought me lunch at work." "I am thankful to Susan for the fantastic dinner we shared tonight." These are much more specific and do a better job. You'll also reap the benefits of reviewing these entries in days, weeks, months or years to come.

A girl sitting on her bed, reflecting and writing in her diary

Enhancing Your Gratitude Journey

Switch up your tools

If you started out with a notepad and pen, it's never too late to switch it up to a digital gratitude diary. Make the change to Forever Diary, for example, and you can enjoy the our advanced features. Use our built-in reminders so that you never forget to update your mind journal. Add a short, daily gratitude. Add photos to summarise your day's activities. Create labels to group together your entries.

Find prompts for reflection

Writer's block is very real. Even if you're only trying to write a sentence or two, it's easy for that mental block to stop you in your tracks when you see the empty page. Choose a prompt for reflection that can give you a jumping off point when the pen hits the paper, or when your fingers start typing away.

Embrace Gratitude, Embrace Life!

Start today and experience the transformative power

Whatever the challenge, it always feels like something you can take on another day. Don't delay. With gratitude journaling, it's so simple to start. Don't put it off for another minute. Start with a one-sentence entry right now and then build on that day after day.

Find the approach that works for you

No one solution is right for everyone. Choose the style that suits you and that you feel comfortable with. Here at Forever Diary, we're always improving our journaling service. If you think something is missing, let us know and maybe we'll add it for you!

Cultivate a life filled with appreciation

Gratitude journaling brings so many benefits. Fill your life with appreciation and reap those benefits for days, weeks, months or even years to come. Learning to express gratitude has the potential to improve every aspect of your life.