How To Practice Gratitude By Journaling!

notebook-with-i-am-grateful-for-in-handwritten-text-picture-id1203067809 Make gratitude journaling a regular part of your self-care practice

I know, I know… you’ve heard everyone from Oprah to Gwyneth sing the praises of practicing gratitude and the importance of creating a gratitude journal. 

But do these kinds of trendy approaches really work? You bet your sweet mystical pirate booty they do!

You know I love my “woo,” but I also want to ground everything in the practical. If it ain’t working, I ain’t wasting my time on it… which is why I can say with complete confidence that gratitude journaling is one of the most beneficial habits you can develop if you want more blessings, more magic, and more miracles in your life. 

Benefits of Gratitude

Even in the midst of one of the most radical collectively tough years in our lifetimes, we can practice gratitude — not as a way to bypass the tough stuff, but as a way to show the Universe that we recognize that we’re being loved and supported too— “both, and”.

And that love and support are what will allow us to continue to fight for equality, to choose justice, and to create more compassion and love in the world.

Research shows that people who consciously count their blessings tend to be happier and experience fewer mental health challenges. In fact, some scientists say that intentionally practicing gratitude can actually change your brain (a brain rehab — how cool is that?!).

In case you’re thinking this sounds like a lot of work, you’ll be relieved to know that gratitude journaling can take just a few minutes of your day (or longer, if you like!). The great thing about journaling is you can do it anywhere, at any time of day, and it doesn’t require any specific equipment (I find I get a lot more benefit from writing by hand than by sitting at my computer… but hey, you do you!).  


Here are some easy ways to make gratitude journaling a regular part of your self-care practice:

Tip #1: Strive for five

When someone told Oprah, “Oh, Oprah, it’s easy for you to be grateful because you have everything,” she answered, “I have everything because I’m grateful!”

Oprah is famous for sharing that she made it a habit for over a decade to end her day by writing down five things she was grateful for. This is a lovely way to send yourself off to la-la land with sweet dreams!

Don’t worry about making complete sentences or picking huge, life-altering things. It can be as simple as, “Drinking coffee on the porch while the geese call out as they fly overhead,” or “I got the good parking place at work.” 

Tip #2: Bracket your day

I like to start my day by setting an intention for the hours ahead, and one of the most powerful emotions is gratitude. By writing down three things in the morning and then three additional things I’m grateful for in the evening, I make sure I’m covered! (Hey, I have a short attention span…!) I find that I notice more little blessings during the day when I start out the morning with gratitude. 

Tip #3: Write a gratitude letter

Sometimes, I like to go really deep. I’ll pick one thing in my world and write a love letter to it in my journal.

As an animist, I see and honor the soul in all things, so I might write a love letter to the flowers in my garden, or I might write a love letter to my old nanny Mrs. Kelly who first introduced me to divination. 

It doesn’t matter if the thing you’re writing to is “living,” or if the person you’re writing to has passed over. You can still express your love and appreciation for what they’ve brought to your life! (And remember, no one says you have to actually MAIL the letter… though you might want to!)

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