Gratitude has a measurable positive effect on your happiness.
It allows you to appreciate what you have instead of thinking that some new thing – maybe even something outside of your reach – will make you happier.
And positive emotions have been shown to enhance creativity.
Positive feelings can lead to:
- trying new things
All of these are things that also encourage creativity.
I have had a practice of writing three things I’m grateful for every morning in my journal and it’s been a wonderful way to start my day on a positive note.
It’s easy to get into the day-to-day of life and become immune to all the wonderful things about it. Actually writing down what you’re grateful for makes it concrete and helps you remember that you have so very much to be thankful for.
Starting a gratitude journal
This doesn’t have to be complicated or fancy. You can simply use a journal you have already and document what you’re grateful for each day.
If you already write in a journal, simply add what you’re grateful for.
If you don’t already have a journal, any notebook or journal will do. You may want to choose a new, pretty journal, but you don’t have to.
I found this beautiful journal and it’s what I write in every day. Each day I start by writing a positive quote. Then I write out all of my feelings and emotions. I end my daily writing with three things I’m grateful for.
[I purchased this journal from Back Home Again in Lititz, PA. They have a great variety of different journals and lots of other fun stuff.]
When to write
I like writing in the morning to start my day on a positive note.
I also love the idea of writing one or more things you’re grateful for at the end of the day. You can think about your day and choose a few things and write them down.
I think the important thing is to just get started.
30 Days of Gratitude
You can use gratitude to feel more positive leading to creativity. And you can also be creative with your gratitude!
I’ve been planning to do a month long gratitude album.
Each day I’ll take a photo of something I’m grateful for and then I’ll also create an album page each day in the month of November.
I’m choosing November because it’s the month of the US Thanksgiving, but if you’re reading this in the future, don’t feel like you have to start in any particular month or at even at the beginning of a month. Just start today.
For my project I’m creating a 6 x 8 Project Life type album. Each page has two 4 x 6 pockets. In one pocket I’ll place the photo from the day. In the other pocket I’ll create a card (or a small scrapbook layout or collage) and write what I’m grateful for.
I plan to share my photo each day in November on Instagram (follow me @KimberlieKohler) to see what I’m grateful for! And I encourage you to share what you’re grateful for there, too. Use this hashtag so we can find each other: #ectgratitudechallenge
(ECT=Emerging Creatively Tutorials, just so you know. 🙂 )
I gathered up a basket of goodies for my 30 Days of Gratitude Challenge so everything is together to make it easier to complete each day.
I encourage you to start a daily gratitude practice in a way that works for you.
Remember, you don’t have to do what I’m doing this month to get started. You can:
- Use any journal you’re already using and just add gratitude to it; or
- Get a pretty journal just to use for your gratitude journal; or
- Grab any notebook you have.
I like to write three things, but you can start with just one.
And I think it’s fine if sometimes you’re grateful for the same thing as previous days. I have a pretty routine life so that happens for me quite often. However, this month I’m going to try to find something different and specific each day, no matter how small it seems.
How are you planning to start your gratitude journal?
Do you already have a gratitude practice?
Let me know in the comments below.