The season of gratitude is upon us, but why limit your thanks to Thanksgiving?
While studies have concluded that gratitude practices yield greater happiness and health, it isn’t necessary to write down what you’re grateful for every single day. In fact, positive psychologist Sonia Lyubomirsky’s research showed that gratitude practices done once a week are more effective than those done three or more times a week. Try journaling in response to one of the following prompts each week and by next Thanksgiving, you could be 25 percent happier than you are today!
A Year Full of Gratitude
Five to ten minutes of written gratitude is all you need to feel the effects of the subsequent prompts. You can purchase a new gratitude journal, write yourself an email, or simply write in your day planner or smartphone’s Notes app.
Make it sacred, but don’t overthink it. If the gratitude practice stresses you out and becomes another thing on your to-do list, the purpose is lost. Try working your weekly gratitude sessions into your Sunday rituals, for example, and see if you notice a shift in your overall attitude and demeanor.
- One family member I am grateful for is. . .
- A friend I cherish is _____, because he or she. . .
- I am grateful for my house/apartment because. . .
- One freedom I often take for granted is. . .
- A book that has meant a lot to me is recently is. . .
- I appreciate the following things about my job/work. . .
- My favorite part of my body is my ___________ because. . .
- The thing I love most about my town or city is. . .
- I am so thankful to my parent(s) for. . .
- One of my favorite animals or pets has been _______ because. . .
- I am grateful for access to healthy and delicious food. For example. . .
- A positive aspect of today’s weather is. . .
- One song I love is _________ because. . .
- I have had some wonderful teachers in my life. Currently, I’m grateful for. . .
- One simple pleasure that I value is. . .
- One of my most worthwhile purchases has been my. . .
- One of my greatest life lessons was. . .
- An artist or author whose body of work continually inspires me is. . .
- A skill I have that makes me special is. . .
- My favorite television show (or movie) lately has been _______ because. . .
- One thing I appreciate about myself is. . .
- Three things about my health that have been going well for me are. . .
- A few things I appreciate about mornings are. . .
- One thing that was a disappointment at the time, but turned out to be a blessing in disguise was. . .
- One person I don’t talk to very often, but I know I can count on is. . .
- My favorite thing about coming home at the end of the day is. . .
- One of the best things about being married/single/in a relationship is. . .
- One piece of technology I can’t live without is. . .
- One way I have bettered myself in the past month is. . .
- One piece of advice or a quote that has stayed with me is. . .
- The best part of today was. . .
- One body part that I love but often take for granted is my. . .
- My favorite adventure/vacation was __________ because. . .
- One God-given talent I have been blessed with is. . .
- Looking around me right now, I am grateful for. . .
- In contrast to one of my hardest days, I am grateful for today because. . .
- One thing I love about my daily schedule is that. . .
- One life hack I have picked up that has yielded positive results is. . .
- My favorite way to exercise is ________ because when I do it, I feel. . .
- One way I have been trying to slow down is ________, and it has allowed me to appreciate. . .
- I am grateful for the abundance in my life; I have enough money that I am able to. . .
- One thing that always makes me feel better when I’m down is. . .
- An everyday item that I depend on but rarely am grateful for is. . .
- I wouldn’t be where I am today without this person’s help and support. . .
- One generous thing I did recently was. . .
- One activity I want to engage more in is. . .
- I know I’m not alone in this life because. . .
- What I know to be true is. . .
- Nature has abounded us with gifts, and one particularly beautiful element of nature is. . .
- One thing I am really looking forward to is. . .
- One way I’m better today than I was one year ago is. . .
Even if some of these prompts prove difficult, know that switching up the recipients of your gratitude will prevent “gratitude fatigue” and keep you keen on making it a regular part of your practice. For some people, gratitude comes naturally, and for others it is more of a challenge. Wherever you are on the continuum of grateful dispositions, don’t forget to offer heartfelt gratitude to yourself for taking the time to appreciate the gifts in your life. There is so much to be thankful for!
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