Inside: Using these gratitude prompts can help lead to a more positive life and greater happiness.

Negative feelings and thoughts happen to everyone at some point. We all experience them – whether we want to or not.

But some struggle with that negativity more than others. Whether it is a constant struggle of due to a difficult season in life, there are strategies you can use to try and be more positive.

If you’re looking to live a more positive life, I’ve got something that can help – gratitude prompts

They’re a surprisingly effective way to shift your perspective and notice more positive things. Gratitude prompts are a free, easy, and effective way to influence your life in a better direction. 

By spending time reflecting on your thoughts, capturing them in your journal, and focusing on all of the positives – instead of dwelling on negativity – you might be surprised to see just how much of a shift you can make in your life. 

gratitude prompts

How Can Gratitude Lead to a More Positive Life?

If you’ve never formally practiced gratitude, it might sound too good to be true. How can a little appreciation lead to such big shifts in positivity and overall well-being? 

A number of studies have been conducted on gratitude, and each has come to the same conclusion. Gratitude brings significant benefits to your mental and physical health.

Here are just a few ways that gratitude can help improve your life and give you a more positive perspective:

Gratitude Prompts Can Boost Your Mood

Feeling stuck in a bad mood can be frustrating and draining. Fortunately, gratitude prompts are an effective way to shift your mood and overall mental state to a more positive place. 

After all, when you think about it it’s hard to stay mad when you’re revisiting one of your most positive memories or making a list of things you love.

By focusing your energy elsewhere with the help of specific, focused prompts, you might be surprised to see just how easily you can move from a negative state to a more positive, appreciative one. 

You can choose to be grateful each day and using this list of gratitude prompts can help!

woman smiling in the rain

Gratitude Prompts Can Improve Your Resilience

Not only can gratitude prompts benefit your present mood, but they can bring long-term benefits, too. 

Challenges and struggles are inevitable in life. We’re all going to face them – some more often than others.

But regardless of who you are or what your problems look like, gratitude has been shown to help you feel a greater sense of control over the struggles in your life and make it easier to navigate any hardships you may experience. 

Gratitude Prompts Can Strengthen Relationships

It’s easy to see how focusing on gratitude can improve your mood – but the benefits don’t stop there. Your relationships can also benefit from gratitude prompts!

By spending time thinking about a specific person in your life and exploring why you appreciate and value them, or reliving a fond memory you shared together, you strengthen your connection with that person – without even interacting with them. 

how to set goals in the new year

Get Started Today: 10 Gratitude Prompts to Try

Ready to start working through some gratitude prompts in your journal? Here is a quick list of gratitude prompts designed to cultivate feelings of gratefulness and appreciation that you can use today:

1. What are three things I’m grateful for today?

This is a classic gratitude prompt and one that can be revisited again and again. Challenge yourself to focus on identifying different things each time.

It shouldn’t be too difficult to name a few things you’re feeling particularly optimistic about at any given moment. Some ideas to get you started are your family, your pet(s), your job, your health, your home, your safety, and your well-being.

And don’t be afraid to get specific – I’m grateful for my child’s laugh, or I’m grateful for my dishwasher that saves me time. These are totally appropriate and acceptable ways to recognize gratitude. 

Listing big things or everyday simple joys can go a long way in helping to shift your perspective.

2. Write about your favorite hobby.

Many of us have at least one or two hobbies that bring us joy and energy. Whether you love to paint, camp in the wilderness, travel to new destinations, or something else, it’s something you should celebrate.

By tackling this prompt and spending time thinking about something you enjoy, you’ll be filled with appreciation as you highlight all of the things you love.

3. Write about a person you love. 

Think about someone that has had a positive impact on your life. It could be someone you’re close with now or have been in the past.

While it may initially seem sad to think about people who have passed away, it can be healing to reflect on the relationship you had. Think about which of their character traits you want to emulate in your life.

Or you can choose to think about a close friend or family member. Consider a fun or funny memory you shared recently.

This is another prompt you can revisit again and again – after all, you’ve got multiple loved ones in your life to celebrate! You can take this one a step further by choosing to do a simple act of kindness for the person that came to mind.

family camping

4. Write about a happy memory from your childhood.

When life gets tough and you need a little positivity to lift your mood, a great way to find it is to look back – all the way back to your youth. 

Even if you didn’t have an ideal childhood, chances are good you have some happy memories from when you were little. Journaling on this gratitude prompt can be a really effective way to revisit those memories, explore them more deeply, and reflect on the positive experiences you enjoyed as child.

You could journal about Christmas morning, a memorable family vacation, or spending time with your childhood best friend. There’s no wrong way to do it – just put pen to paper and let those feelings and memories flow. 

5. What is one accomplishment you’re proud of?

By focusing on the things you’ve achieved and celebrating your personal wins, you’ll cultivate gratitude. You’ll be grateful for the progress you’ve made, for your ability to overcome challenges and reach new heights, and for your resilience and determination. 

By reflecting on your success, consider all of the contributing factors that got you to that point. Your loving family, supportive friends, taking advantage of opportunities, and your determination to move forward are all things worth appreciating.

Through this prompt, you can explore both your achievement and the factors that made it possible. 

gratitude prompts

6. How is life better today than it was this time last week, month, or year?

It can be difficult to see all of the progress you’ve made in your life without a little perspective – especially when things have been a struggle.

This prompt encourages you to really think about the different ways your life has changed for the better. This can be a great way to infuse a little positivity and gratitude into your day.

Even if you feel like you’re still struggling or navigating hardships, reflecting on how far you’ve come, how much you’ve changed, and all of the incredible things you’ve accomplished can instill a real sense of gratitude and appreciation. 

7. What is something you like about this time of year?

Seasonal effectiveness disorder is a very real thing. In the cold winter months, it’s easier to get sucked into negative thinking and potentially even depression.

In this season it becomes even more important to practice self-care and consider the redeeming things about this time of year.

Do you love the way the snow looks in the trees? Or how about being cozy at home? Spend some time thinking through the things that are good and then write them down.

When you focus on the positives, you tend to notice more of them.

8. What is something you treasure?

For this gratitude prompt think about items that you own. If you had to list the five possessions you value most, what are they?

Write them down. Think back to how you got them and explain why they are meaningful to you.

Sentimental items can be very meaningful. Having a written record of the story behind them can give you something to look back on to reminisce later.

gratitude prompts

9. Focus on your senses: list a favorite sound, smell, and taste.

This is one of my favorites on this list of gratitude prompts. When times feel tough it is easy to disconnect from things that we love.

Focusing on your senses is a great way to remember things you’re grateful for. Thinking through smells, sounds, and tastes you enjoy can also trigger happy memories when you’ve experienced them.

It may also prompt you to experience them again by making that recipe or going on that hike again.

10. What is your favorite tradition?

For the last of the gratitude prompts, write down a tradition that has been important to you. It could be one you did during childhood or one that you currently practice.

Think about how you’ve enjoyed this tradition over the years and any particular memories that stand out to you.

You could also write about any traditions you would like to start. If you need some fresh ideas, check out these Thanksgiving traditions and these Christmas traditions.

Have you journaled with gratitude prompts before? Leave a comment and let me know what you gained from the experience!

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