A gratitude jar is a simple way to practice gratitude and bring more positivity into your life. Use our free template and labels to create gratitude jars for yourself or as gifts and enjoy the many benefits they will provide to you, your family, and friends. Read on to see how to create them and how they will help you.
A gratitude jar is a jar that you fill with notes on which you write about things you are grateful for or good things that happened to you. The idea is to make a conscious effort to think about these things. When you read the notes it will remind you of the good things that happened to you every day or the things you are grateful for.
Gratitude jars help people focus on the positive and not let the negative aspects of life dominate their thoughts. It also helps people see how much they have to be grateful for, which can help them feel better about themselves and their lives overall.
When you are feeling down, you can pick a note out of the jar and think about what it means to you. The goal is to make a habit of thinking about these positive things and appreciating them. This fun idea is a great way to incorporate gratitude into your daily routine.
When you practice gratitude, it helps you stop and reflect on the things that you are thankful for that you might not have even noticed had you not tried to add a note to your jar.
Since there are so many benefits of gratitude, you don’t need to wait for Thanksgiving to create this jar. You can use it all year round to help you practice gratitude and get your family on board as well!
How to make a gratitude jar
- A jar or box
- Paper or notes
- Ribbon (optional)
- Paper glue or sticker paper (if you want to create a label – optional)
- Get an empty jar or a box if you don’t have a jar.
- Cut notes into small strips or use our free download with gratitude prompts. If you use blank paper you will write whatever you want. If you use the template it has gratitude prompts to help you think of things to be grateful for. You can use blank notes when you can think of things to write about and the gratitude journal prompts when you need some help.
- If you are using the jar during Thanksgiving you can cut out leaf-shaped notes to write on.
- Tie a ribbon around the rim (optional).
- Create a label for the jar with these free custom labels (optional).
How to use a gratitude jar
- Each day or week, take one of the notes and write down what you are grateful for.
- Fold the note and insert it into your jar.
- Create a family gratitude jar and keep it somewhere everyone will see it every day. Ask each family member to add a note each day. My son calls it the grateful jar and he loves writing notes to put in it. I have noticed that he has become more aware of the things he has since we started using the jar. Younger children can draw a picture if they can’t write yet.
- When you or someone in your family is feeling down, you can pick a note out of the jar and read it.
Tip: Use gratitude jars at home or at school to get your family or students to practice gratitude.
Gratitude Jar Ideas
- Create a gift for someone (give them a mason jar with pretty ribbons and a nice “gratitude” label and some blank notes and a pretty pen).
- Put an empty jar on your table during Thanksgiving dinner with notes next to it and ask each guest to insert a note. Read the notes after the meal. They can be anonymous if you want. You can label it “thankful jar”.
- You can also ask guests to write a note thanking one person or expressing gratitude to them.
- Put your DIY gratitude jar with the notes you inserted on your Thanksgiving dinner table.
- Add notes throughout the year and read them at the end of the year. It is a great way to end a year.
- Read your notes on Thanksgiving. It’s a great Thanksgiving tradition.
What can you write about on the notes?
- Things you are grateful for (no matter how small).
- Use the notes template with gratitude prompts.
- Things you are proud of.
- Your achievements (no matter how small).
- Nice things people did for you or things you did for others.
- Things that make you happy (you can call it your “happiness jar“).
- Positive quotes.
- Pretty pictures or pictures that inspire you.
- Photos of people you love and appreciate.
- Good things that happened to you or your family.
- Three Good Things – write three things that went well each day and WHY they went well. Susan Peirce Thompson, Ph.D. explains that after just one week of doing the “three good things exercise” studies showed people were happier.
- Inspirational quotes.
- Positive changes you have made in your life.
- Positive emotions you feel.
Gratitude Jar Printable
If you don’t want to use an actual jar then you can print our free gratitude template. It is useful in a classroom when you don’t have a jar for each student. It is also a great insert to create for your planner or journal.
Write or draw the things you are grateful for on the jar.