The quote “attitude of gratitude” gets thrown around quite a bit this time of year and I am all ready to hop on board with gratitude journal prompts. I have two lists for you. Gratitude journal prompts for adults and gratitude journal prompts for kids.
But first, let’s talk about gratitude and why it is important.
By definition, gratitude means “the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.”.
What are we thankful for? That’s why we are here! I’d like to take a few moments to help you look beyond the obvious and see how really blessed you are.
What do You Write in a Gratitude Journal?
So, what do you write in a gratitude journal? That is totally up to you, just remember this is about seeking out the positive even if it is not immediately obvious. Here are some ideas to get you started!
- Good things that happen to you.
- Prayers that are answered.
- People who love and support you.
- People who are difficult to get along with and are teaching you lessons about yourself.
- Animals and pets.
- Places in which you can connect with nature.
- Bible verses.
- Things God taught you that day.
How do You Make a Daily Gratitude Journal?
You can make a daily gratitude journal out of a nicely bound notebook or an inexpensive wire notebook. More important than the journal itself is what you put in it.
I have heard people say that every day they write down three things they are thankful for. Some people write down one good thing that happened at the end of every day. Personally, I like to keep a record of answered prayers and Bible verses God showed me through various seasons of life.
I have a 20 day printable gratitude journal that studies gratitude verses and provides journaling pages. Click image to see more!
Gratitude Journal Prompts
Before we launch into a list, I want to point out a few things I learned about why gratitude is actually physically and mentally healthy for you. According to a study conducted in 2014 grateful people are physically healthier experiencing less pain.
Gratitude reduces a lot of toxic emotions such as envy, depression, and self-pity. Gratitude encourages feelings of happiness and contentment.
Gratitude helps you sleep. A 2011 study showed that when people spent 15 minutes writing in a gratitude journal before bed, they were able to sleep better. This makes sense. Go to bed thinking about all the crazy in your life or go to bed thinking about all the good in your life. That’s a no brainer LOL
Gratitude reduces social comparisons. When we are looking at the good in our own lives, we are much less likely to become anxious or jealous about what is going on in other people’s lives. This is helpful not only for our own emotional well-being, but for friendships and business relationships.
Ok! Here are some gratitude prompts to get you started!
- What prayer has God answered recently?
- What obstacle have you overcome?
- List two good emotions you had today.
- What was the best part of your day?
- Name one friend whom you are thankful for. List a couple of reasons why.
- What is one good childhood memory?
- Write one or two Bible verses about gratitude. How can you apply these to your life or current situation?
- What is your favorite verse? Why does it mean so much to you?
- What lesson is God currently teaching you? Even if it is painful, what good will come from it?
- Name a new person God has recently put into your life.
- Do you have a cherished pet you are thankful for?
- What is a good deed someone did for you recently?
- What is something someone did or said that made you laugh today?
- Name one thing to be thankful for in each of the four seasons.
- What are some foods you are grateful for?
- What is your best physical attribute?
- What is the best part of your personality?
- Which of God’s attributes are you most thankful for?
- What fear or anxiety have you overcome?
- Name three things in nature you are thankful for.
- Think about your five senses. What about each one are you most thankful?
- What is one good you can see in the midst of a recent struggle?
- Write about a family tradition you are thankful for.
- What is one achievement you are thankful for?
- What is something you love about your home?
My friend from Busy Blessed Women also has a great list of gratitude journal prompts. Be sure to check them out for some variety 🙂
Gratitude Journal Prompts for Kids
Teaching kids gratitude is just as important as us learning to have this habit! I want to emphasize again, that this mindset is a habit and we need to focus on it in order to grow it.
This is what I was thinking about when I created this gratitude journal for kids. It helps them to think outside the box see the good things they take for granted in their lives. Click the image to check it out!
The above gratitude journal is best for kids in early elementary. Here is a list appropriate for all ages. Be sure to check out “Encourage a Grateful Heart with these Gratitude Activities for Kids” for more great ideas!
- What about your family are you thankful for?
- What wild animals do you enjoy watching or learning about?
- What toys or devices are you thankful for?
- What art supplies are you grateful to have access to?
- What foods do you enjoy?
- What colors are you thankful for? What would the world be like in black and white?
- What drinks, hot and cold, do you enjoy?
- Write about your pets and why you love them.
- What in your home are you thankful for?
- What plants do you enjoy? Do you enjoy climbing trees or picking wild flowers?
- Write about the four seasons. What is something you appreciate about each one?
- What sports do you enjoy playing or watching?
- What are some of your talents? What are you good at?
- What skills have you learned that you are working hard at improving?
- Name some tools you are grateful we have in our day.
- Name an emotion you had today that you are thankful you could express.
- What are some of your personality traits that you like?
- Name a weakness of yours that you are thankful for.
- What is a physical strength of yours that you are thankful for?
- Write about one or more friends. Why are you thankful for them?
- Write about a teacher you are thankful for.
- Write about aunts and uncles, grandparents, or any extended family that are important to you.
- What modern technology are you most grateful for?
- What transportation are you thankful for?
- Name one or more things in your own environment that you are thankful for.
I have put these gratitude journal prompts plus a few extras into a cute journal which is perfect for upper elementary. Print these out and kids can journal write on the sheets. A few goofy graphics makes this writing assignment a little more fun and leaves plenty of room for both reluctant and fluid writers. Click image below for more details!
The Best Reason We Have for Gratitude
Truth be told, I cannot write an entire post about gratitude without sharing with you where my true source of gratitude comes from. Gratitude is like joy or peace. It is not dependent on your circumstances. Sure, it is easier to be thankful when life is going well, but what about the times when it isn’t? Does your gratitude simply end there?
On the contrary, the most intense gratitude flows from a heart that has been hurt the most. We have two choices during the difficult times in our lives. We can give up, become angry and bitter and surround ourselves with a hardness we think we need for protection.
OR we can see past the hurt and the pain. We can push through the fear and the anxiety. Most importantly, we can lean on the only one who is greater than all our pain. We can rest in the knowledge that God is in control.
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)
I remember when I lost my beautiful 8 year old daughter in an accident. (If your heart is broken, I encourage you to check out my loss category) This verse rose up and slapped me in the face. What good could possibly come from the death of a child? What good could possibly come from such intense grief? My family will forever have a huge hole in it and I’m supposed to believe God is working all things for my good?
It took me a long time to get over those thoughts, to reach out and touch the only one who can heal, and get back on my feet again. I am here as a testimony to you that God is good and I am eternally grateful to Him for His undying love and peace.
When you go to write in your gratitude journal, be sure to be thankful for your creator! I will leave you with a couple of verses to get you started.
Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:37-39)
But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love;
for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble. (Psalm 59:16)