HOW TO WRITE A GRATITUDE LIST
March, 24, 2021
WHAT IS A GRATITUDE LIST?
A gratitude list is a daily or weekly way to document the reasons you have to be grateful. Gratitude unlocks so many benefits in our lives and keeping a list of the reasons you are thankful is an easy way to gain these benefits.
A gratitude list is often kept in the form of a gratitude journal, in a personal notebook, or even logged in your phone. There are endless gratitude journals with unique prompts and formats, but you can also utilize the notes section of your phone. In fact, Oprah talks about how she keeps an electronic list, and often references her running list.
HOW TO WRITE A GRATITUDE LIST IN 3 EASY STEPS
Writing a Gratitude List is an extremely simple process, and no matter your age, a gratitude list is a practice that you can incorporate into your life. We want to share a step-by-step gratitude list guide with you as you create your own gratitude list! Here is how to write a gratitude list in 3 easy steps:
- Gather your materials: If you are investing in a gratitude journal, you can pick one that is a good fit for yourself. Some journals have writing prompts only, while others have journaling opportunities, creative spaces for drawing, or quotes to reflect on. They are all unique, so make sure you pick one that is a good fit for you! If you are just using your phone, open up the Notes app, and if you prefer a plain notebook, that will work, too! We have found it helps to have a nice, inky pen and an aesthetically pleasing journal, but find what works for you!
- Set some goals: Think about a time of day that will best fit your schedule to add to your gratitude list. If it is first thing in the morning or last thing at night, keep your journal or notebook by your bedside.
- Keep it consistent: There is no right or wrong way to keep your gratitude list. Your list can be as deep or as simple as you would like! The important thing is to be consistent. It may not fit in your schedule or life to add to your gratitude list every day, but strive to at least add to it weekly.
WHAT TO PUT ON YOUR GRATITUDE LIST
One of the most common prompts for a gratitude list is “I am grateful for ____, because ___.” This format not only helps us identify what we are grateful for, but it encourages us to dig deeper. It is incredibly beneficial to identify our blessings, but being able to understand why we are thankful for them or what we appreciate most about them takes us to the next level of gratitude.
There is no right or wrong thing to add to your gratitude list, so long as it comes from your heart. We want to share 100 sparks of inspiration for your gratitude list to help you think about the many things in life you have to be grateful for as you create your list.
SAMPLE GRATITUDE LIST WITH 100 SPARKS OF INSPIRATION
We want to share 100 sparks of inspiration with you as you consider all you have to be grateful for, and encourage you in your gratitude journey! Whether you agree with all 100 or merely 1 or 2, we hope this list gives a spark of inspiration as you form your own gratitude list and document all you have to be grateful for.
- Peaceful protestors
- Kind strangers
- Political leaders
- Fresh air
- Fresh grass
- Eyesight, hearing, and taste
- Two legs
- Our minds
- Healthy guts
- Ten fingers
- Ability to walk
- Ability to exercise
- Ability to hear
- Air conditioning
- Music streaming
- Kitchen appliances
- Dating apps
- Food on the table
- Our passions
- Our skills
- Our minds
- Our looks
- Our personality
- Our hobbies
- Our family members
- Our community
- Our religion
- Our quirks
- The freedom to vote
- Four seasons to experience
- Music to listen and sing to
- Books that take us to new places
- Comedy and laughter
- Intimate connection
- Pets that make us happy
- Social media that keeps us connected
- Gyms for weightlifting, running, and group classes
- Coffee and tea to enjoy and caffeinate us
- Clean water to drink
- Spiritual growth
- The ability to choose
- Meaningful quotes that inspire us
- Overcoming a challenge
- Everyday routines
- Moments of silence or to ourselves
- Learning something new
- House plants to enjoy
- Blankets to keep us warm
- Holidays with loved ones
- Newborn babies
- Vacations to new or familiar places
- Spontaneous adventures
- Careers where we can work hard and feel achievement
- Diversity of others
- A freshly cleaned room
- Favorite memories
- Getting 8 hours of sleep
- Participating in or forming traditions
- Forgiveness, both forgiving and be forgiven
- A home cooked meal
- Paying off a debt
BENEFITS OF A GRATITUDE LIST
The benefits of a gratitude list are so extensive, and there is research which backs up the benefits and shows how impactful keeping a gratitude list can be, ranging from emotional benefits to relationship benefits to physical benefits.
Keeping a gratitude list helps us keep gratitude top of mind. By doing this, research shows we are more compassionate and empathetic towards others. Gratitude also helps us have fewer negative emotions. Research shows that people who have a gratitude practice are less aggressive, less stressed, and less depressed. This means less suicidal tendencies and self-harm as well.
A gratitude list also has social benefits as well! It improves our friendships and our relationships, as gratitude improves the quality of the relationships. Also, due to the emotional benefits we receive from it, we are perceived as kinder, more joyful, and trustworthy to others, which strengthens the relationships.
Gratitude lists also encourage physical benefits. Studies have associated a gratitude practice with better sleep, which promotes overall health. The studies found that when we practice gratitude, we are able to fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, and are less tired throughout the day. This is likely because the impact of stress on our sleep schedule, and gratitude helps us lower our stress anxiety.
More grateful people also have healthy tendencies. Because gratitude is directly correlated with our personal happiness, studies have found that grateful and happy people are more likely to take care of their overall health, such as exercising and eating well.
Gratitude is everywhere, and in everything. While it may not be a cure all, a gratitude list helps us keep things in perspective and remember that we are blessed in so many ways. If you are reading this right now, it means you have working wifi, money to afford a piece of technology, and a few minutes to devote to yourself! Those are 3 bonus things you can add to your gratitude list!
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