Apr 8

Gratitude Journal – As simple as it sounds? #AtoZChallenge 2015 @AprilA2Z

‘G is for Gratitude | Positive & Inspired Living A to Z’


Writing a gratitude journal has been on my ‘To-Do List’ forever. The concept looked great in theory, but only recently did I put it in practice.

It seemed simple enough – writing down all the things you are grateful for. But when I actually started writing, this is what my list looked like…

I am grateful for…

  • Loving Family
  • Supportive Spouse
  • Healthy Child
  • Good Friends
  • Our House

Do you see how abstract the list is? This could be anyone’s list. While, I really AM grateful for all of the things mentioned, this list does nothing for me when I look at it. Ok, actually it does. It makes me wonder why my list is so clichéd, and how is this supposed to help me?

Since then, I have tweaked a few things, and have discovered how beneficial this can be when done right . Having said that, there is no one right way of doing it. I am simply sharing what has worked for me in hope that some of it might work for you.

  • Being  specific : The supportive spouse on my list was too generic. I replaced it with a specific gesture of  support. E.g. Volunteering to take over Baby Duty 100% while I write my posts for AtoZ.
  • Quality over Quantity: I have found that elaborating in detail about a particular thing for which I am grateful for is more helpful than a superficial list of many things.
  • Going for what actually FEELS GOOD over what simply SOUNDS GOOD: I have always been in awe of people who wrote down things like this in their gratitude journal > I am grateful for *The cool breeze of an approaching Summer Storm or *The view outside of my window. These people have figured out how to see beauty in everything and are on another level of grateful living. These things look good to me in a gratitude journal, however I could not relate to them. I can’t seem to feel genuinely grateful for them. I instead focused on things that I really felt good about, even if it did not sound profound.  Sometimes that meant writing this down in my gratitude journal > I am grateful that my nightmare about a vampire hunting me and my  family down never came true. 😛

It’s easy to get numb to the regular sources of goodness in our lives.  Writing a gratitude journal has helped me appreciate the wonder in the mundane things in my life. I strongly recommend it to everyone.

Since I am fairly new to this, I am curious to hear from you guys. Have you ever written a gratitude journal? How frequently do you write in it? Please feel free to share any additional insights. It would really help.

Lots of Love


This post is written for the AtoZChallenge2015.


  1. I love the idea!! I’m going to do this.
    I try to always have an attitude of gratitude. But now I’m going to write them down.

    I really appreciate your article!

    –Mee (The Chinese Quest)
    Mee Magnum recently posted…“F” is for Flushing #AtoZChallenge @AprilA2ZMy Profile

  2. Lovely post, Shantala. I have been writing Gratitude post every month since last November. Last month I started with a gratitude journal. It is rewarding and much helpful to focus on the goodness of life. I have been posting about it daily on my blog but then stopped posting it online since I felt it isn’t exciting for the readers as much as it excites me. With travel on, I am skipping gratitude journal, but I will get on with it soon. I usually write it at the end of the day. I go through the entire in my mind acknowledging both the good and bad parts happened on the day and then write down those events and incidents which made me smile, or did not make me cry. To write gratitude notes, it is important to focus on the little things. That is what I learned through this exercise. When we focus on a simple things like a supportive husband we tend to not make a big deal next time we have a fight between us. From my experience, gratitude posts not only helps in maintaining a happy and healthy mind but it also helps in bringing that smile out on our face. Just write down all the big and small things happened on a day that made you feel grateful like having a bed to sleep on. We won’t take things for granted anymore. We will understand that how truly blessed are we even with all the short comings in life. 🙂
    Vinitha recently posted…Life Taught Lessons – G #AtoZChallengeMy Profile

  3. Loved the post. Keeping gratitude journal really helps in maintaining a positive attitude towards life 🙂
    vforchange recently posted…Fiasco-(WR)My Profile

  4. interesting post indeed 🙂 i don’t have a gratitude journal but i just think about things i’m grateful for 😀 keep writing 🙂

  5. Hey Shanaya,
    this is one subject so close to my heart. It is definitely not easy to cultivate the attitude of gratitude. We say “thanks” mechanically many times a day. But when do we mean it? I began writing my gratitude journal from December 11, 2013. I must say that my life transformed after that. I probably have missed 20-25 days when I haven’t written. I write 2-3 foolscap pages at times. My life changed completely in 2014. I just have to thank God for that. There are times when I get totally emotional when I keep listing the things I need to thank the Divine for. Awesome post! The need of the hour 😀
    You might be interested in reading a blog that I had written in this connection: http://ascensionmiracles.blogspot.in/2013/12/bhagavan-answers-my-queries.html

  6. It is something that I have been doing since some time now. I thank god for the life I have, my family and friends. But, most of all, I thank god for the things that I used to take for granted. Things like, the relationship I have with my in laws ( that’s actually important, you know!), then, my ability to accept my weaknesses and work on them, for being blessed with skills that have helped keep me sane. These are the things that, on a day to day basis, we don’t take seriously, but, when you think of it, you realise how handicapped you would be without them!
    Shilpa Gupte recently posted…A lesson learnt.My Profile

  7. Loving these posts Shantala – they’re both uplifting and thought provoking.
    Alison Williams recently posted…#A-Z Challenge: G is for GuiltMy Profile

  8. Hi Shantala,

    Enjoyed this post. Yes, I do a gratitude journal but it is more a section of my normal journal (which I write in every now and then!) So it’s more of a gratitude list at the back of my journal. I give thanks for each item every time I open my journal, and cross out things that are no longer relevant. It’s cool to look back and see all the things that I’ve been grateful for over the years.

    I enjoy the look of your blog, and I’ll be back.
    Also taking part in A to Z as Out of Africa. Here’s my G: http://www.shirleycorder.com/?795
    Shirley Corder recently posted…G is for GiraffeMy Profile

  9. Frankly I think gratitude can also go overboard. I prefer to pen down something I am truly grateful for when I feel that arise in me. Living in gratitude is great, but let’s not go overboard. too much of anything defeats its purpose. Hope that made sense.
    Suzy recently posted…Love is in the Air – GerninationMy Profile

  10. Writing a gratitude journal has been on my mind for quite some time now. Reading your post, I think I should just do it after A2Z 🙂
    Great post!
    Parul recently posted…G for Glass CeilingMy Profile

  11. I too made a journal last year.. writing down things that actually I was grateful for and it was simply an optimistic experience..!

    Well written Shanaya.. 🙂

    Geets recently posted…G- GiggleMy Profile

  12. Hi Good day! Once again lovely post. I have been writing gratitude journals on & off for 2-3 years now. It really is helpful. Puts things in perspective. I write every nyt before sleeping. I also write down my problems, things bothering me. They seem to work out in a few days 🙂
    Nilima recently posted…Whats that pic-42My Profile

  13. I have recently started maintaining a gratitude journal and it makes me feel so good whenever I read it 🙂 It is definitely a very good practice 🙂
    Swathi Shenoy recently posted…God is a GamerMy Profile

  14. Oh I did this last year and we also have a Happiness Tin at home where Gy and I periodically write down what we are happy for each day. In addition, I did a Happiness challenge with a parenting group I run on facebook and the daily messages were so thrilling to read <3 Good luck and keep it going. If you want to read my 'Gratitude Post' here it is:
    Shailaja recently posted…Gravity -#AtoZChallenge @AprilA2ZMy Profile

  15. I love the idea of a gratitude journal! I have never written one, but it would help in so many ways! Last year I picked up the idea of a happiness jar from a fellow blogger…and we do that at home even today! so this is one idea I definitely can use!

    the little princess recently posted…G for Gratuitous loveMy Profile

  16. Meghana says:

    I think I should also start writing thanksgivings so tht these would make me feel better just like the feel-good smileys :-). These would help bring positivity in me. Thanks Shantala

  17. Sulekkha says:

    I used to write one but stopped, should start again. I am visiting my mom only because my husband took over the running if the house for two days while I am away in Mumbai. I am grateful for his loving support 🙂

  18. I express my gratitude in form of a happiness jar. Each day I write down the thing that made me the happiest on a scrap of paper and put it in the jar. By the end of the year, you would be surprised on reading some of it 🙂 An inspiring post, Shantala.
    Aathira recently posted…G – GouriMy Profile

  19. I have actually signed to a 52 week gratitude challenge. But lagging behind cos of AtoZ. Sometimes it’s good to write down these tiny tot gratitude list to make us understand that these so called tiny tot things moves us forward. 🙂
    Sheethal recently posted…Gudiya …My Profile

  20. Such a wonderful post, one to remind us to appreciate the ‘good’ things happening around us or are done for us… I dont have a journal but I do try to thank God (whoever or wherever he or she is) every day..
    Archana recently posted…G is for Gool Poonawala GardenMy Profile

  21. since childhood I have been saying a thank you prayer before sleeping. Somehow , even at the end of a bad day, this makes me realise that bad days don’t last long.. and I am grateful for that too 🙂
    Rajlakshmi recently posted…Let’s lock the Gate!My Profile

  22. Your gratitude tips are pretty amazing. I’ve seen Gratitude postings on Facebook and my first thought is that’s just too public for me. With your tips and my journal, I’ll begin today. Thank you so much!

  23. I’ve never done a gratitude journal although I have though about it. Thanks for the tips about what has worked for you.
    carol recently posted…Gorky ParkMy Profile

  24. I haven’t tried gratitude journaling, but I want to. Journaling in general is pretty intimidating to me, because I haven’t had a diary since, well, grade 6 or whatever. But this is different! I can get into the zero-ing in on something in particular that you’re thankful for, because your list did pretty much look like the one I made in my head (minus the house, I have no house).
    Thanks for the tips!
    Uh, was that my first entry???
    Heather recently posted…G is for Galapagos – A to Z ChallengeMy Profile

  25. Same G ‘s dear friend- but we can not say a good thing too often…Love your take on gratitude, and writing a journal is a great idea:-) Hugs
    Eli recently posted…G for GratefulMy Profile

  26. I am not writing a gratitude journal, but I had written a gratitude letter to my parents and read it aloud in front of them. I am sharing that experience in recent post. Check it out if time permits.
    Pratik Kirve recently posted…GRATITUDE LETTERMy Profile

  27. I love this. I have been stepping up my gratitude in 2015. Maybe I should start a Gratitude Journal … every night before bed, simply record the things I am thankful for before I put my head to the pillow. I think it would be a very good thing to do … especially in the midst of challenges!

  28. Love gratitude journals! I have been doing them for a while. I, too, have done the generic and mundane and then I have been more elaborate. I find when I started out it took the general topics to get me going and then more specific to keep me going. I have also found “1000 Gifts” by Ann Voskamp. She believes in writing 3 gratitudes a day and by the end of the year you will have been thankful for 1000 things. She also has a printable for each month with topics for every day. If you are struggling starting out or wanting to expand, this is a great resource. I have done it and I would journal at night so I could include what happened throughout the day and lets me end the day on a positive note!

    Stopping by from A to Z Challenge!
    Laura @ We Really Got This recently posted…G is for GratitudeMy Profile

  29. I am thinking about starting one. It’s a great habit to get into. This winter when it was so bitterly cold outside, I always felt grateful for my warm bed at night and would add a prayer for the many homeless or those without a warm house to shelter in.

  30. Yes, I challenged myself to keep an online gratitude journal back in 2010 . . . it was tough and I had a hard time being specific every day since I had challenged myself to think of 10 new things each day (crazy), but it definitely improved my attitude and helped deepen my faith. Thanks for sharing your gratitude!
    Tyrean Martinson recently posted…A to Z: G Celebrations!My Profile

  31. LOL! That was great! The “hunted by a vampire” dream that never came true. I have tried doing gratitude journals before but not in this very specific way. Thanks!
    Courtney Turner (@mauijungalow) recently posted…GMOs and Gardening on Maui – The BasicsMy Profile

  32. Shantala, as you alluded to in your post, I do not think there is a right or a wrong way to do this. Just go with what feels right. If it doesn’t work, change it and see what happens! I was writing a gratitude list daily for awhile, I think five to 10 things per day: sometimes they would be vague and/or simple; other times more detailed. 🙂 <3
    elly stornebrink recently posted…#A to Z Challenge: G is for … Growth!My Profile

  33. I can relate with your state, Shanaya. I was in a fix too when people expressed gratitude in abstract ways. But thought it best to leave my list to be as it is, to stand for what I truly feel and not try to sound smart or like you said – profound.

    We seem to have similar spouses who agree to take care of our toddlers while we happily type away. 😛

    Also, many a times when I see such nightmares, the first words after waking up from the dream is literally – “Thank God, it was just a dream !” 😉
    Eloquent Mind recently posted…Hold my Heart #AtoZChallengeMy Profile

  34. Great post, I wrote a gratitude journal for some time, but discovered it become so routine it felt in-authentic. I now choose to be grateful in the moment instead of writing a list out.
    Kelly Martin recently posted…G is for GRIEFMy Profile

  35. Love ur post and I’ve never tried:)

  36. I did plan to start writing them down, but, never got around to it. In thoughts, yeah, but not yet on paper. I agree with you, being specific is good. Also, just putting in whatever makes you FEEL GOOD is a brilliant technique. But are you really haunted by vampires in your dreams? I once dreamt that a vampire took off with my sister. When I told my sister about this dream next morning, she said she didn’t mind if it was Edward Cullen. 😐
    Kaddu recently posted…A to Z of Blogging: G – Goals #atozchallenge @AprilA2ZMy Profile

  37. I haven’t actually kept a gratitude journal but I’ve done things like #100happydays
    I agree we need to be more specific with things we are grateful for…and if we look hard enough, we can find a whole lot.
    Sanch @ Living my Imperfect Life recently posted…G is for Gamophobia #atozchallengeMy Profile

  38. I so agree about the importance and need for a gratitude journal. I have one and this post reminds me that I need to be more regular in writing my gratitude list. Thanks for the nudge, Shantala 🙂
    Shilpa Garg recently posted…I is for Impatience #AtoZChallenge @AprilA2ZMy Profile

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