Today you’ll learn how to use this simple free printable gratitude journal pdf and why it works.
Indeed, getting started a gratitude journal, and actually keeping it can be a real struggle.
In fact, I tried making daily gratitude journaling a habit several times.
After a lot of trials and errors, I finally come up with the best gratitude workbook that works for me.
With this in mind, I created a minimalist free printable gratitude journal pdf. Along with this, in this blog post, you can find step by step guide to help you start or finish (or both) your day on a positive note.
So if you’re still wondering:
- what the purpose of a gratitude journal is
- how to start a gratitude journal
- what you should write in a gratitude journal
- what the best gratitude journal is
- where you can get a gratitude journal (hint: you can download template for free)
Then keep reading.
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What Is The Purpose of a Gratitude Journal
First and foremost, let me explain what a gratitude journal is.
Basically, it’s a type of journal where you write down all things you’re grateful for.
Undoubtedly, practicing gratitude regularly (hint: it doesn’t have to be daily!) has many benefits for your mind, body, and soul.
Expressing gratitude allows you to focus on only positive thoughts which helps you to:
- feel less stressed
- reduce anxiety
- sleep better and longer
- feel happier
- be healthier (stronger immune system, lower blood pressure)
- ease pains
- improve relationships
And although it may sound unrealistic (trust me, I was so skeptical about this whole gratitude thing), it’s definitely worth trying. For this reason, you can download a free gratitude journal template from my resource library to see how this simple self-care practice improves your life quality tremendously.
Download Your Free Printable Gratitude Journal
How to Start a Gratitude Journal
Now when you know what the purpose of a gratitude journal is, before you get my free gratitude worksheets pdf, here I gathered the best tips I wish I knew sooner.
It’s ok to use your journal once or twice a week
Unquestionably, it was the very first reason I failed with keeping a gratitude journal so many times. As usual, I was so motivated and enthusiastic at the beginning. After a couple of days, my motivation decreased significantly. And with an “all or nothing” mindset, missing two or three days in the row was enough to give the idea of gratitude journaling up.
Obviously, it’s so cool to include this self-care activity as part of your daily routine. However, it’s really tough, especially at the beginning. Sometimes it may even start to remind some kind of daily chores you have to do it.
So keep in mind that using a journal even once a week but regularly is more beneficial for you than using it daily but for a short period of time.
Include journaling in your routine
With that being said, schedule your gratitude journaling as a part of your morning or evening routine. Even if you use the journal once a week.
Get a gratitude journal you’ll love to use
Generally, one of the most popular questions when it comes to gratitude journaling is about the journal itself.
What is the best gratitude journal?
As always, I simply say that it all depends on your personal preferences.
For example, you can use as a gratitude journal the following tools:
- my free printable gratitude journal pdf
- random school notebook
- bullet journal
- digital gratitude workbook
- gratitude journal app like Presently: A Gratitude Journal
- guided gratitude journal book
Here you can find the best daily journals for 2021.
Overall, my best advice would be to use a journal you enjoy the most. When it makes you feel excited and motivated to actually spend maybe 5 minutes practicing gratitude, it’s a sign you find the one that works for you.
Use gratitude journal prompts
The next common issue almost every beginner has with practicing gratitude is what you should put on your daily pages.
In fact, every time I tried to use the famous “I am grateful for” area with three lines below, I wrote the most basic things (family, health, etc). And I quickly felt that this entire expressing gratitude thing doesn’t have any sense.
In that case, I just made the most common mistake – I wasn’t specific enough.
Moreover, I didn’t have clue what I should write in a gratitude journal. This is how I discovered gratitude journal prompts.
What you should write in a gratitude journal
Basically, journal prompts are guided and thoughtful questions that help you reflect on the smallest aspect of your life.
Definitely, working with gratitude journal prompts was a real game-changer for me.
You’ll no longer star at the blank page, having emptiness in your mind and feeling uninspired.
As an organized person, I like to categorize journal prompts into 4 categories:
To create a gratitude journal prompt I simply choose one thing from one category and then I add one of these three sentences below:
- the thing I love about…
- my favorite…
- the thing I love about (experiences) the current season
- my favorite (people) blogger
- describe (places) a magical place in the neighborhood
- the thing I love about (people) my body
- my favorite (non-living things) clothing piece
- describe (experience) the best food memory from this year
Always ask yourself “why?”
Last but not least, you always want to ask yourself why you’re grateful for this specific person/item/place/experience.
For example, I’m grateful for a specific experience because it:
- taught me….
- made me growth
- prove to me that…
Or alternatively, I’m thankful for this specific item because it:
- helps me to be…
- allows me to do…
- makes me feel…
Definitely, it’ll make your gratitude practice completed.
Gratitude Journal Example
Journal Prompt: describe a place that makes me relaxed.
I’m grateful for my living room nook because it’s a place where I can be 100% myself. I feel relaxed when I’m sitting in a cocoon hanging egg chair, having fluffy throw pillows minimized my lower back pain. After snuggling in a warm blanket with a hot cup of lemon tea, I feel safe. Being surrounded by plants, I’m connected with nature. After a long day in front of a screen, I’m grateful to read a book and feel peace in my mind.
Free Printable Gratitude Journal Pdf with Journal Prompts
Definitely, almost all my gratitude journals looked the same.
Well, I don’t know even if I can name the small part of the daily planner schedule a gratitude journal. But what I know for sure – it didn’t make me feel excited to actually complete it. Quite the contrary, I was so bored with the basic design.
Also, I tried a gratitude journal as a separate lined notebook. And although I loved journal prompts, it stressed me out. I almost feel forced to complete all empty lines.
With this in mind, I designed my free journal pdf template includes:
- 1 letter size (8.5 x 11”) dot grid gratitude journal page
Definitely, dot grid paper gives you more freedom and flexibility (surely, this is why we love bullet journaling). Apart from expressing gratitude with words, I love using simple doodles, drawings, scraps of paper, or even photos. Sometimes it’s so much easier to say something in visual form than find the right words.
- journal prompts examples
Without a doubt, getting started with a gratitude journal is less overwhelmed with already pre-made journal prompts. Feel free to use my favorite journal prompts for a smooth start to your gratitude journey.
Free Printable Gratitude Journal Pdf – Final Thoughts
To sum up, keeping a gratitude journal is a great way to create positive thoughts, focusing on only one, even the smallest, thing at a time.
The best part is that it doesn’t have to be something really extravagant like flying in a hot air balloon in Cappadocia.
Five minutes alone in silence, your kid’s hug, or a song you haven’t heard in a very long time – discover gratitude in these moments.
Also, keep in mind that it’s always easier to be grateful when everything in your life goes amazing. However, try to find what you’re grateful for when your world seems to fall apart.
I hope my free printable gratitude journal pdf makes you feel excited about getting started with practicing gratitude. Obviously, if you’ve got any feedback, feel free to email me.