Weekly Mindful Journaling Challenge #1: Expression of Gratitude

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Want to flex those creative writing muscles? Kira at YBTT (Your Body The Temple) wrote:

Mindful journaling can be a creative healing practice. Even a few minutes each day can help you achieve a more tranquil mental landscape and improved physical wellness. Cultivate a regular daily practice of reflection, appreciation, and inner peace through mindful journaling.
~ Mindful Journaling: 50 Unique Topics And Writing Tips For Beginners ~

Kira provides 50 unique topics to springboard ones mindful journaling experience. Here at Sacred Art of Mindful Creative Writing, we have adapted these 50 unique topics into daily writing challenges to help with exercising your creative talent.

Each of these weekly challenges will require you to take some time to meditate. Clear your mindset and focus on expounding your thoughts and emotions related to the writing prompt. Kira’s article provides good tips to follow.

These weekly challenges will inspire you to open up awareness of ones thought and emotional patterns, improve ones meditation practice, and engage in honest discussion with self.

According to Kira – mindful journaling helps with expressing oneself in a manner that is free of criticism and judgment:

This form of writing is a way to express yourself in a manner that is free from judgement, fear, or expectation. It teaches you self-compassion, acceptance, and how to pay attention in your own life. Additionally, mindful journaling is useful for identifying moments and triggers when your mind disengages with the present and goes off wandering.

Engaging in these daily writing challenges – for the next 50 days – will enable you to freely express yourself, develop daily discipline in mindful meditation and practice, and help enrich your writing and storytelling experience.

Expressing Gratitude has healthy benefits

According to the the BYU – David O’McKay School of Education we read the following:

Remembering to express gratitude can help us and our family members. Gratitude begins with an inner feeling. When we’re grateful for the good things happening around us, especially when we’re with those we love, expressing it helps the feelings of love and tenderness to grow. Expressing gratitude can bring a calm sense of well-being.

And in the Big picture tab of the website one finds an outline of the benefits gratitude has:

  • Strengthening of our relationships with our Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ and others
  • Fosters a more positive outlook and moves us to a more genuine place of joy and happiness
  • Brings clarity, peace of mind, and calmness within our souls – especially during times of adversity
  • Provides benefits toward ourselves and others where respect, compassion, and kindness are able to bear fruit

The best way one is able to begin expressing gratitude is by keeping a journal. Doing so allows an individual an opportune moment to not only write private expression of thankfulness that helps us recognize the blessings bestowed upon us. It is a treasure of reflection and meditation for us to turn to in times where we may forget what brings us comfort and joy. It highlights those good things we share in our lives with others. Writing out and keeping private expressions of gratitude may also motivate and empower us to express it outwardly in order to benefit other people.

Gratitude Challenge Tips

For this first weekly challenge, take a moment to meditate and reflect on what you are grateful for. Focus on your breathing and allow yourself some time to approach this writing experience.

Set aside at least 15-20 minutes each day and follow these tips. When you are comfortable – begin writing. The goal of this challenge is to write a good experience, interaction with someone, or a particular event. Share the good thoughts and emotions surrounding this experience.

Greater Good Science Center provides the following 9 tips for writing, and maintaining, a gratitude Journal. This writing challenge focuses on the 7 specific tips for this writing challenge.

  1. Be as specific as possible – To foster gratitude, you want to focus on the specific details related to what you are grateful for.
  2. Go for depth over breadth – Dive deep into the details about the particular person or event for which you are grateful for. Do not write in a superficial way. This requires some exploration rather than listing things
  3. Personalization – Focus more on the individuals to whom you are showing gratitude than what they did for you. This will carry more weight and make a greater impact
  4. Subtract not Add – How will your life look differently without this certain individual, or certain individuals. What if that particular event had not happened? Don’t just spend your time tallying up all the positive things and people. Also, focus on the negative things you’ve either escaped, avoided, prevented, or turned around for the good. It is about being humble and not taking these circumstances for granted
  5. Good gifts – Change our perception and focus on how those good things we have experienced in life as “gifts” allows us to remain humble and guards us against taking for granted what we’ve experienced and the relationships we’ve had. It is about savoring those things we’ve experienced and received.
  6. Savor surprises – What were some of the unexpected things that have happened? Who surprised you? Sharing these helps elicit stronger and deeper levels of gratitude
  7. Revise if you repeat – Zero in on different aspects when you find yourself writing about the same situations, people, and things.

The Writing Prompt

Are you ready? Here is the writing challenge for this week:

I am grateful for…..

Remember to follow the tips. Practice mindfulness and meditation to help clear the landscape of your mind. Do not merely just write about what you are grateful for, share the thoughts, emotions, and how your body responds.

When you have completed this challenge – comment and share your thoughts on this experience.

6 thoughts on “Weekly Mindful Journaling Challenge #1: Expression of Gratitude

  1. Perfectly expressed, “Gratitude is an attitude we engage in when times are tough.”

    During the recent cold snap from which many families suffered greatly, I remained thankful for the comfort of heat, even though our furnace was frozen and couldn’t work. My husband found an alternative solution. Some of our comforts were unavailable, but, we were safe. And, I probably prayed more during those days than usual, thanking God for every moment of comfort.

    It’s nice to know you, Timothy.


    1. Thank you for sharing. These weekly challenges are asking individuals to write every day, for the next 7-days, on specific topics. Each challenge has suggestions/recommendations/tips on how to do this each day.

      Part of this is to help people struggling with writing and writer’s block. The other part is to encourage and empower individuals to take a more practical and mindful approach to their writing.

      I’d love to here more of your gratitude toward being a survivor helps you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The “survivor” reference comes from some of life’s tragedies which found their way to me… widowed at 33 yrs. of age with three young sons… lots of hurdles afterward, including a move back to the USA from Canada… survived breast cancer… survived the anguish and devastation of one of my son’s death from pancreatic cancer…

        This last tragedy has put upon me the awareness of every day’s importance, to not waste time. I try to honor my late loved ones by living in a purposeful manner. This may sound ironic because I write Horror stories, but, I think subconsciously my horror stories are a coping mechanism.

        I also use curse words when I’m at a loss for words during extreme frustrations. :)


        1. Thank you for taking the time to share a brief snapshot of your struggles and adversities. It does appear to humble us when we each find ourselves struggling to face some of the toughest seasons in life.

          I come to view my own struggles – not as a survivor only – as my ability to conquer what I had to face. Whether by my own poor choices or circumstances beyond my own ability to control.

          This is where I have found the greatest blessing in showing gratitude. Not in times of peace and calm where we are prospering and living life. Gratitude is an attitude we engage in when times are tough. When we are struggling. Because it tests our resolve, our character, and stretches us out of our own comfort zone. It is our own personal hero’s journey.


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