Gratitude means the world to me - it's the thing that always keeps me going at the end of a difficult day. I've completed a blogging gratitude challenge before and was inspired to form my own!
While focusing a good portion of my college studies on positive psychology, I learned a great deal about gratitude and the effect of happiness it gives people when exercised on a regular basis. Ever since then, I've learned to hone in stronger on my level of gratitude and blogging about gratitude is just one of the ways I best cultivate it.
I hope my compiled list of blogging prompts can inspire you to increase your levels of gratitude!
1. What does "family" mean to you?
Has your family always been strong and supportive? Or has "family" evolved over time to mean friends or coworkers instead? What makes your definition of family so important to you?
2. What role do animals play in your life?
Animals can be a source of inspiration and love for many people, whether these are animals in nature or pets once had. Animals have a sweet innocence about them and can be a great source of perspective for us humans who in many ways have become consumed by chaos and time.
3. Who's your best friend?
What has your friendship with your closest friend taught you? Are they similar or different from you? What makes them a valued friend? Quality relationships are usually the number one factor in determining our happiness levels.
4. What's unique about the place where you reside?
Where someone lives tells a lot about them. Where do you live - either neighborhood, city, state or country level? What makes it unique and wonderful (or not so wonderful, and what have you learned from the hardship)?
5. What do you do for a living?
What's your job? Where? Who do you work with? Why did you choose the job you currently have and what are your aspirations for 5, 10, 15 years in the future? What lessons has your job taught you?
6. What's one positive news story you heard today?
When you turn on the news, you may be flooded with negativity and fear. It's easy to get caught up in the bad things we see and we often forget to pay gratitude to the heroic acts of regular people. What's a positive news story you've heard about/seen recently?
7. What's your ultimate number one passion in life?
What draws you to this passion? When did you find it? Does it have a sentimental link to someone or something you love? Is this part of your career path, or merely a hobby? What relation do you see your passion having to your overall happiness and life satisfaction?
8. Detail the little, simple things in your day that made you smile.
Sometimes simply stopping to take in your surroundings can be an immense source of gratitude. Jot down (or make mental notes) the things you experience during the course of a day - people who perform a kind deed, the fact that your morning latte didn't burn your tongue off, you know: the little things.
9. What is your idea of living "a balanced life" or "contentment"?
Through many of the positive psychology studies I took part in, the theory that stuck with me the most is the idea that no matter how much money, material goods or trophies one has, they will still end up equally as happy at the end of the day as the person with limited to no resources for attaining what Western culture would deem "success" or "wealth".
While, yes, there is a certain level of income at which more clothing, food and shelter would raise your overall happiness, after a certain amount of income, say someone with $1,000,000 is very unlikely to feel a considerable amount happier than someone with $100,000.
What is your concept of a "fulfilling life"? Has this meant money and attention over the years, or do you feel as though you'd be equally content if you had less resources than you do now? How do you exercise "balanced living" to ensure you don't lose yourself?
10. What do you do to give back?
Volunteer and community service is key to living a life of gratitude. Giving back to those less fortunate than ourselves makes us feel good - yes, it's selfish, and I'm the first one to admit it! Acts of service boost our ego, but they also boost our sense of gratitude for the things we have. What do you do in your community? What particular causes are you most driven by? Why do you feel so strongly about them?
11. What is your life's purpose?
Sometimes, answering this larger question will help determine what you're most grateful for. What has led you to realizing that purpose? If you haven't discovered your life purpose yet, take this time to journey through your writing... perhaps you'll find what you're looking to answer!
12. Who is your greatest mentor?
Mentors have meant everything to me throughout these 22 short years on this planet. They have shown me the art of human strength and resilience, being true to yourself and the importance of a high moral code led by respect and honesty, in addition to practical skills such as blogging and marketing. I owe a lot to these role models, "heroes" as some might say. Who are your heroes? Why are you grateful for them?
13. List the things that never fail to cheer you up.
Happiness = gratitude. Or, the other way around... oops. For the purpose of this prompt, go ahead and list the things that never fail to cheer you up on a bad day. Maybe remembering how happy they made you will decrease your feeling of blueness when you need to the most.
14. What is your favorite part of the holidays?
I know that as we inch closer to Thanksgiving and Christmas, the holiday season fills me with joy and allows me to realize how fortunate I really am. There's just something about the holidays that has that effect! You know what I'm talking about? Maybe you don't celebrate Thanksgiving or Christmas, but whatever you celebrate, I'm sure it has special meaning to you and your family.
15. Where do you think we came from?
No, I'm not talking about the birds and the bees, silly! I'm talking about God, the Creator, The Big Bang, Mother Earth, whatever you choose to believe in. For me, it's God... and the big bang... and Mother Earth. It's all of it. How do you think we got here? Is it by divine creation or a beautiful, coincidental accident? Talking about your faith in the bigger things can help solidify how precious life truly is here on Earth.
Are you a fan of these blogging prompts? Leave your additions in the comments!
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BLOGGER: KATHRYN COFFMAN
Kathryn is the lead contributor + founder at FashionablyFrank.com. Obsessed with leading a life of balance, she started the blog in 2013. Since graduating from The Evergreen State College (Washington) in 2016, she is now a digital marketing specialist through her business, Fashionably Frank Marketing. She believes a cup of coffee is the answer to all of life's problems + that all women should strive to embrace a #girlboss mantra.