Writing out thoughts and feelings can be a good exercise for your brain. If you think about exercising, you usually think about something, like weight or strength, that you need to work on. So—if your brain needs exercising, what does it need to work on? I know that a lot of time I need to work on being more thankful for the good things in my life. The small things and large things. The blessings that I don’t always realize.

Thankfulness can be incorporated into your regular journal entries, or you could start a whole separate journal for it. For me, while I’m writing, I usually think of a few things I really appreciate about my life, people in my life, my work, etc. After I sign my entry (I usually scrawl my initials to signify the end) I make a short list of those things I was thankful for. It’s a joy to go back and remember the small and big things that don’t always cross my mind. The other day my list read like this: ” Thankful for: a husband who talks to mechanics, a warm office, brisk walks with iTunes, friends back in town.” I wrote that two days ago. I had already forgotten about that walk listening to iTunes. Reading the entry made me thankful for that 20 minute walk again and brought a smile.

If you want to start a separate journal, you could use one of these two methods:

  1. Get a small-ish journal. Keep it in your bag, on your nightstand, or anywhere that is accessible for you. Each day, take up the journal and write down one thing that you’re thankful for. Your entry can be one sentence, one paragraph or one page writing about one blessing or good thing and why you’re thankful for it.
  2. Take a set number of minutes each day and record a list of things you’re thankful for. Think of anything and everything. Write freely for those 5 or 15 minutes.

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