How Writing in a Gratitude Journal Changed My Life

gratitude journal

‘Tis the season for gratitude. Giving thanks seems to be on everyone's mind during this time, but we're more interested in ways to keep the gratitude flowing year round.  One of our favorite ways to do that is through using a gratitude journal.

Our Executive Assistant & Chief People's Person here at Annmarie Skin Care, Nataly Prince, writes in a gratitude journal every morning. It caught my attention, so I decided to ask her a few questions about it. It turns out, this journaling practice has had a transformative effect on the way she experiences and practices gratitude

We chatted with Nataly about how she uses her gratitude journal and what changes she's noticed in her life since working with it.

What inspired you to start gratitude journaling?

Nataly: This is something I started a year ago, on and off, writing 3-4 things that made me smile during the day. I didn’t consider it journaling, just something I did every once and while.

For my birthday, one of our amazing team members gave me a beautiful gratitude journal. It challenged me to wake up everyday, write three things I was grateful for, three things that would make the day great, and my daily motto/theme song to get me aligned.

Some examples of what I write:

I AM GRATEFUL FOR…

  • A body that is healthy and carries me well throughout my day
  • Sundays: making dinner, time at the park with the pup & spending quality time with my boyfriend
  • A good night’s sleep and an early start to my morning

(One day I even wrote ‘gluten-free chicken fingers'….sky's the limit)

WHAT WOULD MAKE TODAY GREAT..

  • Deep breaths
  • Running for 30 minutes and taking the time to stretch for 10 minutes
  • Setting time aside to read before bed

I feel like this was a great way to set small goals, and holding myself accountable to them feels really good.

Did you set any intentions when you started journaling?

Was there anything you were hoping to get out of it?

Nataly: Peace of mind. A positive, intentional mindset.

When my internal world is peaceful I feel like I can succeed in helping others and bring light to someone’s day. As cheesy as it sounds, I feel like it’s my purpose.

When I have internal turmoil, for whatever reason, I am not at my best to serve anyone around me, and that’s a struggle I wanted to help eradicate through gratitude and journaling.

Walk us through your journaling routine…

when, where, how often? Do you keep any rituals to help center yourself before?

Nataly: With the gratitude journal, it is first thing in the morning, before I start work, before I dive deep into any part of my day. I found it was helpful & more enjoyable to do as I sip my morning coffee or tea. Warm fuzzy feelings in the mind & body .

At night, the journal has a place to write three amazing things that happened and something that could have made today better. This area allowed me to see where I could have extended more patience, or been more present and just brings more of an awareness to my day.

What effects in your life have you noticed since you started journaling?

Nataly: The biggest thing is my mantra. Nailing that part down was hard for me and you can see scribbles and scratch outs on that section of my journal for the first couple weeks. It never felt aligned, or good enough, or flowy.

I had an ‘AH-HA’ moment in the shower (the best place for thinking right?) I was doing a hair mask and straightening out my shampoo & conditioner bottles (mild OCD), when I read the back of one of them.

I am in harmony with the flow of life’ it said. And I thought… that’s it. I am not in control, so much randomness that happens in my day is what I end up being so grateful for, so yes, I AM IN HARMONY WITH THE FLOW OF LIFE (or I try to be).

So that’s my daily mantra. Thank you shampoo.

Has writing in your journal helped you to be more grateful in person as well?

Has it affected the way you think about what you're thankful for in real time?

Nataly: Hell yes. Can I say that? Hell yes. Your perspective completely changes when you live in gratitude. Bad things become..not so bad. They become lessons, learning curves, comfort zone breakers.

When you extend gratitude in your day you are helping others do the same, whether you know it or not. Being grateful is like shining a light on yourself. You glow and sparkle and don’t let anything dull you. You are (literally) in harmony with the flow of life.

Have you tried writing in a gratitude journal? How do you practice gratitude? Opening up the comments for discussion.

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