Destress through creativity: 30 prompts for a gratitude journal

journals

Woman sitting on grass with notebook on her lap, writing in it.

Now more than ever, people are keyed up, stressed out and looking for quick ways to destress.

In this first in a series of blogs, you'll discover how to easily enrich your life through creativity. We'll begin with tips on how to journal, an unintimidating way for the "non-artist" to get creative. At the end of this blog there are 30 prompts to help you start journalling.

Many of us are racing all day long. Shuttling kids off to school, speeding to work and scrambing to get to the gym, with added pressure from managing our social media accounts, and making that last story you post the best ever. Striving for likes, hearts, and getting more views can really start to add up. 

A great way to make a small change, that can have ultra-big impacts, is doing something more tactile. 

Do something fun that's not on your phone

Closeup of woman's hands holding a smart phone.More and more studies are showing that too much screen time is affecting people negatively. Anxiety, sleeping problems and depression are some of the issues on the rise that are associated with screen time. It's not surpising.

 

Getting back to some "old timey" activities can really calm the soul.

Creative activities calm us

Woan sitting on floor with  watercolor paints, paper, coffee cup and art brushes on tthe floor. She is painting.Many people have been to a sip and paint class. Even if your painting is a disaster, you usually come away feeling better and had a good time. That's because art, even if you aren't an especially artsy person, is proven to be  therapeutic.

There are decades of research that reveal art is a great way to reduce stress, explore emotions and help your overall mental health. In fact, there are certified art therapists that incorporate art as part of their mental health practice.

This all makes me think about knitting circles. In the town I live in, there is a pub that has knitting night. Throw some libations in with some close friends and a crafty activity and you have a recipe for some serious chill factor. Smart pub owners, ay?

Start out with something easy, like a journal

Floral journal cover that says gratitude and grace.It's proven that people who write down things they are grateful for sleep better, improve their self esteem and reduce anxiety. I can personally attest that journalling can improve your mental health. Writing in a journal is one of the least intimidating activities people can start out with to improve their mood and reduce stress and anxiety.

 

Helping people have less stress and more joy was the inspiration for the journals I designed. There's a handful of styles available under the journals and stationary section.

I have found that using colorful pens and beautiful journals make journalling a joy for me. My journals have especially soft covers that I love picking up. If you're a drawer and doodler like me, you're also find gratification in adding sketches and sweet little drawings to your reflections and appreciations.

Support local or independent artists

When you go to buy your journal I encourage you to consider buying from a local business, an Etsy shop owner, or independent artist like myself. I try and source my paper and products made in the U.S. and Canada. I've shared some wonderful options below.

Lovely journals

There are so many journals out there!

Floral cover journal that says gratitude and grace.Illustration of black woman on journal cover.

 

Tips to start a gratitude journal

Don't let writing in a journal intimidate you. Below are 30 gratitude journal prompts to get you started. 

  1. What’s something that you’re looking forward to?
  2. What’s a simple pleasure that you’re grateful for?
  3. What’s something that you grateful to have today that you didn’t have a year ago?
  4. Write about a happy memory.
  5. Write about someplace you’ve been that you’re grateful for.
  6. What’s something about your body or health that you’re grateful for?
  7. Open the door or window and look outside. What’s something you’re grateful for outside?
  8. What’s an accomplishment you’re proud of?
  9. What’s a possession that makes your life easier?
  10. Open your phone or photo album and find a photo that you like. Why are you grateful for this photo? What are you grateful for in the photo?
  11. What have you been given that you’re grateful for?
  12. What’s something or someone that makes you feel safe?
  13. What artist, author, or musician are you grateful for?
  14. What do you like about your job?
  15. How are you able to help others?
  16. What public service or organization are you grateful for (i.e. the library or fire department)?
  17. What book(s) are you grateful for?
  18. What piece of clothing or furniture are you grateful for?
  19. Write about a friend that you’re grateful for.
  20. Write about a teacher or mentor that you’re grateful for.
  21. Write about a family member that you’re grateful for.
  22. What did you accomplish today?
  23. What’s a tradition that you’re grateful for?
  24. What’s one of your personality traits that you’re grateful for?
  25. What mistake or failure are you grateful for?
  26. What skill(s) do you have that you’re grateful for?
  27. What’s something that you bought recently that you’re grateful for?
  28. What’s something that you made recently that you’re grateful for?
  29. Look around the room and write about everything you see that you’re grateful for.
  30. Write about 3 things you’re grateful for today.

 

Be consistent

I really encourage you to try to write in your gratitude journal at the same time every day. Maybe in the morning when you first wake up or every night just before going to sleep (or some other consistent time that works in your schedule). I like to end my day with positive reflections so evening is my time.

Some people feel more motivated to write when they have nice writing tools. I totally am that person.  A high-quality, pretty journal or notebook and smooth-writing or colorful pens makes me want to journal more. If those things don’t matter to you, just find an old notebook. 💜
 

Variations on a gratitude journal

If you want to try something a little different, give one of these options below consideration:

 

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Interested in research about this topic? Below are some articles and references you be may interested in if you like research and facts.

 


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