5 Gratitude Journaling Benefits You Need to Know and The Best Gratitude Journal Choices

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Gratitude Journaling Benefits

This fall I started something new. I’ve known the importance of gratitude but now I’m discovering more practical gratitude journaling benefits – And I am loving the process!

For at least 15 years now, I’ve kept a (semi-consistent) gratitude text message conversation with 2 friends, and have seen first-hand the gratitude journaling benefits that has provided. Because there were days when one of us {read me} was in a funk, and got mad when someone else remembered to start the conversation, so we {I} ‘had’ to come up with something to be grateful for. Oh the drama! But its been worth it.

The exercise of picking something to acknowledge you’re grateful for really resets your day! So there is much to be said about the importance of gratitude, and the many benefits of gratitude journaling. For adults and kids!

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The Importance of Gratitude Journaling

There’s no denying the importance of gratitude. We’ve all met some ungrateful people who act as though they’re entitled to anything they want, just because they want it. I mean, have you ever met a 2-year-old? I’m actually working with my little guys on learning the importance of gratitude, so they don’t end up expecting things to just go their way all the time.

Teaching a good work ethic, the value of delayed gratification, and being truly appreciative of what you get go a long way in forming character you can be proud of. Have you thought about what kind of legacy are you leaving?

Besides the fact that people who know how to practice gratitude are much more pleasant to be around, there are many other benefits of gratitude.

Gratitude Journaling Benefits

Top 5 Gratitude Journaling Benefits

I know there are many gratitude journaling benefits, but lets take a few minutes to look at just 5 of the benefits of gratitude:

Focus: One of the Key Benefits of Gratitude

Gratitude journaling benefits you because it helps you refocus on the positive things. For example, deliberately coming up with a few good things that happened can make me {and you} forget about the negatives. A friend recently asked how I was, and I almost gave the standard answer with “Except for_____, I’m doing well.” I stopped myself and then switched to listing a couple of good things that had happened. Literally couldn’t remember those negatives I had been about to share 2 minutes later. I tried, and they just weren’t there, it was so cool! This is one of my favorite benefits of gratitude!

Perspective Shift

You find what you are looking for. It’s true. One of the most amazing benefits of gratitude journaling is that you start seeing things to be grateful for all over the place. So why not be on the look-out for good things and God moments?

Joy is One of the Sweetest Benefits of Gratitude

When you’re full of gratitude, joy happens. Its a process, but I will say that one of my my favorite gratitude journaling benefits is the joy factor. I find myself at home in His presence more often, and not getting as upset over things quite as regularly.

Gratitude Journaling Benefits More Than Me

When I remember the importance of gratitude, I’m in a better place mentally, which spills over onto the people around me. So if we take the time to deliberately and consistently acknowledge the good, our gratitude journaling benefits our marriages.

Keeping a gratitude journal benefits our kids both in the overflow of our changed attitudes, as well as teaching them to cultivate gratitude.

Paying it forward, or discipleship, by pouring into the next generation is one of the best ways gratitude journaling benefits our families. Whether you have a monthly review, quarterly, or maybe make it part of your Thanksgiving or New Year’s Tradition,  keep a record, and review it together! The habit of family gratitude journaling benefits so many people!!

Spiritual Benefits of Gratitude: Bookmarks

Keeping a record of His Faithfulness. We aren’t supposed to be keeping a record of wrongs, but we are told to always be remembering God’s faithfulness. It’s easy to remember hurts and negative stuff. It takes deliberately making an effort to remember the daily blessings. This comes in handy each time we face a mountain, because we are aware of God’s power and love, and have a record to back that up.

You know, as one of my all time favorite hymns says:  

  • When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
  • When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
  • Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
  • And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done. 

Refrain:

  • Count your blessings, name them one by one;
  • Count your blessings, see what God hath done;
  • Count your blessings, name them one by one;
  • Count your many blessings, see what God hath done.  

Kinda hard to count, if you are not tracking them! Lets put those gratitude journaling benefits to work.

Benefits of Gratitude Bible Verses

There are some really powerful gratitude Bible verses available to us. In fact, here are 38 Bible verses about Gratitude over at the Kingdom Bloggers site. Tiffany has included a lot of helpful and practical information about the importance and benefits of gratitude.

And if you want scripture only, Open Bible has a collection of 100 gratitude Bible verses to consider.

How to Practice Gratitude

How to Practice Gratitude

Now, after talking about the many gratitude journaling benefits, let’s get down to the practical. How to practice gratitude. Because sometimes, the importance of gratitude can either be too abstract or too intimidating to take action on.

One way how to practice gratitude is in the moment.

  • You’re in the restroom, and the cleaning crew comes in. Tell them Thank You!!! (It surprises too many of them)
  • Someone holds the door for you. Let them know you appreciate it.
  • That car that cut you off didn’t cause a wreck. Thank God.
  • Your spouse came home from working all day. Share your gratitude.
  • The kids tried something new or did something above and beyond their normal. Give them some recognition.
  • Read Pollyanna!
  • Start (and/or end) your day with a gratitude journal, keeping a list of the things that have happened. Or not happened, as the case may be.
  • Get out there and do some random acts of kindness, to give someone else something to be grateful for!
Choosing the Best Gratitude Journal

Choosing the Best Gratitude Journal

Maybe for you, a Smart Phone App makes the best gratitude journal. A few months ago, I downloaded a smartphone app, which prompts me every evening to log 3 good things. This is a very helpful and convenient, if basic, method of keeping a gratitude journal.  

You could try a blank notebook in a designated spot. Jot things down as you go. This gives you room for a bit of creativity and flexibility, and lets face it. Phones are awesome, but sometimes the process of pen to paper does more than a few taps on a screen could ever match.   Or…  

Pre-made Gratitude Journaling Prompts

I’ve found some really nice premade books and printable packs full of amazing gratitude journaling prompts that set you up to capitalize on all the awesome gratitude journaling benefits we’ve been talking about. These help you know how to practice gratitude on a very practical level.

One Exceptional Life: Joyful Living Toolbox

Wendy has created an awesome Joyful Living Toolbox, full of scripture cards, gratitude journaling prompts, coloring pages, and more, equaling over 70 pages of great stuff!

Joy Toolbox

Do A New Thing Line a Day Journal

The Do A New Thing Journal is unique. Instead of being month by month, or week by week, as most journals and planners are, the ‘line a day’ format has you circling back to the same day of the month, giving you a better chance to look back and see what was important. For example, the page for the 1st of the month has a spot for January 1, February 1, March 1, April 1, May 1 and June 1. Each page is like that, and then the second half of the year is in the second half of the booklet.

It includes all kinds of prompts in the front, from gratitude journaling prompts to action prompts to dreams and emotions prompts. I think it would make an awesome prayer journal, practical, parenting or spiritual journal, and definitely one of the best gratitude journal setups!

I’m really enjoying my 4 month version, that I got as a preorder bonus on this year’s Grace Goals workbook.

The Holy Mess: Gratitude Bible Reading Plan

Sara over at The Holy Mess has a couple of great tools to help know how to practice gratitude, including a gratitude Bible reading plan and 100 ideas for practicing gratitude. I’m a big fan of Sara’s, as you could probably guess!

Designed By Awesome: Gratitude Journaling Bundle

I received a discounted copy of this really great joy and gratitude journaling bundle a couple of months ago, which I want to share with you.   These journals are a combination of writing and art prompts, quotes and more, that guide you to become intentional about gratitude and joy.  

Some of the pages can be repeated weekly, and still get a good deal of gratitude journaling benefits each time. For example, the 17 things I’m grateful for page. A list of 17 specific areas for you to recognize blessings!

There are a few worksheets that I really love. The Power of Expectations page takes you through your fears and worst-case scenarios into a much better place. The pages on Joy stealers and Joy traders are also quite Eye-opening, and repeatable.   They do not have scripture included, as it’s not designed to be a Bible study, but many of the prompts called verses to mind, that can easily be included as you go, multiplying the gratitude journaling benefits.

Tricy Of Designed for Awesome has generously offered my readers a 20% discount from her Etsy shop:   The code is THANKYOU20 Just type this at check out for 20% discount on any item, from her joy, gratitude, and cancer journals to some neat looking new items: Planners and Goals Setting workbooks.  

Best Gratitude Journal Choices for Kids

Best Gratitude Journal Choices for Kids

As I said, I’m working with my sons on the importance of gratitude, and some days I wonder if we’ll ever see fruit. But other days, it’s there in beautiful form, giving me hope that I haven’t ruined them. 🙂

All those gratitude journaling benefits we covered earlier apply just as much to kids as they do to adults. And if we as parents can help our children learn how to practice gratitude as a natural reflex, then we’ve been successful. Gratitude journaling benefits like focus and perspective, bookmarking God’s faithfulness to come back to later, etc are the kind of habits that will help kids realize the benefits of gratitude for many years to come.

So here are several of the best gratitude journal resources I’ve found this year, created just for kids.

Best Gratitude Journal Options for Kids

My 26-Week Gratitude Journal has all kinds of gratitude journaling prompts for kids. Fun activities that remind them how much they have to be grateful for, and a variety to choose from, including artistic pages, writing prompts, (parents can take dictation easily enough that it still works for younger kids), and some physical activities. *There are a couple of ‘yoga poses’ which can be modified or substituted if you don’t believe Christians should have anything to do with yoga.

Each week has 1-2 pages, so it doesn’t take much time, though you can choose to do a page a day, making it closer to one month of gratitude journaling prompts. My 7-year-old was so excited when I got his copy ready. I think we did 4 pages the first time we sat down with it.

*I received a digital review copy, and chose to share my thoughts here.

I picked up a copy of Thankful Thoughts Gratitude Journal for Kids: Daily Journal with Prompts for Kids, and am very pleased with it as well. Its simple format is appealing, with each page having a spot for a gratitude list, a strategically random question, and notes on today’s ‘peaks and valleys.’ The peaks and valleys spots really make this book shine, because it helps to acknowledge that some things went really well, and others really didn’t. (I may or may not have swiped-I mean ordered myself a copy)

In browsing Amazon, I found a few other options, including this combination Gratitude Journal and Devotional for elementary kids, which seems to be well liked, though I haven’t had a chance to check it out myself yet. Others in my wish list include this Christian Gratitude Journal for Kids: Daily Journal with Bible Verses and Writing Prompts (Bible Gratitude Journal for Boys & Girls) and I’m A Blessed Boy: 5 Minute Daily Gratitude Journal For Boys With Prompts (Kids Gratitude Journal).

Books that Show How to Practice Gratitude

Most of the Berenstain Bears books leave you with a good sense of the benefits of gratitude, and other important character lessons, but especially the Thanksgiving Blessings book.

Zen Pig is a new picture book series that shows kids how to practice gratitude in simple terms, with simple illustrations. It’s not busy, which is nice, in this world of fast-paced everything. With a nice rhyming verse, the story is catchy. I found it to be a good choice for reading more than once.

It’s not a ‘Christian’ book, but it doesn’t contradict faith in God, teaching forgiveness, kindness, generosity. etc. (set ‘eons ago’ but with talking animals, that doesn’t bother me)

*I received a digital review copy, and chose to share my thoughts here.

Gratitude Works

Hopefully, you’re ready to go enjoy some gratitude journaling benefits yourself, because seriously, even with everything going on in the world, gratitude works.

Until Next Time, Love God, Love Books, Shine The Light!!

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5 Benefits of Gratitude

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