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Your official guide to gratitude journaling

This time of year is *perfect* for honoring what—and who—you feel thankful for. But you don't have to wait for a holiday to do that! Gratitude journaling is a great way for you to reflect on the little things that make you happy and appreciative. Not sure where to start? We've got you covered with our ultimate guide to gratitude journaling!

So, what exactly *is* gratitude journaling?

Not your average journal! Gratitude journaling is the practice of reflecting on and recording the things that you're grateful for. Recently, it's become a popular habit in the field of positive psychology, a branch of psychology that focuses on life's best qualities—anything that improves people's well-being!

And what's so great about it?

Gratitude journaling might sound super simple, but it's associated with *so* many benefits. Research has found that keeping a gratitude journal boosts someone's mood, gives them hope and keeps them grounded. It can even help people sleep better (come on, whose sleep schedule *doesn't* need a serious makeover?) and stress less! And those are just a few things amongst many. Journaling isn't too time-consuming, and its benefits can stick with you long after you've put down your pen for the day.

How do I start?

While there's no wrong or right way to keep a journal, these tips might help get you started!

Choose what works best for *you.*

Maybe you just saw this super-cute notebook at the bookstore, and it'd be the perf fit for your journal. Or maybe you like a journal with guided prompts to help you figure out what to write about. Or, an app is more of your thing. Whatever you choose, pick the journaling method that is most your style!

Set a time.

The best part of journaling is that you can do it whenever you want, however you want. It's awesome to be that person who journals every day, but sometimes things just get super busy! So find the right time for you, whether that's every day or once a week, first thing in the morning or before bed at night (my personal fave). It's totally up to you to decide!

Be specific.

Something I really love about journaling is going back later and reading what I've written in the past! It's a great way to see how much you've grown, remember fun things that you've done and just reflect on whatever you were experiencing at the time. It can make your fave memories feel like they were just yesterday. So, be specific when you're writing—your future self will thank you for it!

What do I write about?

Anything and everything! It really depends on what you want to write about that day. But if you're feeling stuck, try out some of these prompts:

Make a list of things you're grateful for.

Write about your fave thing that happened today.

Describe someone you love and what makes them so special.

Write about something that comforts you in a tough time (movie, book, TV show, food, person, etc.)

Write about a random nice thing someone did today that made you smile.

Make a list of small good things that happened during the day, week, etc.

Write about a memory you miss.

Write about something that you're excited for. 

Happy gratitude journaling! 

Tag us in your journaling pics on Insta @girlslifemag!

All GIFs via GIPHY

Slider image via @alice_journals

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by Samara Smukler | 11/24/2021
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