Reasons why being thankful can improve your mental health and gratitude journal prompts to get you started.
Isn’t it crazy how much our mood can affect our outlook on life?
We live in a world where it is perfectly normal to be super stressed out and to run from one thing to another.
Hustling is worn as a badge of honor after all. The hardest thing is what takes up most of our energy.
But if we’re too busy chasing after the next best thing, sometimes we forget how great our lives are now.
When was the last time you reflected on all the positive things happening in your life?
How a past version of you dreamed of these moments you’re living right now.
If you don’t take the time to reflect on how extraordinary your life is right this very second, you miss out on living a happy, fulfilled life right now.
Sure, it’s great to have goals, but it’s important to take a step back and stare in awe at all the amazing things happening right now!
That’s where gratitude comes in. The most popular method is gratitude journaling all the small things that you are thankful for.
The wonderful thing about practicing gratitude is there are so many different ways to embark on a gratitude journey! As long as you’re taking the time to focus on the positive experiences in your life, then you’re on the right track.
Why should you intentionally practice gratitude?
If you take the time to reflect on what you’re thankful for, even if it’s just for five minutes, the benefits of gratitude are pretty amazing.
Gratitude has been linked with:
- Boosting self-esteem
- Increasing happiness
- Improving physical health and mental health
- Reducing stress and anxiety
- increasing resilience
to name a few from positivepsychology.com.
When you realize how awesome your life is right this very second, it will reduce stress because you aren’t going to be as worried about the next step or being behind. You come to realize you are exactly where you need to be.
Life is always going to throw curveballs, but if you can take a step back and appreciate all the good in your life, you’ll find it easier to weather the storm.
The habit of gratitude can be done in a journal or while you’re meditating. You could even do it on your afternoon stroll! Just take some time to think of all the things that have a positive impact on your life.
The benefits of keeping a gratitude journal
A gratitude journal is a great way to reflect on all the good in your life.
I think writing it down brings more intention into the process. I personally try to write down three things I am thankful for every day.
It’s truly amazing how just a few sentences can change your whole outlook!
The added bonus of having a gratitude journal is that you can look back and see how many things you’re grateful for even on your worse days or you need a self-esteem boost.
When you’re feeling down, you can simply pull out your gratitude journal and remind yourself of all the good in your life.
52 Gratitude Journal Prompts to get you started
Practicing gratitude is something that you just have to start doing. It isn’t going to be easy at first but as you get more comfortable with the process, you’ll notice that you are more thankful throughout your day.
As always, prompts are a great way to get you started.
I’ve broken down the prompts into different sections so you can choose which ones will work best for you.
- What are three things you are grateful for about yourself?
- What are some of your happiest memories?
- Describe your favorite food. What is your favorite meal?
- What is your favorite book? Why?
- What are five things you are proud of?
- What are three things you love about your life right now?
- Which body part is your favorite?
- Name three things you are thankful for that happened yesterday
- What brings you happiness?
- What are you most grateful for?
- Name your favorite self-care activity
- Take a moment to reflect on your home or apartment. What is your favorite thing about it?
- Describe your favorite part of your daily routine.
- What is your favorite daily habit?
- What is your favorite song? Why? How does it make you feel?
- Describe the best gift you ever received. Who gave it to you?
- What is your favorite personality trait of yours?
- Why did you choose your current job?
- What are three things you love about your current job?
- Describe your biggest professional accomplishment?
- What are three things you are grateful for about your career?
- Who has been the biggest mentor in your professional life? Why?
- What are five things you are proud of professionally?
- What is your favorite thing about your workplace?
- Describe your first day on the job. Reflect back on how far you’ve come since you started.
- Name at least one thing you like about your commute
- What was your favorite job as a teenager or in college? Why?
- Who is your best friend and why?
- What is your favorite memory with your family?
- What are three things you love about your significant other?
- Which family member had the most impact on your life? Why?
- What is your favorite thing about being part of a couple/family?
- Describe the day you met your partner or best friend. Did you expect that things would have turned out the way they did?
- Who has been most instrumental in your life? Why?
- What is your favorite thing about your family?
- What is your favorite thing about your friends?
- Name a friend who you could call right now and they would answer their phone and listen to you.
- Describe your pet (or former pet). What was your favorite thing about them?
- Think of a relationship with a friend or a significant other that you thought would last a lifetime. Why is it good it didn’t?
- List 5 things you love about your best friend or partner.
- What was the last random act of kindness you either witness or did?
- What are three things you are grateful for that have nothing to do with people or work?
- Name your favorite thing about nature?
- Describe your favorite sound. Why?
- What is your favorite season? Why?
- What is your favorite holiday? Why?
- Describe the weather today. Think of a positive thing about this weather?
- What is your favorite thing about social media?
- What was the best post you saw on social media today? Why?
- Describe your favorite smell.
- List 5 things you love about your town.
- What is your favorite animal?
How to make the most out of your gratitude journal
I think it’s important to be specific when you write in your gratitude journal.
For example, if you just wrote “my family,” that’s great! But if you took the time to write “I’m grateful for my mom because she is always there for me when I need her” or “I’m grateful for my dad because he taught me how to ride a bike,” that would be even better.
When you are specific, it allows you to relive the moment and really feel the gratitude.
Another way to make the most out of your gratitude journal is by incorporating a daily gratitude practice into your routine.
It doesn’t have to be a lot of time, even 5-10 minutes will do.
The important thing is that you make it a priority.
One way to do this is to keep your gratitude journal next to your bed and write in it before you go to sleep each night. It definitely doesn’t hurt to add some positive thinking into your daily life. You’ll see your stress levels decrease in no time because you won’t feel so behind and more content with where you are at now.
Tips for sticking with your gratitude journal long-term
Here are a few tips that will help you stick with your gratitude journal long-term:
1) Find a time that works for you
Choose a time of day that you know you’ll be able to stick to. For some people, this might be first thing in the morning, while for others it might be right before bed.
2) Keep it short and simple
You don’t need to write a novel in your gratitude journal. A few sentences will do.
3) Make it a habit
The best way to make sure you stick with something is to turn it into a habit. So try to link writing in your gratitude journal with another activity that you do every day, like brushing your teeth or making your bed. You could even try participating in a gratitude challenge to get yourself into the habit.
4) Find a journal you love
This might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s worth mentioning because it’s important to find a journal that you actually enjoy writing in. If you’re not excited about your journal, you’re less likely to want to write in it. you can find one with gratitude writing prompts or even daily gratitude journal prompts.
5) Be creative
There’s no right or wrong way to keep a gratitude journal. So get creative and make it your own! There is no wrong way to express gratitude if you are really trying to find the positive in situations.
These are just a few tips and prompts to help you get started with your gratitude journal. The most important thing is to find a system that works for you and stick with it. The beautiful thing about practicing gratitude is that the more you write, the more benefits you’ll reap. So what are you waiting for? Start writing!
Until next time,
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