On a worn wooden table is an open journal (notebook) and a white ceramic coffee mug; by Jessica Lewis via Unsplash.
Affirmations & Journaling

Engaging Journaling Prompts That Focus On Gratitude

Journaling is a simple, intentional activity that helps organize and understand our thoughts and feelings more clearly. As a supportive way to track our goals or progress through challenges; writing in a journal can serve as a reminder of accomplishments and growth over time.

The valuable thing about journaling is that anyone who is interested can start at any time. Whether it’s with a notebook and pen, adapted writing and typing aids or assistive technology — even notated sketches and drawings — it can be picked up whenever required.

Similar to a diary, a journal is a record of our experiences or perceptions about a topic or question that we want to explore. It becomes a living document that connects us to our personal growth as we work through the ideas, emotions, successes and hardships that influence us.

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Many of us will embrace our own concept of what gratitude means; typically, it’s about recognizing the things in life we are thankful for. However, in broader terms, particularly when establishing the basis of a journal entry; gratitude can represent a way of examining both positive and negative situations, emotions and experiences — taking a look at what we can learn from them and how to improve ourselves or appreciate who and what we have around us.

There are many ways in which practicing gratitude is beneficial for our personal well-being. From improved sleep to lower blood pressure; decreased stress and improved levels of optimism — even boosted self-esteem — being mindful about gratitude in our everyday lives can offer a significant source of emotional resiliency.

Here are 14 engaging journaling prompts that focus on gratitude …

  • What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? How did it impact your life?
  • What’s the best compliment you’ve been given?
  • What bad habit would you like to change? How will this improve your life?
  • Describe how a friend has supported you when you really needed it.
  • Write about a time a stranger did something nice for you.
  • What, in your opinion, is strength?
  • How do you show your loved ones they are appreciated?
On a bedside table is a closed journal notebook and a large white coffee cup; photo by Prophsee Journals via Unsplash.
photo via Prophsee Journals/Unsplash
  • What has made you angry this week? How did you deal with it; what did you learn from it?
  • Have you ever taken a huge risk? What was it, and was it worth it?
  • Write a one-minute ‘Thank You’ note to someone (it can also be a note to yourself).
  • What three character traits are you most thankful for — and why?
  • What or who do you have in your life that makes you feel safe?
  • How do you practice reciprocity?

The purpose of these journaling prompts is to hopefully facilitate personal reflection and emotional exploration; allowing gratitude to become a lens through which we observe life. Cultivating this kind of mindset is definitely worth welcoming into our day.

Which prompt is your favourite? Do you practice gratitude in your everyday life?


Further Info:

Journaling for Mental Health: A Therapist’s Guide – TalkSpace

42 thoughts on “Engaging Journaling Prompts That Focus On Gratitude”

  1. These are very helpful prompts! My favourite is the one-minute thank you note as I’m naturally inclined to do this. Thanks for sharing Molly!

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  2. These are wonderful and thought-provoking journal prompts! I can’t wait to use them to connect with myself on a deeper level. My favorite prompt has to be “What has made you angry this week?” It’s a great way to reflect and examine a situation where we could’ve reacted better without thinking of it as a negative experience. Thank you for sharing!

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  3. These are great prompts for journal. Sometimes when we are feeling anxious or stressed, a gentle pat in the right direction helps us a lot. These prompts are those positive signals to understand ourselves in a better way.

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  4. So many journal prompt lists are overwhelmingly long, mostly because many of the prompts are a little too similar for my taste. Love that you keep this list short and sweet! 🙂

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  5. I really want to get into journaling again and these all sound like great prompts. I do quite like the best advice prompt as well as the unconditional love prompt.

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  6. Thank you for the prompts will definitely use them. I found your blog on a fellow friend’s website. Take care

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  7. Love this post! I keep meaning to go back to my journaling but I just keep letting slip my mind. My self-care has slipped recently and it’s really beginning to show.

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    1. I have let my self-care slip so I know how stressful that can be (sending you love); journaling is something I pick up every now and then which has honestly been it’s most positive aspect. I don’t always do it but it’s there when I’m able to use it. Thanks so much for reading!

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  8. I’ve been looking for some more journal prompts lately! I’ve given my journal a bit of an overhaul and want to use it to help my mindset and personal growth. I’ll definitely be using all of these! Thank you for sharing, Molly x

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  9. These are really great prompts and quite different from the typical gratitude prompts I come across. I really like these two: “What has made you angry this week? How did you deal with it; what did you learn from it?” and “Have you ever taken a huge risk? What was it, and was it worth it?” Anger is a big emotion that we are taught to ignore or repress, but emotions are signals to our internal states and we can learn from them. These past few weeks have been one of reaccessing my life and making changes so thinking about the risks resonates. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. I am so encouraged that you liked these prompts; I try to come up with ones that are a bit more unusual as it really gets us thinking. You’re so right about anger being an emotion we’re often taught to ignore or see as negative. Understanding it is key so I love that you mentioned it often signals what;s going on internally for us; I 100% agree!

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