Cultivating Gratitude Through the Year: How to Start a Gratitude Journal by Dr. Bradley Nelson

Mindfulness
11 months ago
Cultivating Gratitude Through the Year: How to Start a Gratitude Journal

After a year of pandemic and disasters, the new year brings a chance for a fresh start. But no matter what 2021 brings, we can lead happier lives if we cultivate an attitude of gratitude. We all have stress from the pandemic and from the election, yet to be happy and positive, it’s important to focus on things that make us happy.

Studies have consistently shown that thankfulness and the expression of gratitude can have profound effects on health, moods and interpersonal relationships. By shifting your focus to what you’re grateful for, you’ll start to see all the blessings in your life more clearly. My simple tip is to start a daily gratitude practice.

How to Start a Gratitude Journal

All you need is a piece of paper and a pen. Or you might choose a nice gratitude journal to write in each day. Some come with gratitude prompts already included that might make it easier to begin.

Start by writing down a few things you’re grateful for. Go into as much detail as you can. If you feel stumped getting started, that’s OK – give yourself time. As you practice gratitude more frequently, you’ll likely be able to identify things you’re grateful for with ease.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Write about a person in your life whom you’re thankful for.
  • What skills or abilities do you have that you’re grateful for?
  • Write a note to someone whom you’re grateful for. (Bonus points if you share the note with them!)
  • What positive changes in your life have happened in the last year?
  • What is something you’re grateful to have learned this week?
  • What are you thankful for about the city you live in?
  • What does your body allow you to do that you’re grateful for?
  • Write about something you’ve been taking for granted that you’re actually glad is part of your life.

We can even be grateful for difficulties we have experienced by recognizing how they have helped us grow. The challenges and difficulties we experience are what provide us with the ability to grow and overcome. We sometimes appreciate those things more afterwards but if we can recognize their value in the moment, it's to our benefit.

The content on 30Seconds.com is for informational and entertainment purposes only, and should not be considered medical advice. The information on this site should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, and is not a substitute for professional care. Always consult your personal healthcare provider. The opinions or views expressed on 30Seconds.com do not necessarily represent those of 30Seconds or any of its employees, corporate partners or affiliates.

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bepositive
So true. There’s always something to be grateful for. 🙏🏼
Elisa A. Schmitz 30Seconds
This is a wonderful way to start off the New Year (or to do anytime). I love your actionable list, it helps to get the thoughts flowing. Thank you for sharing, Dr. Bradley Nelson !

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