As kids, we look at the world in awe. Everything we see is new, refreshing, and glowing. Sadly as we get older, the world’s luster begins to dull. Less and less experiences and things amaze us. Has the world gotten boring? Personally, I don’t think so. It’s just our perspective has changed. Be it from news, friends, or even our family. But it doesn’t have to be this way. A great way to rekindle that spark of joy is to start a gratitude journal. And to help get you started, here’s my favorite daily gratitude journal prompts.
What’s A Gratitude Journal?
Before we delve into the daily gratitude journal prompts, let’s talk about what is this journaling type? In its simplest form, it’s about the habit of recording and reflecting on things that you’re grateful for on a regular basis. Typically, journalers aim to jot down three or more per entry.
Curious about the many different types of journaling? Take a deep dive in Journaling… In All It’s Shapes, Forms, and Fun to find more ways to incorporate this practice into your life.
Counting Your Blessings Is A Good Thing
As adults, our minds naturally drift towards negative thoughts. We don’t have this. I can’t afford to go to the Bahamas. I wish I didn’t have to do laundry. Gratitude journaling puts the brakes on those thoughts for a moment. Countless studies have found that when you give thanks and consciously count your blessings, you’ll get some major health benefits from it.
What Kind Of Health Benefits?
For starters, it’ll help lower stress. Think about those moments where you look around and just enjoy the experience. What happens? You forget about what’s bothering you for a second. That’s the same thing when you write down what you’re grateful for. Suddenly that bad day isn’t so bad. Another positive aspect is that it’ll help with interpersonal relationships. There’s been research that has shown a gratitude journal decreases materialism AND bolsters generosity.
A Good Pick Me Up
Along with these benefits, this journaling type is known to help increase self-esteem too. You’ll focus less on what others have and more on what you are about. In turn, when you feel better about yourself, you can then trust others at a higher level creating deeper relationships.
Gratitude Writing Prompts
Now that we’ve recognized a few reasons why a wellness journal is a good thing, let’s delve into a few of my favorite daily gratitude journal prompts. Each of these will help you give thanks. Give you the opportunity to practice positivity. And most of all, find joy even on those tough days that we all have.
What Accomplishment Am I Most Proud Of?
This doesn’t have to be some massive goal like climbing Mt. Everest. Your greatest achievements could be giving a great presentation at school or work. Beating sales targets. Training for a race and completing it such as a 5K or a 50-mile bike ride. Organizing a successful event. Donating clothes to a charity. Regardless of age, I can tell you there’s A LOT of things you should be proud of. If you’re having trouble finding an accomplishment, check out this amazing article: 10 Simple Reasons To Be Proud Of Your Life.
My Favorite Part Of The Day
Out of all the daily gratitude journal prompts, this one is the most interesting to me. It seems that the answer to this one has changed over my life. When I was in my 20’s, I was a night owl. I was energized and most productive at night. Late work hours weren’t a bad thing for me. Rather getting up early was the challenge. As I’ve gotten older, this has flipped on itself. Now mornings are when I’m the most efficient. Getting up at 5 am is a GREAT thing for me. Seeing the sun rise sparks excitement.
A Memory That Makes Me Smile
There’s nothing better than a memory popping in your brain that makes you stop for a second and smile. Maybe it’s a picture. Or that your cat snuggles in your lap while you’re working. Writing it down will ensure that you etch that bit of positivity into your soul forever. Need some inspiration? Check out these amazing memories shared on Reddit.
My Favorite Song & Why
Music is more than just a song. There are so many things that go into why it’s our favorite. A lot of times it could be WHERE we heard it first. Maybe it was at a baseball game or a friend’s house. In a car ride or on airplane. Along with location, it could be what we expected or that it was something totally different. For example, the first time my husband heard Dead Kennedy’s Holiday in Cambodia, the words and the sounds were unlike anything he’d heard before. Needless to say, it made an impression worth remembering.
A Place You’re Grateful For
This could be anywhere. A coffee shop you stop by every morning. The nook in your bedroom that you cuddle up in for reading books. The park you play tennis at. A lakeside cabin you visit ever summer. The fire pit in your backyard. This is a place that you feel comfortable and re-energize your internal batteries.
Favorite Outdoor Activity
Similar to a place you’re grateful for, outside activities give us a chance to get some sunshine and fresh air. This could be as simple as going for a daily walk with your pooch. Sailing on the ocean or a lake. Taking a run through your neighborhood that triggers all five senses. The smell of freshly cut grass. The sound of kids playing at a playground. Seeing your best friend working at a restaurant. For me, it’s mountain biking. It reminds me of all the countless days I spent horseback riding and barrel racing. Instead of a horse, I now saddle up on my bike to tackle whatever the trails throw at me.
What Life Experience Has Had The Biggest Positive Impact On You?
Talk about mentally getting you into a positive mood. Memories and experiences provide a glimpse into our soul. Be it heartbreak, the birth of a child, or a life-altering decision, these moments help shape who we are today. When you reflect on these occurrences, you put yourself on the right foot to bigger and better things.
Reflect On A Negative Experience That Led To A Positive Outcome
This is a cool one to think about. We’ve all heard the classic saying, “When one door closes, another opens” but many of us including me forget about these moments. At the time, it may FEEL terrible that the world is ending, but in truth, it’s that you’re growing. It may take a month or even years, but a positive outcome seems to always complete the circle. When you reflect on these situations, you’ll become stronger so that when something negative does happen again, you’ll realize it’s just the next chapter in your life.
Name Something In Your Home That You Truly Treasure & Why
Out of all the daily gratitude journal prompts, this one has hit the hardest for me. Just this summer we were forced to evacuate our home in Lake Tahoe due to the Caldor Fire. Suddenly the way we looked at everything in our house changed. What was REALLY important? Besides the normal items you should have ready to leave with was an oil picture of a clown that my grandfather painted. I’ve never been one to really like clowns but “Augie” holds so much love and gentleness in his painted eyes that it makes me smile as I think of my grandpa every time I see it. To have lost this painting in the fire would have been soul crushing.
What’s Something Positive That Happened To You Today?
A lot of these daily gratitude journal prompts are focused on things that may have happened a long time ago. The goal for this type of journal is to change how you think about daily life. This particular prompt is perfect for that. Take stock in the little things that happen every day that are amazing. Maybe you got a compliment from your boss. You had breakfast with your best friend. It could even be that there was no traffic.
Reflect On One Of The Happiest Memories From The Past Year
In the same category, instead of focusing on something that may have happened years ago, focus on an experience that is fresh. Psychological research dating back to the 1930’s have proven time and time again that holding and reflecting on good memories can help us move past difficult situations. This is especially true when you leave those bad memories behind.
Describe Ten Things About Yourself That You Like
Ten might sound like a lot, but this isn’t as hard as you may be thinking. Focus on what makes you happy to be you. It could be anything. From being a good friend to having naturally curly hair. Maybe it’s that you graduated from college. Or you aren’t afraid to stand up to anyone and tell them they are wrong or being unfair. You ARE fabulous and should shout it from the rooftops… and better yet, write it down in your journal too.
Future Event I’m Excited About
It’s good to live in the present but looking forward to things in the future can really bring sunshine to a rainy day. It could be as simple as seeing your grandma on Sunday or as complex as the marathon you’ve been training for. It could even be that trip to Europe you’ve been wanting to take since you were a kid.
My Guilty Pleasure
There’s nothing wrong with a guilty pleasure. Be it late night snacking, an extra scoop of your favorite ice cream, or even putting extra butter on the movie theater popcorn (my personal favorite). Life is about balance and some days we just need something enjoyable.
Reflect On One Of Your Role Models
Having role models is critical in life and having good ones is even more important. In this day and age when there’s so much external pressure to how you portray yourself, finding positive role models that inspire us to be… US may be just what you need! Amazing souls that are comfortable in their own skin. Hard-working, ambitious, independent, kind, and most of all not concerned with what people think. Ever heard of Sofia Loren? Now that’s one inspiring woman with a story to tell.
I hope these daily gratitude journal prompts help you on your path to express gratitude and to a more fulfilling joyful life. If you’ve already started a gratitude journal, I’d love to hear what are your favorite prompts, or better yet, share a positive story so we can all be uplifted.