Today I will be sharing with you 50 gratitude journaling prompts.
Journaling is quickly becoming more popular, with hordes of people starting their day by opening the pages of their notebook and writing. Writing has long been recommended by counsellors and psychologists as a way to work through our emotions, and many find that it’s a great way to reduce stress, improve decision making, and get to know themselves better.
I personally find that getting my feelings and worries out on the page stops me from going over them so much in my mind. Free writing can sometimes feel daunting though, so one of my favourite ways to journal is to use prompts. These are questions that can be used to gain a better understanding of ourselves and take note of things that might need addressing.
Gratitude has become a positive psychology intervention that is used in several settings. Research in this field has found that the practice of being thankful in life is strongly associated with well-being and happiness. Gratitude facilitates meaning- finding in our ordinary life events which is fuel for psychological resilience.
The practice of gratitude has been found to increase positive emotions, altruistic behaviour, and reduce physical complaints, stress, depression, and worry. Indeed research has found that gratitude is linked to all levels of well-being and has become a popular intervention that fosters positive functioning and psychological strengths.
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Why is gratitude so hard to practice?
Let’s face it, it’s easier to focus on what we don’t have, our imperfections, and our problems than it is to be grateful for what we have. Between the violence, natural disasters, and divisive political climate, it’s been a rough year for many of us.
We’re inundated with negatives nearly 24/7 from the news, social media, and even in-person conversations. So, we have to work extra hard to find the good in ourselves and the world around us.
What you need
If you are new to the journal writing process, don’t panic. It’s pretty simple. All you need is a journal (or notepad) and a pen. So now you have your amazing journal, find a quiet space, grab a cup of coffee (…or wine/beer) and take some time to yourself.
I love using journal prompts because sometimes when I sit down to write I just stare at the blank page not knowing what to write about. Only when I actually dig deeper and ask myself some tough questions do I discover how many thoughts, feelings and views I have!
Focus on the benefits of gratitude journaling
Understanding why you’re doing something instead of just jumping in will make your new habit easier to stick to. For example, you know you have to brush your teeth and even though the act of brushing your teeth isn’t necessarily enjoyable, you do it because you know it prevents cavities.
The same applies to gratitude journaling (although it’s a lot more enjoyable than brushing your teeth). Some of the benefits of gratitude journaling include lower stress levels, a greater sense of calm and a whole new level of clarity.
You’ll learn more about yourself in the process and gain a fresh perspective that allows you to recognize blessings in disguise. As you continue the practice, you’ll be able to focus your time and energy according to the things that truly make you the happiest version of yourself.
Set aside time for writing
Finding time to write in your gratitude journal can be difficult at first because it feels like another thing on your never-ending to-do list, but after you get into the routine it becomes second nature. The easiest way to maintain a gratitude journal is by making it a habit. Try attaching it to an existing habit like having your morning coffee or reading before bed.
Doing this will automatically give you a dedicated time to write. Also, shift your mindset and think about it as something you want to do, not as a chore. You might think that you have to journal daily to see the benefits, but consistency is key.
If writing daily works for you then go for it, but if you can only squeeze in once a week, that’s fine too. As long as you get into the routine of writing in your journal on a regular basis, you’ll start to notice the benefits.
Why gratitude prompts are good
You might look down at your gratitude journal to see that you were thankful for coffee five days in a row. Now, you may be grateful for that brown liquid gold, but you need to take the time to think more deeply and appreciate more deeply.
That’s why these gratitude journal prompts are so helpful. Answer a question every day and you’ll focus on a different aspect of your life regularly. Some blessings you may have never considered before. Often, we need a little nudge to do things well. In this case, use that gentle push to greatly improve your thoughts and your life.
What to do if you don’t know what to write about?
If you’re struggling to find something to thankful for, start small. There are always things to be grateful for, even on our darkest days, but we have to look harder for them. Like digging for buried treasure, it takes effort, but the reward is great.
Try to identify one good thing – a supportive person, a comfy sweater, hot water, or even that you’re able to read this article. Try to stay open-minded. Your first response might still be to minimize the positives and focus on the negatives, but by practicing gratitude we can actually train ourselves to spot the positives.
This means that with practice, it will become easier to identify things you’re grateful for and you’ll develop an open and joyful heart, as well as a greater appreciation for yourself and the world around you.
Gratitude doesn’t make our problems disappear, but it helps them feel more manageable. But, if you just simply can’t think of anything, I’ve got your back. Check out these gratitude journal prompts that will help you achieve clarity and help your mental health.
50 Gratitude Journaling Prompts – Simple Guide!
So, what do you write on your journal?
- If you’re not sure what put down or are out of ideas for the moment, here’s a huge list of journal prompts you can try.
- See which ones apply most to your life and start with those. From there, you can slowly go through the list and complete them all.
- Name a person you are thankful for that shaped who you are today.
- What is something from each of your senses you are grateful for today? (Sight, smell, taste, touch, sound)
- What challenge did you overcome that you now see the benefit in?
- What book are you grateful for and why? What are the teachings?
- What are you grateful for about your town? Your time period? Your country?
- What are you most grateful for in your morning or night routine?
- Name three everyday objects that you are grateful for.
- What music are you most grateful for?
- Name three unique things you are grateful for so far this year.
- Name three people you are grateful for outside of your immediate family. Why?
- What brings you gratitude with the passing of time? Something you notice more than you used to.
- What do you love most about each season of the year?
- What discovery have you made in the last year that you are thankful for?
- What food did you eat today? Take a moment to share gratitude for the food and water that sustains you and imagine where it came from.
- Do you have shelter? A warm place to sleep? Food on your table? Spend a few minutes being grateful for the necessities in life.
- What have you learned this year that has benefited you?
- What person are you most grateful for and why?
- What is something hard or mundane that you do, and you’re grateful it makes you stronger?
- What is something in your home that brings you great joy?
- What positive memory happened in the last week that you are thankful for?
- What did you do today that made you happy?
- What aspect of nature did you appreciate in the last week?
- Who is a friend you’re grateful for and why?
- List three people that have made your life better. (Bonus: thank them today!)
- Write one moment or memory in your life that you will cherish forever.
- What do you love most about life?
- What was a wonderful thing that happened today?
- What is something you take for granted?
- What do you love about yourself?
- What tradition are you grateful for?
- Tell of a place that you cherish.
- What is your favourite time of day and why do you love it?
- Tell of a way someone helped you recently.
- What is something amazing that happened to you in the last week, month, or year?
- Name one thing you are grateful for regarding each person in your family.
- What is your favourite gratitude quote? What does it make you think of?
- Name one luxury you enjoy on a daily or weekly basis.
- What do you love about your job?
- What is your favourite place in your home? Why?
- Describe your favourite vacation/holiday.
- Describe the last time you helped someone. How did it feel?
- What’s a guilty pleasure you are thankful for?
- Name an accomplishment you are proud of.
- Write down the best gift you’ve ever received.
- Describe something beautiful that is outside of your window.
- What do you love most about your family?
- What do you love most about your friends?
- What activities in your day are your thankful for?
- Name one thing that made you smile or laugh today.
- What is something beautiful you saw today.
50 Gratitude Journaling Prompts – Final thoughts
Gratitude is a very powerful tool in helping you become a more positive person. By writing them down on a journal, you’re able to keep track of all the good things that have happened in your life.
This makes is doubly powerful allowing you to go back and remember specific situations. In case you’re not sure what to write about or are out of ideas, the list above contains tons of journal prompts to help you.
What do you write in your journal, I would love to hear your ideas?
I really hope you found inspiration in this article. If you have any questions please reach out to me via firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear from you!
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Hello! My name is Adam and welcome to my space on the internet. Here you can find me writing about subjects such as spiritual growth, self-discovery, wellbeing, addiction recovery and mental health. Please connect with me on my journey and join the community!