how and why to start a gratitude journal
Journaling for empaths

What are the benefits of a gratitude journaling practice? 15 gratitude journaling prompts to get you started4 min read

Gratitude is real magic. In your mind.

Even when all you can see is how horrible things are, gratitude can turn things around.

It won’t fix everything that’s wrong with the world, but it’ll take your focus away from the bad and point you towards what’s still good.

The days when you think it can’t get worse, gratitude will help you heal.

Not instantly, but slowly over time writing about your gratitude will have a profound effect on your life.

A gratitude journal helps you remember those who helped, supported, comforted and encouraged you on your journey.

It also gives you perspective on your own accomplishments and the things that have gone right in your life.

And writing it all down makes it more powerful than simply thinking it or saying it out loud.

Why keep a gratitude journal at all?

When I’m feeling despondent it reminds me of the things I did well. It calms and centres me when I’m feeling stressed or frazzled, gives me clarity when I feel lost or confused, and it helps me reconnect with what truly matters.

And it can do the same for you too!

Because embracing the practice of gratitude has a transformative effect on your life.

A regular practice (it doesn’t even have to be every day to be effective!) will make you happier, improve your mental health and helps you cope with big challenges in life.

You’ll also have better self-esteem, sleep better and have deeper, more satisfying relationships.

If you kick off your gratitude journal with the help of this free gratitude journaling course, you’ll gain something called the happiness advantage!

Rewiring your brain for happiness helps you achieve more in your career, your relationships, as a student, leader and parent.

Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.

– William Arthur Ward

To start a gratitude journal all you need is a journal and a pen!

It’s best to choose a pen that writes well because there’s nothing more infuriating than a pen that won’t write! And a notebook that you enjoy writing in.

There’s an advantage to using pen and paper – such as greater focus and more creativity – but if you feel like that’s asking too much, you should use whatever method of journaling feels comfortable for you.

The most important thing is that you start, not how you start.

You can use the prompts below and answer by just starting to write and seeing where it takes you.

If that feels hard, you can also list things you’re grateful for.

Stay away from repeating things as that diminishes the efficacy of the gratitude journaling. Try to think of new things to be grateful every time.

If you wish to focus on one thing you’re grateful for, try thinking from different perspectives.

15 fantastic gratitude journaling prompts

  1. Describe what you did well today. Looking back at where you succeeded focuses your mind on taking agency over your actions every day.
  2. List all the good qualities of your favourite person. This will help you to appreciate those around you and not take people near and dear to you for granted.
  3. Describe something that cheers you up when you’re feeling low. Positive recall is almost as powerful as doing that thing, so thinking back on things that make you feel better puts you in a better mood.
  4. Describe your favourite part of the day. Turning your attention to the small, mundane moments helps you recognise the importance of being present in life each and every day.
  5. Describe a time when you were successful at something and overcame a challenge.
  6. Write 5 things you’re grateful for in your professional life.
  7. Describe a time when someone else made you feel really happy.
  8. Write about something positive you saw in your community recently.
  9. Describe your all-time favourite food. Why is it your favourite? What about it makes you happy?
  10. Write about a hobby that you love. What do you enjoy about it? Why did you choose that over something else?
  11. Remember a time when you were successful at something and write a thank you speech thanking all the people who helped you achieve that success. Yes, just like at the Oscars. For bonus good feels, share the speech with those you mention in it.
  12. Describe a random act of kindness from another person you received recently. And don’t just focus on the big stuff, small things like letting you go ahead in a line or holding the bus at the stop until you get there count too!
  13. What makes your pet special? If you don’t have one, you can skip this prompt. But our pets keep us company and offer a non-judgemental space for us to exist in (except when you have a cat, but even then they’re not judging your looks or personality, just the poor level of service you’re providing).
  14. Describe something you recently did to make someone else happy. Again; big and small things alike, it all counts.
  15. List 5 things you like about yourself. It can be physical traits, personality quirks or just habits you’ve picked up on the way. Show yourself some love!

And remember to smile! It looks good on you 🤗

Thankful gratitude email course

Thankful is a free journaling course that I created for you when you want to feel happier and more grateful in life.

It’s a daily journaling email course where I send you a new email every day for 21 days with journaling prompts and knowledge about the science of gratitude and happiness.

When you’re ready to be guided through twenty-one days of journaling, you can sign up here.

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