‘Tis the season to be thankful. But I’d argue that keeping a posture of gratitude is healthy all year long. We’ve heard the studies and we know the benefits of gratitude—but how do we tap into it daily? It’s so easy to get lost in our to-do lists and anxieties. No matter my best intentions, a gratitude practice is just not at the top of my list. However, with the power of a little habit stacking, I do tend to open my journal on most mornings. And calling on gratitude prompts is the fastest way to get me into the mindset I’m seeking—one that makes the mundane beautiful and gives me a true sense of gratefulness for this little life.
Image above by Jenn Rose Smith, from our interview with Riley Reed
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One thing that’s changed my perspective lately is to attempt to put more emphasis on people over things. I have a notebook full of gratitude entries that list out how much I love my coffee or this “lovely breeze we’re having.” This way of thinking certainly heightens 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 co-workers and even run-ins with a kind stranger, truly meditating on what makes each person so meaningful has amplified the color of my world—and taken the spotlight off myself.
Here are 18 gratitude writing prompts to help harness your thankfulness in this season and the next.
Gratitude Journal Prompts For a Grateful Life
- Make a list of 10 things you’re thankful for that you normally wouldn’t think twice about.
- What’s something you wanted before that you have now? Do you now take it for granted or are you grateful?
- What’s 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 thankful for?
- Look in the mirror and resist the pull to think negative thoughts. Write down the positive things you see.
- Write about someone you’re thankful for.
- What is something you’re looking forward to?
- What is the best thing that happened to you yesterday?
- Who was the last person to make you smile?
- What is your favorite thing about your partner?
- Write about the last time you felt truly at peace.
- Reflect on your favorite holiday and the moments you enjoy most.
- What is a lesson you’ve learned that you’re thankful for?
- Write about a favorite memory from the past year.