Starting A Gratitude Journal

I have seen mention of 'gratitude journals' around online (mostly in artsy parts of Pinterest) and whilst the thought of dedicating a journal to that seems a bit ambitious and strange, I feel drawn to the idea because I'm really into the concept of purposefully altering your perceptions to make yourself the most happy and fulfilled person you can be within different contexts. Since being a sad and anxious person and watching that change over time through various realisations and shifts both gradual and sudden, I know that the power of changing your mind can be immense. Obviously sometimes it's a situation that needs to be changed, not a perception, but with a lot of problems trying to do something about the way you think and respond can help.

That's why I wanted to try out the whole gratitude journal thing. I think selfishness, self-pitying, and self-imposed misery is hard to measure. I don't think I personally can gauge whether or not I'm a selfish person. Maybe everyone is selfish on some level. Maybe I am exactly 47% selfish. I don't know. I do think I'm a pretty positive person, but I also think there are pockets of pessimism in specific areas that maybe I should examine. And hey, sometimes selfishness and pessimism are good things, so I don't want to weed out any semblance of humanity in me or punish myself for ever feeling a negative emotion, but I want to just see if keeping a gratitude journal helps me in any way. Maybe it can encourage me to focus more on the positive aspects of unpleasant situations. Maybe it can help me to be a more emotionally durable person. Maybe it will just make me think about cute puppies a little bit more.

I'm not going to analyse everything to within an inch of its life. I don't want to go too far in the direction of self-scrutiny. Right now I am just vaguely wondering some things. Am I too self-punishing? Am I honest enough with myself? What do I even understand about my own ways of processing emotions? Is it unhealthy to be so interested in this kind of mindfulness and self-improvement and stuff?

I think for the last few years I have thought of myself as 'a happy person'. I'm not sure when and why I decided to apply that label to myself, but I don't think it was an honest one. I'm not saying I'm a sad person. I don't think, really, that I'm a happy or a sad person. I am a person who feels different things (e.g. mild yet magical interest in carrot cake, delight upon being immersed in fog). I think there was some naivety and a desire to be in some way impressive behind the choice to think of myself as 'a happy person'. I am happy/content a lot, but it's a simplification. It's an assertion that presents me in a certain way. I'm not sure how I feel about it. It's context-dependent too, I suppose.


So in order to actually start this thing, I read some advice here. I'm not sure how often I'll aim to do this, but I want it to feel purposeful when I do. I want to focus on it properly, so I'll just try to do it whenever it feels natural.

Here's my first entry:



  1. Such a great idea! Definitely can relate to all of that self-pitying and negative feelings, but new year, new attitude!

    LIVING IN PLAID - Personal Style Blog from Brussels


Thank you so much for your comments, especially if they include limericks about skeletons.