5 Journal Prompts to Start Your Gratitude Practice

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What does gratitude mean to you?

Honestly, that’s a big question. You don’t have to know the answer right this second. Or ever.

When I very first started practicing yoga and would be prompted in class to practice gratitude my mind would always wander to some sort of Thanksgiving scene. I’m not joking - I would think mashed potatoes, a full belly, surrounded by family. When I pictured gratitude I would think of that moment when somebody at the table would ask what are you thankful for this year? Gratitude seemed big and scary. I didn’t know how to do it without thinking of giant things like family, health, accomplishments, the like. I felt like I wasn’t doing it right if I didn’t think of something Earth-shattering. Maybe you’ve felt that way too.

I can’t remember what got me past my gratitude block. I think that maybe it was a podcast. Or something somebody said in a yoga class. I just remember that one day, when I was having a particularly low moment, I tried falling asleep listing little things that I was thankful for. This was during a particularly bad spell of depression, so I said thanks for things like… my rent being paid. My fresh sheets. The neighbors that lived above my bedroom not fighting that night. The way that my dog at the time, Molly, liked to sleep on top of my ponytail in the morning. This was the year post-college when everything felt heavy and hard and like the world was ending. I woke up the next morning and things felt a little bit lighter. Gratitude didn’t solve my depression (that was prescriptions!) but it did help. A ton.

I write a lot about journaling and mindfulness. I get a few messages every week that are something along the lines of- I want to start a mindfulness practice but I’m totally out of my element. I started going through my blog today and realized, to my semi-horror, that I hadn’t released any tips on starting a gratitude practice. It doesn’t have to be crazy. In fact, it should feel alarmingly simple. If you are feeling thankful for the sheer fact that you’re alive today - express that. If your gratitude is that you have cold beer in the fridge, awesome. I encourage you to practice saying THANKS for the little things. For me, saying thank you for the simple and mundane things gives me perspective on life. It reminds me of all of the incredible parts of my life. It reminds me that, even when things are really, really hard, life isn’t that bad. I hope that these prompts help you start a gratitude practice you’re really excited about.


If you use these prompts OR have other gratitude prompts that you like to use I would love to hear from you!

Big thank-ya for being here and for being you,

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Lizzie BraicksComment