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Over the past few years, journaling has become more popular because of its health and lifestyle benefits. Gratitude journaling in specific is beneficial for maintaining good mental health, as it can help reduce stress and anxiety levels and improve sleep quality. It’s easy to get caught up in the busy moments of everyday life but taking some time to reflect allows you to stay grounded and be mindful about the positive aspects of your life. If you’ve been thinking about starting a gratitude journal, here’s how to begin. 

First, get a nice notebook or journal so you can keep all your reflections in one place. Indigo sells some really cute ones with a large variety to choose from. When you have your journal, set aside some time each day or week, just for writing. It doesn’t have to be long, even five to ten minutes can be enough for you to jot down some of your thoughts. You may find yourself wanting to write for longer which is great too! The main thing is that it should be something that you’re doing for yourself and shouldn’t feel like a chore. 

Sometimes it can be hard to know what to write, so here are a few prompts to help you get started: 

What is one thing I appreciate about a friend/partner/family member? 

What is something that I appreciate about myself?

Am I happy with how today went? If not, that’s okay. What can I do to make tomorrow better?

What is something that cheers me up when I feel down? 

What is something that made me smile this week? 

What is the biggest gift in my life right now, despite the circumstances?

There are also so many Instagram accounts that talk about journaling and they offer great inspiration for times when you feel stuck. My personal favourites are @fiveminutejournal, @gratitudejournalproject and @the_gratitude_list on Instagram. This blog post by The Good Trade talks about the author's experience with using Instagram as a gratitude journal and her reflections after a week. All of these are a great place to get started if you don’t know where to begin! 

Something to keep in mind is that there’s no wrong way to journal. After all, journaling is something that’s personal to you and each person’s reflections are different. Find what works for you and maintain that practice regularly, whether that means writing once every day or once a week. Also take note of how you’re feeling after you start your gratitude journal and you may notice some positive changes over time! If you’re on the fence about it, it’s definitely worth giving a try and you might end up surprising yourself with the results. 

Asmaa Toor

Toronto MU '21

Asmaa is a fourth-year journalism student at Ryerson. You can usually find her spending time with her friends or trying out new glam makeup looks. She loves all things journalism and writes about just anything and everything, from beauty to business to current affairs. You can catch her on Instagram @asmaatoor.
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