The Secret Handbook 4 Teens

The Gratitude Journal: One Simple Tool, Life Changing Results


“If you focus on what you don’t have you will never ever have enough.” Oprah Winfrey

Oprah thinks that keeping a gratitude journal is one of the most important things she’s ever done and if it’s good enough for Oprah shouldn’t it be good enough for you? But seriously, I too keep a gratitude journal and while I’ve mentioned this in another post, it bears repeating because it really does change your perspective on life and makes you feel all warm and fuzzy and who doesn’t want that?

It’s really really easy. Here, let me break it down for you.

What is a gratitude journal?

A gratitude journal is┬ásimply a place where you write down things you’re grateful for every day. There are two really important things in what I just said. The first is that you actually really do need to write them down. It’s not enough to just think them because our thoughts are fleeting and words have power. The second important piece to this is that you do it every day. Don’t beat yourself up about it if you don’t get to it every day (that sorta defeats the purpose) but getting into the habit of being grateful sticks and you almost become addicted to the good feelings it gives you. I write in my gratitude journal every night but you could jot things down throughout the day. It’s completely up to you.

What do I need to be grateful for?

This is the best part of a gratitude journal – you get to be grateful for anything at all! You can be grateful for really big things or really small things. I’m sometimes just grateful for having a job (on days when I really don’t feel like going to my job) but on other days, I find myself being grateful scientists who invented life-changing things like antibiotics (especially when I’m sick). Small fuzzy animals make frequent appearances on the pages of my journal. Big or small. Funny or serious. Fuzzy or scaly. The choice is completely up to you.

How many things do I need to be grateful for every day?

Yup, you guessed it. That’s also completely up to you! I write down three things. Oprah suggests five. Some┬ádays I struggle to think of even one. Don’t stress about it. Heck, don’t even put a number on. Just write what you’re grateful for at that moment or things you noticed throughout the day. It’s supposed to be fun so keep it lighthearted.

So, why are you still sitting here? This post is done.

Go start being grateful. Go on. Get out of here.


If you want to reach a state of bliss, then go beyond ego and the internal dialogue. Make a decision to relinquish the need to control, the need to be approved, and the need to judge. Those are the three things the ego is doing all the time. It’s very important to be aware of them every time they come up.

– Deepak Chopra