With constant access to the news, many people develop negative and pessimistic thoughts, news fatigue, and anxiety from the daily stream of negative news they see. Gratitude journals are one way to help manage anxiety and remind yourself of the positive things you come across in your life by having you journal about the things you are grateful for, whether it be big or small. Here are some simple tips to help you start a gratitude journal to stay positive and reduce your anxiety about the world.
1. Decide the journal format
There is no wrong way to journal, but you should find a journal format that suits your lifestyle and personality. Some prefer the convenience of using a program or app on their laptop, computer, or phone, as it is easily accessible. Others prefer the physical aspect of using traditional pen and paper, such as writing in a notebook or premade journal, which can also be a good change of environment for those who spend most of their day on digital devices.
2. Develop a schedule
Develop a schedule and set aside time for you to write. Many choose to write at the end of day so that they are journaling at a time with minimal distractions and can reflect on the day they just had. It may also help to start with a sparser schedule, such as weekly, and then increase the frequency as you get used to writing. Keeping a consistent schedule can help you turn gratitude journaling into a relaxing and positive habit.
3. Use prompts to get started
It can be hard at first to think of what you want to write about. Using prompt lists or prompt calendars helps you brainstorm what you want to write about, provides variation on topics, and gives you an idea to start with while also allowing you to express your own creativity. As you develop your gratitude journal, you can stop using prompts if you think you have a good grasp on what you want to write about, or continue to use them if you find them helpful.
Gratitude journaling is a simple habit that you can develop to help manage anxiety related to world events and break through the negative cloud of news that we are always seeing online. However, like all habits, they take time to develop and aren't for everyone. Don't feel too bad if you miss a day of writing or feel uninspired to write. Remember that gratitude journals are meant to help you focus on the positive and reduce anxiety, and try to continue your schedule as planned.
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