Gratitude Challenge Journaling

grateful people graphic

October 3-November 14, 2022
6-week online Gratitude Challenge
For the IU Community

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Registration closes Friday, September 23!

Gratitude Journaling Options

We encourage every challenge participant to commit to 6 weeks of gratitude journaling (5 weekdays a week) during the Gratitude Challenge. Each day, you will spend about 5 minutes writing about what you are grateful for. On some days, you will list 3 things you’re grateful for and on other days, you will write a brief response (a few sentences) to a prompt to induce gratitude.

Gratitude journaling will take place on the IU Canvas platform. For the Gratitude Challenge, IU employees and their spouses will select from one of three options for gratitude journaling (see below).  After selecting your option, you will receive an email invitation to join a Canvas group, which you should accept. (Private gratitude journaling is the only option available to Students, Community Members, and Retirees.)

  1. Private gratitude journaling—you will post your gratitude journal entries on Canvas. No one else except the Canvas “instructor” (an organizer of the Gratitude Challenge) will be able to read your journal entries during the Gratitude Challenge.
  2. Group-based gratitude journaling—you will join a group of about 9 other IU employees. Your journal entries will be posted to a Canvas discussion forum and will be visible to members of your group. Participants may respond to each other’s posts by providing positive feedback on each other’s journal entries and sharing what they have learned from each other. A group facilitator (either an IU graduate student or a staff member) will facilitate and moderate online discussions.
  3. Group-based gratitude journaling & Gratitude Support Group—includes all the features of group-based gratitude journaling in option 2; in addition, you will meet via Zoom once a week (55 minutes) for 6 weeks to share from your gratitude journals, support each other, and express gratitude to each other. Each group will be facilitated by an IU graduate student or by a staff member. Your facilitator will share tips and facilitate conversations on how to derive the most benefits from the activities in the Gratitude Challenge.

Benefits of Gratitude Journaling

Gratitude journaling helps us focus, appreciate, and elaborate on what’s good in our lives, which helps displace our negative thoughts and emotions. Gratitude journaling also increases our ability to store and recall positive memories. Several research studies suggest that gratitude journaling may have positive benefits for people’s physical and mental health. 

Group-based journaling offers the benefits of social accountability, inspiration, and opportunities to learn from and encourage each other. When group-based journaling is paired with a Gratitude Support Group, it provides the additional benefits of synchronous learning as well as fostering connections and friendships with other IU employees.

To get the most out of gratitude journaling, we encourage you to consider group-based gratitude journaling and to join a Gratitude Support Group (option 3). However, we recognize that each of us has different needs and preferences, so the choice is yours.