The first time I wrote in a gratitude journal was in 2016. It was a copy of The Five Minute Journal, an oatmeal-colored fabric-bound hardcover book that I received as a gift from a wellness event. Intrigued, I went home that night and read the opening pages, which explained the reasoning behind the abundant benefits of writing down grateful thoughts.
I was sold on its philosophy and, like a New Year’s resolution, I wrote in it every day for about a month and a half before I stopped for some reason that I can’t recall. Then, last year in 2019, I came across it on my bookshelf and flipped through the pages to find my scribbled notes from the previous three years. That feeling was the closest thing to time traveling.
My first entry was on June 12, 2016, where I wrote about gratitude for my family and friends, a job that I valued, and a trip to Turks and Caicos I was looking forward to. Each entry in the journal includes morning prompts with fill-in-the-blank spaces for what would make today great and daily affirmations. There are also night prompts, including three amazing things that happened today and how could I have made today better? My answer to the latter question was if I slept earlier and spent less time on my phone.
Read on to find message-holding, meaningful jewelry to store positive notes along with tips and benefits to keeping a gratitude journal.
Having a personal record of feelings is priceless because once that time has passed, it’s likely to fade away. Reflecting on these positive thoughts I had on a random Sunday from years ago made me feel a second dose of gratitude that translated into an instant boost of happiness.
Turns out, there are many benefits of a gratitude journal. Throughout history, many studies have shown that keeping a journal can increase your level of joy, reduce stress, provide a greater sense of calm, and help you gain clarity. The simple act of writing down good things—even if it is just five minutes a day—can help you live with intention since it challenges you to think deeper. What’s more, is that exuding upbeat energy can be contagious. And who doesn’t want to spread joy?
If you’re also rekindling your love for gratitude journal writing or are just starting, we’ve got you covered. To serve as a helpful reminder, you can even go the extra mile and wear a piece of message-holding jewelry with a positive note or gratitude quote inside—read on for some of those along with five tips and benefits to keeping a gratitude journal.
Choose a Journal
There are no rules to writing a gratitude journal. In my opinion, I prefer a guided one filled with prompts since it’s easier to write and keeps dates organized. In addition to The Five Minute Journal created by Alex Ikonn and UJ Ramdas, there are options like the Joy Wellness Journal from Papier, and this one from Promptly Journals. But really, you can write grateful thoughts down anywhere—a notebook that’s as casual as a Mead spiral one or as fancy as a Smythson crossgrain leather one. Whatever you choose, having a central place to keep all your notes specifically about gratitude can make a noticeable difference in your life.
Another way to keep positive thoughts close to you is by storing meaningful notes in your jewelry. Our Heart + Arrow Bracelet is one of our most meaningful necklaces. It opens up to reveal a message in which you can personalize or choose your favorite quote.
A few words of affirmation you can store inside…
- “I am grateful.”
- “I only attract positive energy.”
- “I choose to live with intention.”
- “I am good enough.”
- “Dream. Believe. Achieve.”
The benefits of a gratitude journal are so much more impactful when done repeatedly. Years ago, my former editor-in-chief gave me a piece of writing advice that still resonates with me today. He simply said, “Keep practicing.” We’re forever students in life and, really, the not-so-secret formula to getting better at any skill—whether it be riding a bike, playing an instrument, or speaking a new language—is to practice. Keeping a gratitude journal isn’t so much about the art of writing, but it’s getting used to being mindful of gratitude. When we write, we think, and thinking positive thoughts carries a certain magic to making things better.
Store your most sacred thoughts inside our Capsule + Wand Locket.So, the second step to feeling the benefits of a gratitude journal is to find a routine and stick to it. I like to spend five minutes every morning and night jotting down thoughts—but this can still be effective if you do so once per day at a time that works for you (preferably the same time every day).
If you’re looking for a motivational boost to keep with a steady routine, try adding one of the gratitude notes below (or write your own) in our Capsule and Wand Locket and keep it close to you.
- “Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson
- “Your life is about to be incredible.” —Tim Storey
- “The past does not equal your future unless you live there.” —Tony Robbins
- "When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around." —Willie Nelson
- “Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”—Melody Beattie
Create a Ritual
This is another tip that correlates with preference. To me, setting a calm mood before writing makes me more inclined to actually do it. Sometimes, it’s easy to get caught up in the everyday and not realize what a gift life itself is. The benefits of a gratitude journal can help keep you grounded and appreciate every moment—even if it’s something as small as enjoying a warm chai latte or going on a walk with a friend.
Keep this Fortune Frame where you're likely to see it most.In the morning, I don’t have a ritual before opening up my journal—I just keep it on my nightstand so it’s the first thing I wake up to. However, at night, I like to wind down with a calm activity. If you’re also looking to create a ritual before writing in your gratitude journal, try:
- Lighting your favorite scented candle
- Doing a meditation session
- Taking a warm bath
- Reading a book
- Changing into comfy clothes
If you’re constantly working on the computer, try adding a note of gratitude in our Fortune Frame and keep it on your desk (it has a three-use easel and can also be displayed on your wall or fridge).
Some positive words from the wise:
- “I’m grateful for always this moment, the now, no matter what form it takes.” —Eckhart Tolle
- “Nothing can dim the light that shines from within.” —Maya Angelou
- “Nothing is impossible. The word itself says, ‘I’m possible!’” —Audrey Hepburn
- “Every day above earth is a good day.” —Ernest Hemingway
- “A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all the other virtues.”—Marcus Tullius Cicero
Get a Gratitude Buddy
Sure, you can set phone reminders and use Post-it notes to remind yourself to write daily in your gratitude journal, but if you need more motivation, try enlisting the help from a loved one. That way, you can have someone check in on your progress and vice versa. It can not only be an activity to do together, separately, but it can also strengthen your bond. Think of it as a book club, but on a more personal level.
If you’re looking for how to show a girl you care, an idea may be to gift her a gratitude journal and start the writing adventure together. This can make the task more fun and keep the momentum going and be a win-win for everyone. As a complement, you can get matching personalized lockets, like the Envelope Fortune Lockets, which give off a pen pal feel. Need a few quotes to store inside? Try…
- “Gratitude is a celebration we are all invited to.” —Cleo Wade
- “Ask. Trust. Give thanks.” —Dawn Gluskin
- "The way to develop the best that is in a person is by appreciation and encouragement." —Charles Schwab
- “Gratitude is an opener of locked-up blessings.” —Marianne Williamson
- "The deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated." —William James
This one ties to the second tip. From my experience, practicing writing in a gratitude journal has made my entries more meaningful. I used to be broader in writing down what I was grateful for, but thinking more specifically has made me look deeper into the “why” I chose to record that thought. To really experience the benefits of a gratitude journal, it’s about being mindful. For example, one of my recent entries noted that I was grateful to have an avocado toast breakfast with my mom on a recent morning. I don’t see her every day, so it’s always special when we spend time together. My mom always goes to the supermarket and buys fresh food to cook, and I appreciate how much time and effort she puts into everything she does.
On the topic of details, you’ll see a hidden hinge upon looking closely at our Sphere Secret Ring. It opens up and you can store a message inside and keep it close to you, such as...
- “Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.” —Voltaire
- “Gratitude turns what we have into enough.” —Melody Beattie
- “I don't have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness. It's right in front of me if I'm paying attention and practicing gratitude.” —Brené Brown
- "If you want to turn your life around, try thankfulness. It will change your life mightily." —Gerald Good
- “Things turn out best for people who make the best out of the way things turn out.” —Art Linkletter
- “I can no other answer make, but, thanks, And thanks, and ever thanks.” —William Shakespeare
For more quotes on positivity, check out our other posts on: