camera pointed at mountains. Text says "create a photo gratitude journal"

Photo Gratitude Journal

It’s the season of gratitude and giving thanks. Of course, our gratitude practice shouldn’t be reserved only for November. According to the Greater Good Research Center in Berkeley, there are tremendous benefits from practicing gratitude on a regular basis – everything from helping struggling marriages to improved health and better grades in school.

But surprisingly, Americans resist gratitude. A Harris Poll conducted for American Greetings found that “…60 percent admit that on Thanksgiving they’d rather do something else than reflect on what they’re thankful for.” It’s very easy to let stress, busyness, sadness, loneliness, or grief get in the way of this very beneficial practice.

Most of us know that gratitude is helpful. But it’s not always easy! It’s important to find something that works well and feels right to you. I want to highlight one idea that I personally enjoy.

Create a Photo Gratitude Journal

Instead of a written gratitude journal, I like to make a photo gratitude journal. I simply take pictures of things that make me happy. I can look through these photos to savor the happiness and feel gratitude for the experience, thing, or person. Here’s the one I made on Sunday.

fall leaves

Red autumn leaves.

palm trees

Palm trees. I still find them cool even after 20 years in California.


A yellow rose. I love that roses bloom almost year-round here.


I’m grateful for my feet and legs that took me on this lovely walk.


Homemade cranberry bliss bars (copycat of Starbucks). Yum!


My son bought me this mood ring when we went to the zoo. A thoughtful gift!

Making a photo gratitude journal was easy, fun, and satisfying! I really enjoy getting out in nature to do this. There are so many beautiful things to appreciate. For me, it creates a nice little shift toward positive thinking.

I hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving.

©Sharon Martin.

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Additional Resources

photo of Tools to Help You Stop Overthinking

Do you have trouble “turning off” your mind?

Do your thoughts race making it hard for you to relax or stay focused on the present?

Do you ruminate about mistakes or perceived inadequacies?

Is it hard for you to make decisions because you don’t want to make the wrong choice?

Start changing your thoughts today with this digital toolkit!

Sharon Martin, DSW, LCSW is a psychotherapist and author specializing in codependency recovery. For the past 25 years, she’s been helping people-pleasers, perfectionists, and adult children overcome self-doubt and shame, embrace their imperfections, and set boundaries. Dr. Martin writes the popular blog Conquering Codependency for Psychology Today and is the author of The CBT Workbook for Perfectionism and The Better Boundaries Workbook.

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