Keeping a daily gratitude journal is a great way to build positive mental habits, instill more empowering beliefs, overcome negativity and depression, and put yourself on track to leading the life you really want.
It’s so important that we include it in our list of Top 5 Happiness Hacks, and there is an unprecedented amount of data that backs up the positive impacts of gratitude.
University of Pennsylvania professor and pioneer of positive psychology Martin Selignman writes that grateful people are measurably happier than those who do not practice gratitude. Harvard psychologist Shawn Achor tells states that writing down things your grateful for increases your happiness over the next 24 hours, and doing a gratitude journaling process for 21 consecutive days will boost your happiness over the course of the next 6 months!
In this post, I’ll layout a simple template you can use to apply to your gratitude journal, every day. These 5 prompts work well because they cause you to reflect on and appreciate different areas of your life and the world around you.
Gratitude Journal Template with Prompts
Instructions: Write down 3-5 things you are grateful for. Try to write a few sentences for each entry, rather than a bulleted list. If you repeat this process every day, you will strengthen positive associations in your brain, and begin to live a happier and healthier life.
What was the best thing that happened in the last 24 hours?
Example: This could be as simple as enjoying a few moments of sunshine on your way to work, or cooking a delicious, healthy meal.
Who is someone you are thankful to have in your life?
Example: Think of someone who cares about you and shows you how they care through small actions: a simple phone call, birthday card, or even just a smile.
What is the most important thing in your life, right now?
Example: Describe something that is going well for you: maybe you like your career, your family is doing well, or you have vibrant, radiant health. Pick one thing and write several details.
What is something you take for granted, that might be a challenge for someone else?
Example: If you live in a developed country, you probably have running, potable water. You use it every day to drink, clean, shower, use the bathroom, cook, etc. Feel into how lucky you are to live somewhere that has instant access to clean water.
Describe a current or recent memory of nature: a beautiful plant, cute animal, or grand view.
Example: What flowers are in bloom in your neighborhood? Did you pass any adorable dogs recently, or see a bird outside the window?
Free PDF Download
Download this template in a free PDF format. Print it out and paste it into your journal to use as a guide for your daily gratitude journal and inspiration.
To take your gratitude practice to the next level, you might also be interested in learning how to do a rampage of appreciation, which will amplify your positive energy even further.