Giving thanks isn’t just good manners. Noticing what you’re grateful for can shift your mindset, changing your perspective on difficult days and making brilliant ones shine even brighter. Using a gratitude journal to put your appreciation on paper cultivates a helpful habit, encouraging you to see the lighter side of life. Our journals are filled with daily prompts, monthly check-ins, activities and affirmations to help you say thanks. We’ve also put together this list of tips and tricks to help you use a gratitude journal, plus reminders of why staying grateful feels so good.
It’s easy to obsess. We can often get stuck in negativity, ruminating over what we’ve lost or yearning for what we don’t yet have. Taking a moment to pause and give thanks for the present moment won’t eliminate the negatives, but it can make them fade into the background. Focusing on all that you’re grateful for makes it easier to navigate the ebbs and flows of life. You’ll become more aware of moments that make you feel good, and have increased patience during challenging periods.
Sometimes it’s the little things that bring the biggest smiles. While it’s great to celebrate milestones such as promotions, birthdays or engagements, not every day will be that thrilling. Gratitude isn’t just for appreciating those big moments in life. You can feel thankful for clean bedsheets, the crunch of autumn leaves or sunshine streaming through your office window. The more time you spend noticing the present, the less space in your mind for worrying about the past or anticipating the future.
Giving thanks feels good. Prepare to see shifts both physically and mentally – experience more positive emotions, better sleep, less fatigue and improved resilience. To track these effects, you could also use a wellness journal, which pairs gratitude with goals, check-ins and pages to track sleep and meals. If giving thanks is the main goal, then our gratitude journals have plenty of prompts and activities to help you find joy on good days and bad.
Like any new habit, give yourself time to adjust. The important thing is taking a mindful moment when you can. Our gratitude journals are undated, so you can write at your own pace. Some people like to create a daily ritual, while others may only have time to note their thankfulness once a week. Simply open a blank page, write the date and circle the day of the week. It’s also a helpful way to notice how your mindset shifts throughout the week. Always thankful once it’s Friday? Do you struggle to see the light on Monday mornings? Don’t judge your feelings, but make note of them, and see if they change as you continue your gratitude practice.
Are you an early bird or a night owl? To create a habit that you’ll want to stick with, personalize the practice to your lifestyle. Our journals come with prompts for both morning and evening. Do you rise with the sun? Try noting down what you’re thankful for while you sip your morning coffee. More nocturnal? Curl up and get cozy with your journal before bed. While you’ll see significant results from practising morning and evening, consistency is key, so figure out what works best for you.
If you forget a day or a week, show yourself some forgiveness. Instead of slipping into negative self-talk, try one of the positive affirmations in your journal. Say it out loud in front of the mirror, or just quietly inside your mind. It may feel strange if you’ve never done affirmations before, but the way we talk to ourselves can have a huge impact on our health. Once you’ve shared some kind words with yourself, try your best to get back into the gratitude habit as soon as you can. Don’t wait for tomorrow or next week, pick up your journal and a pen when you remember. There’s no time like the present to give thanks.
When life gets busy or stressful, it’s particularly tough to acknowledge the good things. We know there are some days that just don’t go your way. We’ve all had them – you spill coffee on your white shirt, miss your bus and get splashed by muddy water as it passes you by. All before 9am. On these days, you may feel like you have nothing to be thankful for. A gratitude journal can help make happiness a habit. Regularly looking for things you appreciate can train your mind to see a little light every day. Putting pen to paper means you’re more likely to practise gratitude both on and off the page, even on the darkest days.
To get the most out of gratitude, tap into your feelings. While it’s fine to feel grateful for your favorite jumper or a gift from a friend, try and understand what makes those objects special. Instead of focusing on what you have, encourage yourself to think about how you feel. Is that jumper special because it’s your favorite colour, or because your grandmother knitted it? Try thinking of things you love that have nothing to do with the material world. Does waving to your neighbor every morning make you smile? Do you find your mood lifting when you hear birdsong in the morning? Getting in touch with your feelings can help you realize what’s really important. If connecting with your emotions doesn’t come naturally to you, check out some of the uplifting mottos in your journal. You’ll be feeling it in no time.
Sometimes you need to take a step back to see what’s right in front of you. Our journals have pages to reflect every thirty days, so you can contemplate your life with a touch more perspective. Note down thoughts, feelings, moments and lessons that have been stuck in your mind all month long. There’s also a life wheel which gives you the opportunity to visualize how much energy you’ve been giving different areas of your life. If you find yourself dedicating too much time to work this month, see how you can shift your focus to your mental health for the next thirty days. Seeing your priorities on paper helps you find areas in your life that may be neglected. You’re aiming for balance here, but it’s more about noticing than judging. Write it down, reflect on how you could change, then move on with your day.
Sometimes, you might not feel able to say thanks. On dark days where you can’t find any positives at all, try flipping your perspective. If that date ghosted you, what has it shown you about yourself? Maybe it’s made you realize how empathetic and kind you are. If you miss out on that job, think of all the possibilities that you’re now still free to pursue. Get into the habit of rethinking negatives to try to find a positive. If it’s something you struggle with, you can use one of the reframing exercises in your journal, which will prompt you to write about what’s happening in detail. And if you still can’t see the light? That’s okay too. Sometimes there is no rhyme nor reason to the difficult days in life. It’s those moments you can turn to previous pages, reminding yourself that brighter days were there before and will come once more.
If the present is proving particularly challenging, try looking to the future. Some of the gratitude journal activities are geared towards using your imagination, like writing a letter to your future self. Imagine who you’ll be in a month, a year, or a decade, and tell them about a recent favourite memory. Or, imagine things that could be just around the corner. Maybe you’ve landed your dream job or you’re living overseas. Feel free to ask yourself questions or describe your hopes for the future. It’s fun to look forward.
Whether you give thanks daily or a few times a week, any sort of regular practice will clear your mind and benefit your body. When we notice the sweeter moments in life, good days seem longer and bad days pass sooner. We promise.
Ready to start? Find your gratitude journal here. If you’ve already picked your journal, we’ve curated a list of our favourite prompts to help you find things to write about.
Which season suits you the most?
Any pets you love?
What’s a song that always lifts your mood?
Look around the room, find one thing that makes you feel good.
What dream or aspiration are you glad to have?
What’s a memory you treasure?
What’s your favorite thing to wear?
Where’s your favorite place in the world?
What’s your favorite part of your personality?
What’s one thing you love about the way you look?
What’s something you’re proud of?
What’s a compliment someone has given you?
What’s one way your life has changed for the better in the last year?
What would your younger self be proud of?
What colors make you feel good?
Where do you feel most at home?
Who is a family member you’re grateful for?
Which friend do you appreciate the most?
What do you like to do with friends?
What do you like to do with your family?
Do you have a partner you’re thankful for? If you’re single – how are you grateful to spend time with yourself?
Can you think of a recent memory you shared with a loved one?
What do you like to eat and drink?
What do you like to do in your spare time?
What do you like about the city you live in?
Is there somewhere you go regularly that you love?
Are there any green spaces, beaches or mountains nearby that bring you joy?
How do you love to spend your weekends?
If you had a spare hour, what would you do?
What’s a special memory from a holiday, birthday or occasion?
Do you have a favorite way to get creative?
What’s a movie/TV show you love?
Do you have a favorite book?
Who is your favorite musician?
Do you have a favorite artist?
What’s a quote you find inspiring?
What do you love about your job/studies?
Who are your favorite people to work with?
What’s something you’ve learnt this year?
What can you be proud of at work/school/university?
What’s an achievement you’re proud of?
Who is someone whose career inspires you?
What’s your favorite thing to eat? To drink?
What’s your favorite way to move your body?
What about your physical health are you grateful for?
What do you appreciate about your mental health?
How do you like to practice self-care?
Who do you like to communicate with?
How do you connect with yourself?
What’s a smell you love?
What do you love to see?
What’s your favorite sound in nature?
What’s your favorite music?
What are your favorite ways to be cosy?
What’s your favorite weather?
Do you have a favorite time of day?