Keeping a gratitude journal is a spiritual practice that can focus our minds and inspire our words and actions to express a growing awareness, appreciation, and connection with all of God’s creation, thus deepening our relationship with God.
- Five Gifts. Write five things or people for which you are thankful. For each, begin by writing “I am grateful for…, I am profoundly grateful for…., etc.” Write why you are grateful. Don’t hurry through the list. Think of each as a gift from God.
- Gratitude Density. Start with one thing (example - food). Write down every single thing and person that is needed to provide food—sun, water, dirt, minerals, farmers, every piece of farm equipment, seed, fertilizer, packaging factories, stores, clerks, shelf stockers, etc. Thank God, the original and abundant Giver of all.
- Minimalist. After spending time in introspection, filling your heart and mind with thoughts of gratitude, write just one word or one sentence to express what you are feeling.
- Compliments. Record compliments you have received or heard someone give to someone else. Focus on appreciation and the effects of expressing appreciation. We know God through others. Thank God for these people.
- Self-discovery. Write down the positive things and discoveries you have been learning about yourself. Thank God for your God-given talents.
- Acts of kindness. Record acts of kindness you have witnessed, read, or heard about. Focus on the goodness of humanity. Thank the Source of all goodness.
- Family tree. Write why you are thankful for each person in your family. Thank God who has planted the seed.
- Resistance. When things are not going well, you don’t feel grateful, and you can hardly bring yourself to open your gratitude journal, spend some extra time preparing your mind and heart and find little, humorous things to write. At least I made it to work without an accident or a ticket. Well, I didn’t break any bones today. All of the appliances are working.
- Refocus. When you’re upset with someone or something, write everything good about that situation or person. Look for the positive and for the goodness. Try to change your own attitude because you know you can’t change that situation or that person.
- Abundance. Using stream of consciousness, write everything for which you are thankful, as it flows into your mind and your heart. Each thing will undoubtedly lead to many others. Thank God for the abundant blessings in your life. Write your plans to use your blessings to bless the world.