As Thanksgiving approaches, it’s the perfect time to reflect on what you are grateful for. You’ve probably heard about keeping a gratitude journal, but have you ever tried it? Our Gratitude journal prompts are here to help you get started.
At first, it may seem overwhelming to journal every day. Don’t put this pressure on yourself. Pick it up when something comes to mind. Another idea is to reflect once a week and simply write five things you are grateful for from the previous week. It doesn’t have to be complex. It can be as simple as “woke up this morning” or “lunch with a friend.”
The timing of when you want to write is up to you. While I try to write in my gratitude journal every night, sometimes it becomes every other night. That’s okay. Journal when it feels right for you — the benefits really are worth it.Lauren Jensen – Huffington Post
2020 has been a crazy tough year, but recognizing what you are thankful for —even during the worst times—fosters resilience and helps build up a reservoir of strength and good vibes to fall back on.
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.Live Well with Sharon Martin
What is a Gratitude Journal?
Unlike a traditional journal where you record details about your experiences and feelings, a gratitude journal reflects on things or people that you are grateful for on a regular basis. “In essence, you are rewiring your brain to focus more on the positive aspects of your life and build up resilience against negative situations. Keeping a gratitude journal is a popular practice in positive psychology” – the scientific study of happiness. I
5 Benefits of Keeping a Gratitude Journal
Improves physical health
Some research reports that grateful people report feeling healthier. They are also more likely to take better care of their health like getting regular check-ups and exercising more often.
Studies have traced a range of impressive benefits to the simple act of writing down the things for which we’re grateful—benefits including better sleep, fewer symptoms of illness, and more happiness among adults and kids alike.University of California Berkley
Improves your psychological health
Gratitude journaling helps reduce negative thoughts and emotions by helping you focus on what you truly appreciate in your life. It will help you clarify what you want to cut from your life and what you want to have more of.
Robert Emmons, a leading gratitude researcher, has conducted multiple studies on the link between gratitude and well-being. His research confirms that gratitude effectively increases happiness and reduces depression.Psychology Today
Focusing on gratitude also helps boost your brain’s “happy” hormones. These help regulate stress and lift your spirits. When you are feeling down you can read your journal to help lift your spirits with the reminder of the great things and people in your life.
May improve your sleep
Some studies report that spending just 15 minutes jotting down a few grateful statements before bed may help you sleep more soundly and longer.
Improves your self-esteem
Focusing on what you are thankful for helps you learn more about yourself and become more self-aware. Instead of focusing on a neighbor or friend with a better job or higher salary, you are more likely to appreciate their accomplishments. You’ll focus more on what you love about your own life.
Reduces your fear and worry
Thanks to our primitive ancestors, a “fight or flight” response is hard-wired into our brains. This can help stir the feelings of both fear and worry. Recording your gratitude helps you refocus on the good that surrounds you. Gratitude helps modulate your system to reduce anxiety and depression and turn up your ability to feel hopeful and relaxed.
Gratitude Journal Prompts
Many people recommend creating a habit of gratitude by journaling at the same time every day. In the past, I have found this overwhelming. I felt frustrated some days when I could not think of anything new to write. I found that gratitude journal prompts really help. So, I created a list that I hope helps kick start your gratitude journaling practice. See if you can see up with a daily journal for a month and before you know it, it will become a healthy habit in your life.
50 Gratitude Journal Prompts to get you started
- What’s something that you’re looking forward to?
- Write about a simple pleasure that you’re grateful for?
- What’s something or someone that makes you feel safe?
- What was the best thing that happened today?
- What’s something that you are grateful to have today that you didn’t have a year ago?
- How does being thankful mean to you? How does it make you feel?
- Write about a happy memory.
- Write about a vacation that you’re grateful for.
- What’s something about your health that you’re grateful for?
- What’s something you’re grateful for outside (look out your window)?
- Write about an accomplishment you’re proud of?
- What’s a possession that makes your life easier?
- Find a favorite photo. Why are you grateful for this photo?
- What have you been given lately that you’re grateful for?
- Name someone that makes you smile.
- What is your favorite hobby and why?
- Name the best thing that’s ever happened to you.
- What artist, author, or musician are you grateful for?
- What do you like about your job?
- How are you able to help others?
- What is your favorite outdoor activity?
- What do you like most about your family?
- Write yourself a thank you note for something you did for yourself.
- What book(s) are you grateful for?
- What piece of clothing are you grateful for?
- Write about a friend that you’re grateful for.
- An act of kindness someone showed you.
- Write about a teacher or mentor that you’re grateful for.
- Write about a family member that you’re grateful for.
- What did you accomplish today?
- What is your favorite thing to do on the weekends?
- Where is your favorite place to relax?
- What’s your favorite song and why?
- Are you thankful for the weather today?
- What’s your favorite thing about the current day of the week?
- What’s something that keeps you healthy?
- What’s a tradition that you’re grateful for?
- What’s one of your personality traits that you’re grateful for?
- What mistake or failure are you grateful for?
- What’s something that you bought recently that you’re grateful for?
- What’s something that you made recently that you’re grateful for?
- Look around the room and write about everything you see that you’re grateful for.
- What’s your favorite thing about the current season?
- A favorite quote or saying that makes you happy.
- What’s your favorite memory from your childhood?
- What’s a favorite memory of your mom/dad/sibling?
- What scent do you most enjoy?
- What’s your favorite restaurant and why?
- What is your favorite part of your body?
- What is something beautiful you saw today?
Gratitude Journal Prompts Printable
For easy access, click the image below to download a PDF of these gratitude journal prompts
Tips for practicing gratitude
If it sounds like a daunting task, here are a few things to consider:
- Have fun, if it’s causing you stress, skip a day, do once a week, whatever works best for you.
- Be creative – you can use photos and art as well as text
- Remember that there is no wrong way to do it
- Start looking for things to be thankful for everywhere
- Share what you’re grateful for with someone else
I hope you’ve found this information and my gratitude journal prompts helpful. Have a wonderful, and thankful day!