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Gratitude Journals
What to Write in Them

Gratitude journals are valuable when learning how to develop gratitude, but what goes in them?  There are many ways you can express your gratitude in your journals. Some ideas include...

Reflections of gratitude, poems of gratitude, stories of gratitude, gratitude lyrics and a gratitude letter or list.

Reflections of Gratitude

If you've spent much time on my site, you'll know that I'm a big fan of journaling out my thoughts on paper.  When I do this, I let my thoughts “run rampant,” which always leads to creative insights.

Sometimes, however, while I'm journaling, I focus my attention on one aspect of my life, such as being grateful for one item, and then let my thoughts run rampant about only that one item.

What usually comes up are reflections of gratitude that carry insight and lessons about how I'm living my life around being grateful, as well as more ideas about how I can become more grateful for that particular aspect of my life.

Gratitude Quotes

Including some gratitude quotes at the beginning of each journaling session is a nice way for you to focus your reflections of gratitude on thoughts around what those quotes bring up for you.

Or, perhaps if you'd rather make your journal more like a “scrapbook” type of reference, you can make the quotes of gratitude into postcards and place them into your journal.

I've provided some free postcards with quotes about gratitude in my “Gratitude Quotes” article.  Click here to go there now and take a peek.  When you're done, hit the back button and I'll be here waiting for you...

Gratitude Letter

A gratitude letter can be a great vehicle to use to come up with ways to be grateful for someone in your life.  This is especially good to do when you are angry with someone because by doing this exercise, it changes your energy around them.

While this exercise doesn't change them and their attitudes, it does change your attitude toward them, which opens your mind up for new ideas about your relationship with that person.

You can also make up a gratitude letter that you'd like to receive from someone about you.  I know this might sound crazy, but if you feel like that person feels a certain way about you, you're more likely to “live up to this person's expectations” of who you are in that letter.

Gratitude Lyrics

Sometimes a good thing to do is to jot down some lyrics from songs that are about gratitude and appreciation.  This is especially strong because when you read the lyrics, you're more likely to “hear” the song playing as well...

And anytime we hear words combined with music, we're more likely to remember and absorb them.

Gratitude Prayer

Whether you believe in a “higher power” or not, including a gratitude prayer or two in your journal can help you “reach out” for help to gain a greater sense of gratitude and appreciation. 

This “reaching out” may be to a higher power for support, or to yourself for the strength to “see it through” to the end.

I've also written an article that compares a gratitude prayer with a gratitude meditation and discuss how to use them in tandem.  Click here to go to that article and then return...

Gratitude Poems

When you come across some gratitude poems that inspire you, I usually recommend making them into postcards like I recommended above with the gratitude quotes. But, in this case, I'd like to suggest that you also handwrite the poems of gratitude into your journal.


Because writing out your favorite gratitude poems by hand can help embed the “feeling” of those words of gratitude into your body.  Kind of like writing “I will not....” on the blackboard 100 times when we were a kid...

Same concept, but this time you're using this form of physical anchoring to implant positive thoughts, rather than the negative “I will not...”

Stories of Gratitude

This idea is very fun if you make it into a game by asking people around you what they are grateful for and then tell you a quick story about it.

This exercise gives you “fuel for the fire” so you can then go back to your journal and summarize your “take” on how this story affected you.

Did it inspire you or not?

Write out your feelings about these person's stories of gratitude.

Gratitude List

Of course, any gratitude journal would not be complete without including a gratitude list, which is a list of things that you are grateful for and appreciate.

If you're short on things to come up with, I've written an article giving you tips about your gratitude list.  Click here to visit that article and then come back and we'll finish up.


As you can see, there are a multitude of ways to use your personal journals of gratitude.  Whether you are journaling out your own thoughts and reflections of gratitude, or writing out your favorite poems of gratitude, you have a variety of ways to make a gratitude journal work for you.

best-ways-to-instill-gratitudeAnother great way to develop gratitude is through hypnosis.  

Check out this article that tells you the results of a study conducted in tandem by the Universities of California and Miami about the benefits of maintaining a grateful disposition.

It also has a hypnosis download that helps you "take the easy route" to developing an attitude of gratitude.

Click here to check out this great article about the Study results and the hypnosis download.

Here's an article that gives you other ideas about how to develop gratitude:

How to Develop Gratitude:  Tools to Work Up the Emotional Scale
Learning how to develop gratitude when you're fixed in a mode of depression is easier to do when you understand that if you can maintain an attitude of gratitude long enough, you'll gently...


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