Learn how to make your own gratitude journal and enter for a chance to win!
This post comes from our blog intern, Monica!
For years, I’ve been reciting a little quote that goes something like this: “It’s not happy people who are grateful, it’s grateful people who are happy.” (source unknown) That quote is always floating around in my head, so much so that it’s become a mantra. It emerges every few days into my conscious thought although, throughout November, it seems always to be on my mind. With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to consider being more grateful. Whether you gather around a holiday feast with friends or family and name those things for which you are grateful, whether you make a mental note or write it down, recognizing what you’ve got is a major step toward living a happier life. According to Harvard Health Publications, “gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity and build strong relationships,” so it’s about time appreciate all you’ve got!
I’ve kept a gratitude journal since the beginning of high school, listing the people, places and things that I appreciate. Writing in my gratitude journal has taught me to find the beauty in everything, to recognize that which most people might overlook. Once you begin to recognize the good in your life, your mind will identify more of it. If you’re up for a challenge, take a difficult situation in your life and analyze it. Pick out a few positive things about it. It may be hard at first but, once you consider its true value, you can find the good in anything. I promise it will change your attitude, not just about that difficult thing, but every aspect of your life. It will change your perspective and help you find the beauty in everything, every moment, every experience, and every person.
Tips on how to help you write in your gratitude journal:
1. Don’t set any guidelines regarding length or number. Setting goals like this will make journaling feel like a task. Welcome having repeats on your list, and know you can write as much or as little as you please.
2. Focus on people rather than things. Let those people know how much you mean to them and why you are thankful for them.
3. Keep an open mind and try not to get caught up in self-doubt or self-pity. Make your gratitude journal a positive and uplifting place!
4. Make it a habit. On average, it takes 21 days for a habit to form, so don’t stop journaling just after a few days. I usually write right before bed or as soon as I wake up, leaving it on my nightstand as a reminder.
Here’s how to make your own gratitude journal:
What you need:
15-20 sheets of 8 1/2″ X 11″ paper
decorative paper for the cover
glue or double-sided tape
yarn or any decoration of your choice
1. Cut your 8 1/2″ X 11″ papers in half, creating 30-40 pieces of 8 1/2″ X 5 1/2″ pieces. Fold those pieces in half.
3. Take an edge-cut paper and roll one side of it up to squeeze through a middle cut paper. Repeat this until all of your sheets are connected in a bunch of mini booklets.
You’ll follow the same technique to connect the mini booklets to create one main book. Just take the top edge-cut paper from one mini booklet and connect it to the bottom middle-cut paper from another booklet. Repeat until the book is assembled.
4. Make the cover! Cut two pieces of your decorative paper, 5+1/2″ X 12″, draw dotted lines on each paper 3+1/2 inches from one side like so:
Cut the dotted lines with the X-Acto knife and fold the decorative paper into the booklet paper, just like in step 3. Glue the decorative paper to itself so it will hold together. Repeat on the other side of the booklet to create the back cover. And voilà — you’ve got yourself a handmade journal!
+List three people, places or things for which you’re grateful in the comments to be entered into our GIVEAWAY! We will pick one random winner to receive this journal courtesy of the FP home office!