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Do you often feel surrounded by negativity?
Every day we are bombarded by bad news, political discord, and catastrophic world events.
But if you turned off the television, shut down your phone, and closed the lid on your computer, life wouldn't seem so bad, would it?
You have most of what you need and a lot of what you want in life. There are good things happening all around you. People love you. There's food on the table. You have a bed to sleep in and a roof over your head.
The antidote to our unhappiness isn't the newest thing, the latest diet fad, or the next achievement.
The antidote is gratitude.
(Side note: Don’t know the “right” way to journal? If so, then check out this seven-step process for building a journaling habit that sticks.)
What You Will Learn
What is Gratitude?
The antidote to our unhappiness isn't the newest thing, the latest diet fad, or the next achievement. The antidote is gratitude.
Gratitude is expressing appreciation for what you have right now. You have gratitude for the people in your life. And gratitude for all good things that are available to you at this moment.
Being grateful isn't an idea you stick on a Post-It note for a quick shot of feel-good. There's a reason (many reasons) why you are hearing it touted so much.
Gratitude can transform you. It can pull you from the vortex of negativity that is sucking the life out of you and give you a renewed sense of purpose and joy.
And the simplest way to practice gratitude is to turn it into a daily habit, specifically by committing to gratitude journaling. (Here are a few gratitude journals you can use to get started with this practice.)
What are the Benefits of Keeping a Gratitude Journal?
Top 5 Benefits of Gratitude Journaling:
- Improves mental health: Multiple studies in the field of positive psychology have shown that gratitude journaling helps people to get rid of negative emotions. Greed. Envy. Regret. And Frustration are often expelled when people take the time to express their gratitude.
- Increases happiness: Further studies have shown that daily gratitude journaling has the single largest impact on increasing happiness and improving self-esteem
- Helps you sleep better: With a lower amount of negative emotions and great happiness and feelings of self-worth, many of the things that keep us up at night tossing and turning are gone. Helping to improve sleep quality and quantity.
- Improves relationships: Journaling about your gratitude makes you more aware of what others do for you. This often leads to improved expression of gratitude to others. When you express gratitude people like you more because you make them feel good about themselves, regardless of whether you are grateful for someone holding opening the door or giving you a life-changing opportunity.
- Gratitude increases resilience: When you are grateful for the good things that have happened in your life, you also become more immune to negative reactions when the bad comes around. Gratitude gives your perspective and helps you realize that no matter how bad things are, “this too shall pass”.
155 Gratitude Journal Prompts
1. Describe your happiest childhood memory?
2. What is a popular song that you enjoy (and why do you like it)?
3. What is one of your favorite songs from your childhood?
4. Who is the one friend you can always rely on?
5. What is the biggest accomplishment in your personal life?
6. What is the biggest accomplishment in your professional life?
7. What is your favorite memory of your father (or stepfather)?
8. What is your favorite memory of your mother (or stepmother?
9. Describe your favorite pet (or former pet)?
10. List 10 hobbies and activities that bring you joy?
11. What is a mistake that I’ve made, which ultimately led to a positive experience?
12. Describe a family tradition that you are most grateful for.
13. Who is a teacher or mentor that has made an impact on your life and how did they help you?
14. What do you like the most about your town or city?
15. Describe your favorite location in your house and why you like it.
16. What is one something you’ve learned this week that you're thankful for?
17. Who made you smile in the past 24 hours and why?
18. What is a recent purchase that has added value to your life?
19. What is the biggest lesson you learned in childhood?
20. List 10 ways you can share your gratitude with other people in the next 24 hours.
21. Describe your favorite smell.
22. Describe your favorite sound.
23. Describe your favorite sight.
24. Describe your favorite taste.
25. Describe your favorite sensation.
26. How can you pamper yourself in the next 24 hours?
27. Name and write about someone you’ve never met, but who has helped your life in some way.
28. How is your life more positive today than it was a year ago?
29. What do other people like about you?
30. List 10 skills you have that most people don’t possess.
31. Describe the last time someone helped you solve a problem at work.
32. What is your favorite part of your daily routine?
33. What is a great book you’ve recently read?
34. What is your favorite holiday and why do you love it?
35. What is your favorite T.V. show and why do you love it?
36. What is your favorite movie and why do you love it?
37. What is your favorite way to enjoy nature? (i.e. walking in the woods, sitting on the beach, or hiking in the mountains, etc.)
38. Write about a recent obstacle you faced and how you overcame it.
39. Describe a favorite pet and what you love(d) about it.
40. List 10 things you are looking forward to in the next year.
41. What do you love most about your country?
42. What is your favorite food you love to indulge in?
43. Write about someone who makes your life better.
44. If you’re single, what is your favorite part about being single? Or if you’re married, what is your favorite part about being married?
45. What is today’s weather and what is one positive thing you can say about it?
46. Describe a weird family tradition that you love?
47. When was the last time you had a genuine belly laugh and why was it so funny?
48. What body part or organ are you most grateful for today? (e.g., your eyes because you got to see a new movie)
49. What is a major lesson that you learned from your job?
50. List 10 items that you take for granted, which might not be available to people in other parts of the world (i.e. Clean water, electricity, etc.)
51. Write about a recent time when a stranger did something nice for you.
52. What is the hardest thing you’ve had to do, which led to a major personal accomplishment?
53. What is one aspect of your health that you’re more grateful for?
54. Who can you count on whenever you need someone to talk to and why?
55. Describe the last time you procrastinated on a task that wasn’t as difficult as you thought it would be.
56. What is your favorite habit and why it is an important part of your daily routine?
57. Describe a “perfect day” that you recently had.
58. What is a favorite country that you’ve visited?
59. Describe a funny YouTube video that you recently watched.
60. List 10 qualities do you like about yourself.
61. What is one thing you look forward to enjoying each day after work?
62. What was something you did for the first time recently?
63. What is one lesson you learn from rude people?
64. When was the last time you had a great nap where you awoke feeling fully refreshed?
65. Shower or bath? Which do you prefer and why?
66. Write about a time where you felt courageous.
67. What are a few ways you can appreciate your health whenever you’re sick?
68. What is a favorite drink that you like to enjoy each day?
69. Who has forgiven you for a mistake you’ve made in the past?
70. List 10 things you have now that you didn’t have 5 years ago.
71. What aspects of your job do you enjoy the most?
72. What is something positive you can learn from one of your negative qualities? (i.e. Being anxious means you’re really good at planning things out.)
73. What are a few aspects of modern technology that you love?
74. What is a great recipe you’ve prepared that others rave about?
75. Describe a recent time when you truly felt at peace.
76. What is your favorite quote or a bit of wisdom that you like to frequently share with others?
77. What is your favorite sports team? Describe a cherished memory you have when cheering for this team.
78. Are you a morning person or a night owl? What do you love most about this part of the day?
79. What is the last thank you note you’ve received and why?
80. List 10 of your favorite possessions.
81. What is a small win that you accomplished in the past 24 hours?
82. Describe one thing that you like about your daily commute to work?
83. What is a personal viewpoint that positively defines you as a person?
84. Describe an experience that was painful, but made you a stronger person.
85. What is your favorite season and what do you like about it?
86. What makes you beautiful?
87. What are you most looking forward to this week?
88. Describe a small, everyday thing that you enjoy with a special person in your life.
89. What is an app or piece of technology that you use every day which adds value to your life?
90. List 10 things you like about your job or workplace.
91. Describe a favorite outfit and why you feel great when wearing it.
92. What activity do you enjoy most when alone?
93. What activity do you enjoy when with others?
94. Describe your oldest friend. What do you like most about this person?
95. How have you recently cared for your physical wellbeing?
96. How have you recently cared for your mental wellbeing?
97. When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
98. What is your favorite charity and why do you support it?
99. Write about a challenging person in your life (i.e. someone you frequently disagree with) and the qualities you like about this person.
100. List 10 things you like the most about your country? (On the topic of lists, learn how to create a gratitude list and make it a part of your gratitude practice.)
101. What book are you most grateful for having read?
102. What hobbies (or activities) would you miss if you could no longer do them?
103. What is something you love(d) about your father (or step-father)?
104. What is something you love(d) about your mother (or step-mother)?
105. Where was your last vacation? Describe what you did there.
106. What is something that comes easily to you, but is challenging for others?
107. What is something that you’ve recently fixed?
108. Describe something positive in your life that you didn’t have five years ago.
109. What makes you happy when you’re feeling down.
110. List 10 major life accomplishments that you’re proud to have achieved.
111. What artist, musician or author are you most grateful for?
112. What do you love most about the current season?
113. What gift did you enjoy receiving in the past year?
114. What freedoms are you most grateful for?
115. Look around the room and list all the items that you’re grateful for.
116. What fear are you currently facing? How can you use this fear to your advantage?
117. What is your top goal? Why is this goal important to you?
118. What is your favorite emotion to feel?
119. What makes you happy to be alive?
120. List 10 things that you hope will happen in the next year.
121. What was your favorite game to play as a child?
122. What quality of yours do you see in your child (children) that you are most proud of?
123. Describe your wish for your child’s perfect friendship.
124. Think about having grandchildren someday. How many do you want to have?
125. Think about where you’d like to live in 10 years?
126. What is your guilty pleasure snack?
127. What is your favorite alcoholic beverage to have on special occasions or vacation?
128. What is your favorite “me time” activity?
129. What is your favorite flower?
130. What bucket list time will you try next?
131. Which bucket list item will you try in the next few years?
132. What is your greatest wish for your children when he or she becomes an adult?
133. If you could change careers, would you? Why?
134. What would you be doing with your life if you could pick any career, without taking a cut in salary?
135. Which of your physical features is your favorite?
136. What do you love most about your partner?
137. What quality does your spouse love most about you?
138. Think about taking a foreign language class and visiting a place where you could speak it fluently. Which language would you take and where would you go?
139. What is your dream car?
140. What is your favorite sound?
141. What tradition do you want to start with your own family?
142. Name one random act of kindness you witnessed lately, either towards yourself or someone else.
143. Think of something you could say to a stranger (a store clerk, angry customer, etc…) who is having a bad day to cheer them up.
144. What is the funniest joke you were told recently?
145. Think about your first kiss. What do you remember?
146. Think about your first true love. How did they change your life?
147. Think about your idea of the perfect afterlife.
148. What was your first real job? Do you ever wonder what would have happened if you stayed there?
149. What was the best job you had as a teen or young adult?
150. Picture your dream apartment in Europe. What would it look like? Where would it be? What sounds do you hear and sights can you see?
151. What is the best date you’ve ever been on? Where did you go and what did you do?
152. Pick a person you can’t stand and list 3 things you could learn from them.
153. What is your favorite color? How does it make you feel?
154. What is your favorite animal to observe in nature?
155. Which birthday was your best so far? Why?
What is the Best Gratitude Journal?
While you certainly can do gratitude journaling on your own (and these examples of journal questions will help) sometimes it is nice to do your daily journaling in a more structured format.
That is where journals like my 90-day gratitude journal come into play. You can find a hard copy on Amazon.
Alternatively, you can see reviews of the six best gratitude journals here, to help you get started. If you prefer digital, there are also journal and diary apps you can use. You can also check out these free printable gratitude journal templates.
A Recap of Gratitude Journaling
Embracing gratitude can have a transformative effect on your life. If you commit to responding to all of these 155 gratitude journal prompts you can start on the path to:
After gratitude journaling, you’ve probably experienced many of the benefits that I just listed. Not only is it a great habit that improves your life, but it can also have a positive spillover effect on the people around you.
If you prefer to specifically journal about your self care efforts, here are some self-care journal ideas and templates you can take inspiration from.
Hopefully, you have found some gratitude prompts that will help your daily journaling efforts. Do you have any gratitude journal prompts to add to this list? If so, please share them in the comment section below.
Also, if you liked this post, you can express your own gratitude by sharing this post on your favorite social media platform.
Finally, if you don’t know the “right” way to journal, then check out this seven-step process for building a journaling habit that sticks.)