Cultivate gratitude with these simple journaling prompts

‘Tis the season to be thankful. But I would argue that it is healthy to maintain an attitude of gratitude all year round. We have that heard the studies and we know the benefits of gratitude– but how do we use it on a daily basis? It’s so easy to get lost in our to-do lists and worries. Despite my best intentions, a gratitude practice just isn’t at the top of my list. But with a little force habit stacking, I tend to open my diary most mornings. And calling on gratitude prompts is the fastest way to get me into the mindset I’m looking for—one that makes the mundane beautiful and gives me a real sense of gratitude for this little life.

Selected image of Megan Roup by Michelle Nash.

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One thing that has changed my perspective lately is trying to put more weight on people over things. I have a notebook full of gratitude entries showing how much I love my coffee or this “lovely breeze we have.” This way of thinking certainly increases my awareness of the world around me. However, the most powerful shift comes when I focus on the people in my life. From family to friends to colleagues and even running into a friendly stranger, truly meditating on what makes each person so meaningful has enhanced the color of my world – and taken the spotlight from myself.

Here are 18 gratitude writings to help harness your gratitude this season and the next.

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Gratitude journaling prompts a grateful life

  • Make a list of 10 things you’re grateful for that you wouldn’t normally think twice about.
  • What is it that you wanted before that you have now? Do you now take it for granted or are you grateful?
  • What is something you want more of? Write a thank you note from the perspective that you already have it.
  • Write about five good things that happened to you last month.
  • What is something you learned last month?
  • Write down a few of your favorite literary quotes that make you smile.
  • What are three things that make you feel like you?
  • What stress-relieving item/action are you grateful for?
  • Look in the mirror and resist the temptation to think negative thoughts. Write down the positive things you see.
  • Write about someone you are grateful for.
  • What is something you look forward to?
  • What is the best thing that happened to you yesterday?
  • Who was the last person who made you smile?
  • What is your favorite thing about your partner?
  • Write about the last time you really felt at peace.
  • Reflect on your favorite holiday and the moments you enjoy the most.
  • What is a lesson you’ve learned that you’re grateful for?
  • Write about a favorite memory from the past year.

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