Gratitude is the quality of being thankful; the readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness1. Studies have shown that practicing gratitude exercises is the anecdote of toxic emotions and situations.2. Make no mistake, life will never be perfect and there will always be hardships but creating a life of gratitude promotes a healthy mindset in the darkest of moments. The stronger sense of gratitude you have the more you are able to recognize the moments, people and things that make life alittle bit easier.
For many people journaling is the best way of gaining mindfulness. The benefits of being able to write your thoughts down without judgments or critiques can be a wonderful outlet. Taking the time to reflect as an honest and open person is a step towards personal growth. To get started on the journey, here are my top favorite prompts for creating a life of gratitude
#1. In this moment, what are you most grateful for?
- This doesn’t have to be something overly meaningful or forced. Simply take a moment to acknowledge the thing that brings you the most satisfaction. Rather it be a person, place or even a tube of triple chocolate fudge ice cream.
#2. Past/Present, who has been the person to most positively influence you?
- We meet new people everyday and our inner circles can change in an instance. Sometimes an individual soul can have a major impact on your life without you realizing. This can be your parent, bestfriend or even doggie pal.
#3. What big event are you most looking forward to? Why?
- Weddings, birthdays, parties…big events happen everyday. We’re busy-bodies, getting caught up in the planning and excitement but forgetting to actually sit back and fully enjoy it.
#4. You made someone happy enough to smile. How did that make you feel?
- Putting a smile on someone else’s face can be priceless. Their joy, laughter, and wonderment spreads to everyone around. Examine how that made you feel. After all, smiling is contagious.
#5. In this past year, what hardship have you most learned from and why?
- Good can come from bad. Hardships and personal struggles will happen to all of us. Learning from those events will create a sense of personal growth, Understanding that sometimes the world is hard but you should still continue to strive for the best.
#6. This morning in the mirror you saw the reflection of a beautiful soul. How are you being kind to that person?
- Everyday we see small glances of our reflections. We easily pass judgments of the the person in the mirror. Zeroing in on everything we dislike. But instead of being controlled by all that seems wrong, appreciate those flaws as the reason you are unique.
#7. Often we hide behind a fake smile, are you truly happy?
- In the era of social media, getting caught up in the unrealistic image of being happy all the time is exhausting. When the camera isn’t on you, are you still the same carefree and happy person?
#8. What has been your most recent personal accomplishment?
- Celebrating the small wins is just as important as the big stuff. Find the opportunity to truly appreciate all your hard work and the smallest of milestones.
#9. Describe 3 characteristics about yourself that you wouldn’t change.
- Its human natural to focus on the worst part of ourselves. Dwelling on the things we hate without even acknowledging the characteristics we love as well. Sometimes it only takes a moment of reflection to realize how great you are.
#10. What is your favorite part of the day?
- It only takes one bad thing to completely ruin your day. Getting caught up in the negatives, bringing yourself and everyone else down. Instead of focusing on everything that has gone wrong, acknowledge all the good of the day too.