Welcome to the Dharma Zephyr Gratitude Journal.
Gratitude journalling, together.
Happiness shared is happiness multiplied.
We are all in this together. We can learn from and support one another.
There’s no wrong way to keep a gratitude journal, but here are some general instructions that you are free to ignore.
- Write down up to five things for which you feel grateful.
- See each item you list as a gift. Be aware of your feelings and how you relish and savor this gift in your imagination. Take the time to be especially aware of the depth of your gratitude. Do not to hurry through this exercise as if it were just another item on your to-do list. This way, gratitude journaling is really different from merely listing a bunch of pleasant things in one’s life.
- Consider gratitude not just for the welcome and pleasant. Jack Kornfield said, “In certain temples that I’ve been to, there’s actually a prayer that you make asking for difficulties: May I be given the appropriate difficulties so that my heart can truly open with compassion.”
- Consider also surprise, wonder and delight.
- Be as specific and detailed as possible—specificity is key to fostering gratitude. “I’m grateful that Sandy snapped at me when I asked her to help put away supplies on Tuesday. I got to see my conditioned anger response and also how I was able to not act on it.” will be more effective than “I’m grateful for Sandy.”
- Try subtraction, not just addition. Consider what your life would be like without certain people or things, rather than just tallying up all the good stuff. Be grateful for the negative outcomes you avoided, escaped, prevented, or turned into something positive—try not to take that good fortune for granted.
- Write regularly, but don’t overdo it. Evidence suggests writing occasionally (1-3 times per week) is more beneficial than daily journaling.