Thanksgiving and Gratitude Journals

Thanksgiving is this week, and let’s face it, some of us have no idea what we’re thankful for. We have no practice being grateful because we live in an age of entitlement. Everyone thinks the world owes them something and so they forget to stop and be grateful for what they have.

This is why I hate Black Friday so much, but that’s another story.

In honor of Thanksgiving and as a tribute to those of us who need help remembering how to be grateful, Gratitude Journals are the theme today.

“Research shows that Gratitude Journaling can have an immensely positive impact on both your emotional and physical well-being,” according to The Ripple Revolution.

The Ripple Revolution also lists helpful gratitude-based questions to help you think of what you’re grateful for. These include “Who do I appreciate? How am I fortunate? What material possessions am I thankful for? What abilities do I have that I’m grateful for?”

Some people may find that Gratitude journals don’t work for them, or haven’t in the past.

According to The Greater Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life, one reason that people struggle with gratitude journals is because they are just “going through the motions.” You have to be making the conscious decision to be happy, according to The Greater Good.

Another helpful tip they offer is to try to imagine your life without certain blessings.

If you are needing more help than just this, there is an app called Gratitude Journal in the iTunes app store. It has reminders, passcodes, etc. to help you as you try to be more grateful.

As you’re preparing your turkey and stuffing this week, take a few minutes to write down a few things that you are grateful for, and then make a goal to do it more often.

Advertisements

3 Simple Tips to Journaling

People who keep journals are weird. We prepare to live in the past even as we are living in the moment. We document our activities so that we can relive them in the future and share them with others.

For those of you who would like to become just as weird as the rest of us, but struggle to keep a journal, here are some hopefully helpful tips about journaling.

According to Journal Saves, a lot of people don’t journal because they let their inner Grammar Nazi take over. They don’t feel their writing is very good and so they just don’t write.

The truth is that probably no one will be reading your journals except you. Even though we’re our own harshest critics, let it go. Years from now, you’ll be laughing (or crying) as you remember the goat eating your couch and you probably won’t be as focused on your Grammar.

“There are basically two different types of journal mediums: analog and digital,” according to the Art of Manliness.

You can go the traditional route with pen and paper, or you can upgrade to the new and ever-upgrading world of technology. The millennial generation has some of the fastest thumbs I’ve ever seen. Try opening up a new note on your phone and text away.

According to Journal Saves, writing on location is sometimes the best way to journal and retain memories. Write on a napkin or a flier from wherever you were that day and it will transport you back to that place more effectively than a normal piece of paper might.

Make journaling a habit and you’ll be surprised by how much you’ll remember in the future through the use of a journal. Try these strategies and become a weirdo like the rest of journal writers.

Creative Ways to Journal

You probably think that to journal is to write all the depressing things that happened in your life day after day. That’s probably why you don’t journal, because reading that stuff every day (if you go back to re-read your journals) can make you feel depressed all over again. At least, that’s my experience.

Finding new ways to journal creatively can make journaling more fun and less depressing. There are a variety of ways that you can get creative with your journal and you don’t even necessarily have to write in your journal.

“For the artists within, a sketching journal is great for keeping a visual record of special trips you have taken or experiences from your day to day lives,” according to Endpaper, The Paperblanks Blog.

An example of this can be found in this picture from Gnemo’s Sketchbook:P5sml

For those who like to get creative visually, but in other ways, you could do something similar with photos.

According to Journal Buddies, other creative ideas for journaling include writing with markers, pasting pictures into your journal, printing out text conversations and pasting them into your journal, making up a new animal, and writing down a cool new saying that you came up with.

According to Journaling Helps, Mother-daughter journals can be another way to journal. Journaling Helps defines this kind of journal as “A journal kept as a communication dialogue between mother and daughter.”

Ever had a dream that you wish you could remember but can’t? Dream journals may solve your problem as well as entertain you, according to Endpaper, The Paperblanks Blog.

“Time and again, I am amazed at how many fun, exciting, simple, and low-cost ways there are to embellish your journals,” according to Journal Buddies.

Journaling for Class

If you, like me, are a college student and pressed with the task of writing a lot of papers for academia, I have news for you: journaling helps.

Remember how we talked about reasons why you should journal? This week, I’ve found a few more.

The University of North Dakota (UND) gives three main reasons why you should journal. First, it lowers stress. Second, it increases sophistication. Third, it saves you time in writing essays.

We talked about lowering stress in my last post as well, but this is less of a relaxing method and more critical thinking. If you don’t understand the material you are reading in your classes, writing about it in a journal can help you understand it better and then you can come back to it when it’s time to write your paper, according to UND.

Sophistication is also boosted because as you write summaries of what you read, you can begin to criticize it and “develop your own ideas, even if you are unaware of it,” according to UND.

According to UND, a lot of people find journaling quite time consuming, but it will save you time in writing papers because you don’t have to summarize and criticize the reading material as you are going. You already have half your work done for you.

UND is not the only school who believes in journaling either.

According to Walden University, “Both in traditional and online classrooms, journal entries are used as tools for student reflection.  By consciously thinking about and comparing issues, life experiences, and course readings, students are better able to understand links between theory and practice and to generate justifiable, well-supported opinions.”

So just keep journaling in mind as you prepare to write your next college essay or paper. Maybe journaling is the way to go.

Reasons to Journal

I love to journal. In fact, I’m a bit of a geek about it. I think I’ve already mentioned that my most recent journal is leather with Tolkien’s Elvish script in it. But not everyone likes to journal. This week, I’m going to talk about reasons why you might want to journal.

Google “Why should I journal?” and quite a few websites will come up stating “Five Reasons Why You Should Journal”. A lot of them have to do with health and psychology.

If you’ve ever been stuck on a problem and had no idea how to fix it, writing about it is supposed to help. Journaling helps to clear out the cobwebs and dust bunnies from your mind and allows you to put more energy into “problem-solving instead of problem-storing”, according to Lifehack.

There is such a thing as Journal Therapy that helps people solve problems. “Journal therapy allows a person to write down, dialogue with, and analyze their issues and concerns,” according to GoodTherapy.org. “The practice allows people to be reflective, introspective, and intentional about their writing.”

Another reason to journal is because your posterity will want to read it someday to get to know you and your lifestyle better.

“When your grandkids are talking to people via hologram, they are going to be absolutely fascinated by your impressions of those ancient things like the alta vista and cell phones,” according to The Art of Manliness.

When thinking of grandchildren, consider whether or not you will be able to recall events and stories in the future. How well do you think you’re going to remember things that happen now when you only vaguely remember your eighth birthday party?

These are just a few of the positive reasons to journal. There are many other websites out there with many more reasons, and if you are still looking for reasons to journal, ask a journaling friend, or visit my blog again in the future. There will probably be another post like this one soon.

About Me

Welcome! My name is Esther Bristol. I’m a Visual Communications student at BYU-Idaho. I love to hike, read, draw, and watch movies. I also like to write, which is what this blog is for. I love to journal and experiment with different journaling styles, so right now I’m working on writing a journal in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Elvish. So, I will be posting what I learn about it with you. I hope you enjoy it as much as I will be. 🙂