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Quick and Easy Journal Prompts for Tapping into An Attitude of Gratitude
Did you know that cultivating an attitude of gratitude can make you less impatient while making improving your ability to make decisions?
Or how about the fact that gratitude journaling can reduce depressive symptoms while increasing your self-esteem?
I'm a sucker for fun facts, so I can ride this train all day! But the bottom line is that there are so many amazing benefits to having a strong gratitude practice that I would be a terrible friend if I didn’t share some quick and easy journaling techniques to help you get there.
So, grab your gratitude journal and follow along!
Starting Isn't Always So Easy, Here's My “Attitude of Gratitude” Journal Story
As previously stated, I’m a sucker for fun facts. So, when I tell you that I went into a deep, deep rabbit hole reading about the benefits of gratitude journaling, I’m not exaggerating!
This was a few years ago and at the time, I was a mess both spiritually and emotionally. So, simply reading facts like "journaling for five minutes a day about what we are grateful for can enhance our long-term happiness by over 10%" sold me.
I promised myself that I would cultivate an attitude of gratitude and experience the magic.
However, my voyage to the land of the attitude of gratitude wasn’t direct at all.
Instead, it was plagued with roadblocks and boredom while I struggled to find my groove.
Now that I’ve found it, I’m ready to share some of the gratitude journaling prompts that I use so that your ride will be less bumpy!
4 Journal Prompts to Use with Your Gratitude Journal
Since your journaling will be done by using the format of a list, you will be able to step into the attitude of gratitude without spending a ton of time writing in your gratitude journal every day.
Plus these journal prompts are meant to make you feel good!
1. The Receiving List
Whether it my mom randomly buying me a sweater she thought I'd like or a stranger complimenting my hair, I used to have a really bad habit of resisting acts of kindness.
Instead of having feelings of appreciation, I responded to help by insisting that I wasn't weak and could handle things on my own. And while I said "thank you" to compliments, I'd think that I was the butt of some cruel joke.
I lived my first 30 years of life with this twisted vision, not knowing that it was a trauma response that wasn't serving me at all.
I did a ton of shadow work to remedy this problem. But one of the more fun, light-hearted journaling techniques I used came from Barbara Stanny’s book, Sacred Success: A Course in Financial Miracles.
This book is full of spiritually-based guidance that helps women to take control of their finances, practice self-care, and pursue their life’s purpose.
Regarding my previous attitude toward receiving, Barbara Stanny writes "Too often we let the distractions of daily life, as well as our yammering Egos, prevent us from noticing what's being laid at our feet. Ignoring the bounty that flows to us is, essentially, an act of pushing it away, of saying 'no' to abundance."
So, what was her remedy? “Create your own receiving journal where you keep notes of all the treasures that come your way.”
And that is the first gratitude journal prompt that I’m sharing today! Write a list of nice things people say or do for you.
You can write things that are as small and routine as a stranger holding the door open as you enter a building behind them.
Open your own energy to become a better more gracious receiver, allowing feelings of trust and worthiness to penetrate your being.
2. The "What About Your Friends?" Gratitude List
When I was thinking of what to call this gratitude list prompt, I jokingly started to sing the TLC song in my head and well, now the name is stuck.
For this one, I'm having you take a close look at the people in your life. Who has a special quality that you admire? Now, allow yourself to feel grateful that they're in your life.
To do this, you just need to write the name and character trait you admire.
Whether it's multiple traits from the same person or a single trait from multiple people, enjoy it.
I'll give you an example from my own life.
My friend “Tori” and I share similar childhood trauma, toxic relationship patterns, and healing journeys. We've seen each other through with narcs, gaslighters, and your plain ol' crazy stalking exes.
Don't cry for us though. We're good.
We've healed and attracted some really amazing men into our lives!
One thing about “Tori” that I love and admire is the braveness of her heart.
She doesn't let her history keep her from loving wholly and completely. Forget falling in love, this girl dives in like a daredevil!
Me? Not so much.
I entered into my relationship like I was interviewing a suspected serial killer who happened to be armed with a machete, rope, and duct tape.
It took close to a year for me to soften while Tori was that way from the moment they met. Also, I'm naturally cynical, so I tease her about this quite a bit, but honestly, it’s a characteristic that I'm grateful to have in my life through her.
This exercise is unique because it isn't about wanting the trait that the other person has. So, it's probably not going to work if you're trying to combat jealousy or mimic another person’s lifestyle.
It's honestly about appreciating the people in your life for who they are, even when you disagree.
It’s about feeling grateful that you are able to have them keep you open-minded which helps you to grow, be happier, and have interesting conversations and experiences that you wouldn’t have had without them.
This is a journal prompt to use if you want to attract more beautifully unique people into your life as well.
3. The “I Am Amazing!" List
In last week’s blog post, I shared three of my favorite journaling techniques to help you celebrate yourself. Since then, I’ve learned fourth one!
Yup, I’ve only been using this particular gratitude journal prompt for four days now and I’m madly in love with it. With this prompt, you are turning your gratitude inward and praising yourself for being amazing.
It might sound kind of silly, but I really didn’t know how much I accomplished every day before I started doing this.
I mean, I knew I was ending my days feeling pretty tired and thinking “Wow, I had a busy day!”, but I never itemized my busy day before now.
Needless to say, I really love the mindfulness that this journaling technique gives too. Usually when we're busy zipping around, we don’t pause to acknowledge the magic that we are!
It’s probably obvious at this point, but with this exercise, you will write a list of the ways you kicked ass on a particular day.
Write all of the day's accomplishments, even if they seem small.
Celebrate the super delicious, yet nutritious meal prep you just did, feel proud that you stood up for yourself, bask in the glory of knowing that you gave yourself time to rest when you were feeling stressed out. Yes, these are all examples from my lists over the last few days!
After I wrote my gratitude list last night, I felt supercharged up and happy to be here living this life being the woman that I am.
So, I went off for a moment and kept journaling, taking in all of the joy that doing this exercise has helped me to harness.
This is what I wrote:
I fucking rock! I’m amazing! I really do accomplish a lot every day, even when I don’t realize it. I’m mad proud of that! I’m glad I started doing this exercise! Now I’m excited wondering how I’ll surprise myself tomorrow? How will I show up for myself and others? What dope-ass ideas will I have? What goals will I complete? I love living this life with me?
I hope you read that in a happy screaming jumping up and down voice because that’s exactly what I was feeling when I wrote it.
And of course, I'm already excited to get to my gratitude journal tonight.
3. The Future Self Gratitude List
Everybody wants something, right? One of the big keys to manifesting what you want in life is to act as if it’s already there.
Well, writing a gratitude list as your future self is one of the best ways to tap into a mindset that will bring the things you want right to your front door.
Although we’re talking about the future, this journaling technique still requires you to keep your verbiage in the present. It’s a lot like the technique we use to create affirmations.
Just like the classic gratitude list has you write a list of things you're currently grateful for, you’re doing the same here with things that just haven’t manifested yet.
Your subconscious mind doesn’t know the difference between what is and what isn’t. It only knows what you feed it.
So, if you continuously feed it the idea that you're grateful to have landed your dream job, you will see your mindset, actions, and surroundings adjust to match that idea.
Do this exercise with a smile on your face and an attitude of expectation.
Think about how when you order food at a restaurant, you know it will arrive without second-guessing whether you're good enough to receive it. The same energy is required when you place an order with the Universe.
That’s all for my list of gratitude journal prompts! But before you pull out your gratitude journal, I want to leave you with one last thought.
The things you consistently focus your mind on are the things that consistently appear in your life. So, if you are dissatisfied with your current results, it’s extremely important that you start to pay attention to your thought patterns.
You can absolutely 100% master your mindset to attract more happiness into your world. You just have to be willing to do the inner work to get there.
I wish you well on your journey to cultivating an attitude of gratitude. In fact, I want to know how you’re feeling about it too! So, let me know in the comments below.