We are all familiar with the concept of gratitude, but did you know that gratitude journaling can be a powerful mindfulness practice?
It can be a wonderful way to connect with your innermost thoughts and feelings, and it can also help to cultivate a more positive outlook on life.
Sometimes it can be a little challenging to know where to start, especially when you’re starting out journaling for the first time. Using gratitude journal prompts can be a great way to get yourself started with your mindful journaling practice.
What Is Gratitude Journaling?
Gratitude journaling is a simple process where you take time to reflect on what it is you are grateful for and write about it. While it sounds very straightforward, it can be easy to overcomplicate.
When it comes to journaling, there is no right or wrong way to do it. You can simply write exactly what is on your mind, free write your thoughts as they come to you, and allow your mind to just follow whatever pops up.
With gratitude journaling, it is important to always come back to the positive, after all, that is what we are practicing and focusing on, our ability to see the positive and feelings of gratitude in a wide range of situations.
What Is Mindful Journaling?
Mindful journaling is a practice of expressive writing in a way that is mindful of one’s own mental and emotional states.
Not dissimilar to ‘normal’ journaling, mindful journaling is simply taking a little deeper of a look into your mind and emotional wellbeing, and expressing that through your journaling practice.
Some even compare mindful journaling to a meditative state, in that it allows us to heighten our state of awareness and reflect on what is happening in our mind, our bodies, and our lives.
Mindful journaling is a great way to practice gratitude journaling, and can help when journaling about a wide variety of topics, especially those that require a deeper reflection of self.
The Benefits Of Practicing Gratitude Journaling Each Day
We’ve heard over and over again how important it is to practice gratitude each day, and we also know the benefits of journaling daily are vast as well.
Combining the two creates a powerful journaling practice that will bring the positive effects of both into your everyday life.
Benefits of journaling daily include:
– Gratitude journaling has been shown to increase positive moods and better one’s overall outlook on life.
– Gratitude journaling can help you practice self-care, increasing your ability to be present with your emotions and manage them in a healthy way.
– Gratitude journaling can improve memory function by helping you to encode events into memory more deeply.
– Gratitude journaling can help you create better habits surrounding self-care, taking time each day for mindful reflection on your life.
– Gratitude journaling has been shown to improve sleep quality by reducing stress and improving overall health.
– Gratitude journaling has been shown to help those suffering from PTSD and those who have gone through trauma or major life changes (e.g., divorce, death of a loved one, etc.).
Gratitude journal prompts can be used as an exercise in self-care on their own without any formal meditation practice. Gratitude journaling has also gained popularity as a daily (or semi-regular) ritual before bed, allowing for a calming slowing down of the day’s events and thoughts.
Gratitude journaling can also be used as part of an overall mindfulness practice to help you become more aware of your emotions, thoughts, and the way your body is reacting to daily life.
How To Create A Gratitude Journal
There are many different ways to use gratitude journaling as a tool for self care.
Some gratitude journal ideas include:
– Use gratitude journal prompts
– Grab a notebook and use as a daily gratitude diary (Simply start with, ‘Today I am grateful for…’
– Write a basic gratitude list – 3 things you are grateful for today
– Create an audio notebook and record things you are grateful for throughout your day (you can then add more mindfulness into this practice by writing about it later).
– Use a digital gratitude diary that allows you to write, draw, add photos/stickers or any other visual medium to practice your mindfulness.
If you have a specific topic or prompt that you want to address in your gratitude journaling, an easy way to do so is to choose your prompt of a morning, and keep it in mind as you go about your day. This will allow you to bring yourself back to this prompt throughout the day and write about it later that night.
How To Use Gratitude Journal Prompts
Journal prompts are a great way to start your journaling practice as they give you a focus point, rather than staring at a blank page wondering what to write.
Not only are gratitude journal prompts a great way to get started practicing mindful journaling, they can also be a way to help you through tough times and transition periods in your life (e.g., moving, death of a loved one, divorce, etc.).
They can help wandering minds bring you back to focus on what is important, and they can help you remember the good things in life, even when times are hard.
Gratitude journal prompts can be anything from a simple phrase to a question or thought that will help you focus on and reflect on what you’re grateful for at that moment in time.
One of the best things is that they are super easy to use.
You can simply write your journal prompt at the top of the page of your gratitude journal, and then write away.
Some gratitude journals even have the prompts written ready for you to go.
31 Daily Gratitude Journal Prompts
Use these gratitude writing prompts in your journal as a starting point for your gratitude journey and your daily gratitude practice.
These prompt ideas are just that, ideas to get you started. You can create your own prompts if you’d like, modify these to suit you more, and create your own gratitude journal that is tailored to you.
Some are simple points to get you thinking about things in your life that you are grateful for, but may not acknowledge regularly, while others require a bit more mindful time and deep thought.
Choose any of the following from the list of gratitude prompts, or start at #1 and work your way through for 31 days to help create a habit of gratitude:
1 – In this present moment, what are you most grateful for?
2 – Describe your happiest childhood memory that fills you with joy and makes you feel loved and safe.
3 – Write about a small thing that may seem insignificant but is something you are incredibly grateful for.
4 – List 10 positive things about your life right now and why you are grateful for them.
5 – Write about the last time you spent time with a family member you were close to and what you can do to spend more time with them.
6 – Write a gratitude letter to your best friend or close friend in your life expressing your appreciation of them and the impact they have had on your life. (You don’t have to give it to them, this is for you).
7 – What is your favorite food? How do you feel when you get to eat it?
8 – What is your favorite way to express or show gratitude towards someone? Does it make you uncomfortable? Why?
9 – Write about your favorite song, what are the lyrics that stick out to you in this song? How does this song make you feel?
10 – Describe a hard time you’ve had in the past year that you’ve learned a big lesson from or that you can now look back on and see the bigger picture around.
11 – Write about one of the most positive experiences in your life. What was it? When was it? And why are you grateful for this experience?
12 – Write about someone who has had a positive impact on your life, but they may not know the impact they have had.
13 – What is your favorite simple pleasure that may seem trivial to others but is one of the wonderful things in your life.
14 – Describe one of your biggest accomplishments. What was it? What did it take to achieve it? How proud of yourself are you for achieving it?
15 – What is your favorite time of day? What do you love about it?
16 – How do you want to feel at the end of the day?
17 – What is your favorite part of your daily routine that you look forward to, or that renews your energy?
18 – Describe a time when you went out of your comfort zone, but you are so grateful you did because the outcome was better than you imagined.
19 – What is the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do? What points of gratitude can you find in this experience?
20 – Write a list of things that are high on your stress levels at the moment, then write next to each what you can do to either reduce or eliminate the stress around them.
21 – What do you feel the benefits of gratitude are and why do you want to be more mindful of gratitude in your life?
22 – When it comes to your physical health, what are you most grateful for?
23 – When it comes to your mental health, what are you most grateful for?
24 – Describe 5 positive changes you can make in your life that you believe will improve your life today.
25 – Have a look around you, what is one beautiful thing you can see that you are grateful for right now?
26 – What is your favorite smell? What feelings of happiness arise when you smell it?
27 – What is something in your life that you are looking forward to at the moment?
28 – What is the first thing you think of in the morning?
29 – What is the best gift you’ve ever been given? Who gave it to you? What was it for? And why are you grateful for this gift?
30 – What is your favorite thing about yourself? Why are you grateful to yourself for this thing?
31 – Write about one aspect of your life you are so incredibly grateful for.
Hopefully, these positive journal prompts will help you express gratitude and practice mindful journaling while reflecting on some of the amazing things in your life. Be sure to keep writing about your feelings of gratitude, and you can even restart these journal prompts or write your own when you’ve worked through them all.
Now you’ve been able to experience the power of gratitude in a whole new way, and enjoy the mindfulness that comes with it.