Gratitude journal prompts are a really effective way to relieve stress, boost self-esteem, and improve your mindset overall.
Being thankful and spending more time focusing on what we do have, rather than dwelling on what we don’t can be really uplifting and, I can say from personal experience, definitely gives you a much sunnier outlook.
While practising gratitude doesn’t mean you completely ignore anything negative and shrug off responsibilities, it does switch up our thought processes and helps us be a little bit more positive when going about our everyday life.
Gratitude doesn’t come easily for everyone, especially if you’re prone to feeling low or anxious. (Don’t worry, I’m right there with you.)
By using journal prompts for gratitude, we encourage our brain to go to a more positive place and be thankful if it doesn’t come naturally (or even if it does!).
Gratitude journaling – or writing what we’re grateful for down in a journal – helps cement those feelings of thankfulness, making it more ‘real’. Writing takes our thoughts from inside our heads and puts them on down on paper. It makes them physical and this helps us acknowledge them on a deeper level.
In a spiritual sense, it brings our thoughts from our head and into the 2D, which is easier for us to comprehend.
What’s more, journal prompts can help us gain a deeper understanding of not only gratitude, but ourselves.
Some of my favourite prompts for gratitude journaling prompts are:
#1. What does gratitude mean to you?
#2. What do you hope to achieve by practising gratitude?
#3. What are 10 things that make you happy?
#4. What are three things that you can do that instantly lift your mood?
#5. Who are you most grateful for in your life?
#6. Write about one person who has had a positive influence on your life.
#7. What self-care activities are you grateful for? How do you self-sooth?
#8. What’s your favourite food? What food makes you feel really grateful when you eat it?
#9. What smell are you grateful for? What sort of positive emotions does this smell provoke in you?
#10. What’s your favourite colour? Which colour makes you feel happier and why?
#11. What drink makes you feel warm and cosy? What feelings does this spark in you?
#12. What’s one way you get to move your body that makes you feel great, that you’re so thankful you get to do?
#13. Write about a life experience that you’ve learned a huge lesson from.
#14. How does practising gratitude make you feel?
#15. What creature comforts are you grateful for?
#16. What are five things you like about yourself?
#17. What are three awesome skills and talents that you possess.
#18. How do you plan to show gratitude to others?
#19. When was the last time you thanked yourself for being you? Why was it at this particular time? Let’s do it again now!
#20. Write about something good that’s happened to you this week.
#21. What’s something that you’re looking forward to?
#22. What hurdles have you overcome in your life that you’re really proud of?
#23. What’s one good deed that someone has done for you recently?
How to start a gratitude journal
Practising gratitude is a great way to start your journey to a more positive mindset.
There’s a lot of information out there about transforming your mindset, increasing your vibration, living your dream life and so on and so forth. However, while it’s amazing that people want to both provide and digest this knowledge, it can be SO overwhelming.
When you’re starting from a negative place, suddenly setting out with the goal of living your ultimate dream life can feel daunting – like an unachievable goal. This discourages people from even starting as it seems so far away.
By just being thankful each day, we can take that first step towards helping ourselves become a little bit more positive.
We might stay on this step for a long time or even forever, but that’s okay.
As well as improving your mindset overall, the benefits of practising gratitude include:
- Stress relief
- Improved sleep
- Feeling hopeful, which is closely linked to happiness
- Inner strength and confidence
- Improved self-esteem
- Relieves symptoms of mental health issues
While practising gratitude isn’t a magic wand and you do also need to practise self-care (or even seek professional help if possible for deeper, emotional issues), it doesn’t hurt to give it a go. If you’re like me, you might find it really helpful in boosting your mood.
If you’re struggling to know where or how to start gratitude journaling, these are the steps I usually recommend to everyone.
- Get a journal you want to write in: While it’s not the most important part of gratitude journaling, finding a notepad or journal that you want to write in can really help you stick to it as you actually want to use it. It doesn’t have to be expensive or fancy, just something that calls to you.
- Harness your ‘why’: Think about why you want to start a gratitude journal. You might want to improve your mindset, boost happiness, or even just relieve stress. Finding you ‘why’ and keeping it in the front of your mind should help motivate you to keep going and stick to your practise, which will allow you to start experiencing the benefits.
- Use journal prompts, printables and workbooks: If you find the idea of just writing gratitude lists on paper uninspiring, try choosing journal prompts (like the ones in this blog post), and/or printables, which lay out exactly what you need to do and also usually look pretty cute. Getting a workbook aimed at helping you harness why you want to practise gratitude in the first place and delve deeper into your emotions can also be really beneficial. This is why I include a workbook with my Master Your Mindset With Journaling course.
- Get stationary that excites you: Similar to getting a notepad you want to journal your gratitude in, getting cute stationary isn’t a necessity BUT, if it makes you excited to journal and stick to it, it’s worth it.
- Just write what you’re grateful for: When it comes to actually writing what you’re grateful for, it’s as simple as it sounds. Simply write a short list of what you’re grateful for. I usually stick to five things each morning, but if you’re just starting out, you can even just write down one thing.
- Find a time of day that works for you: I always get asked what the best time of day to gratitude journal is and I always say the same thing: whenever works for YOU. I like to start my day off on a positive note because that’s when I feel my most low, so I do mine in the morning, but if you prefer you can do yours in the evening or any time you like!
- Set alarms/reminders to journal: If you struggle to remember to journal, leave notes on your phone, sticky notes around your mirror or on your fridge, or set alarms on your phone to remind you.
- Use gratitude affirmations: Affirmations are great for improving self-esteem and harnessing inner strength. By re-affirming your gratitude outside of your journal practise (as well as during it), you can truly start to rewire negative thought processes. I have a whole post on gratitude affirmations where I explain the whys and hows, if this is something that sounds you could use.
- Keep your journal in a place you’ll have to see it: Keeping your gratitude journal in a place you’ll have to see it or even physically move it can help remind you to write in it.
- Start slow and work your way up: If you struggle to think of things to be grateful for, a) I have a whole list of stuff to be grateful for you can take inspiration from and b) try starting slow by only practising gratitude once a week, then work your way up if you feel this would be beneficial to you.
If you want to start a gratitude today, why not give my 30 days of gratitude challenge a go?
A witchy ray of sunshine who loves to help others on their journal journey. I’ve been journaling since childhood and have since gone on to earn a degree in English and a diploma in Shadow Work. I love my plant babies, yoga, and anything spooky. Find out more on my about me page.