Let Light into Your Life with a Journal

Last year when I found myself struggling to get up in the morning, my dad called me and offered some advice. “Wake up with a purpose, stop reading news that makes you sad, do something nice for a stranger and give thanks that you can wake up.” They’re simple maxims of how one chooses to live their life, but at the time they seemed easier said than done. 

I used to journal every single night of high school and thought it would be a good idea to keep up the habit while in college. Realistically, it’s harder because I’m busier now than I was four years ago, but I make time when I can to jot down my feelings in my notebooks. One journal that I’ve found myself regularly jotting down my thoughts is my gratitude journal. It helps me wake up with purpose and allows me to see all that I have to be grateful for. 

There are different ways to approach a gratitude journal, but the concept is pretty simple. Here’s the method that works for me:

When I wake up in the morning, I write down all the things I have to look forward to in the day. The list is short but it gives me a purpose when I walk out the door. Today I wrote about looking forward to seeing my friends in class, crossing things off my to-do list and taking myself on a solo adventure around the city with my day off tomorrow. Before tucking myself into bed, I list all the great things that happened during my day—even the small things, like buying a new face serum or having great pizza. 

Being able to physically hold all the small things that life has going for me puts things into perspective. My gratitude journal asks me to look on the bright side of life. I’ve learned that good comes in and out of your life only if you let it. This simple habit has worked for me and I think everyone could benefit from it, too.