How to Start a Gratitude Practice

A person holding a pen writing in a journal
The Anticancer Lifestyle Team

Whether you’re feeling centered or in the midst of a storm, journaling can have many health benefits. Writing down the things you’re grateful for is a great tool to help you begin to change your mindset. Follow these instructions to learn how to start a gratitude practice:

Instructions: 2-3 times a week, write down 3-5 things—these could be people, sensations, or experiences–for which you are grateful. Explain in detail why you are grateful for these things. For example, don’t just list a person’s name who you like. Explain why you are grateful to have them in your life. Use the space below for this purpose, or start keeping a notebook. 

Prompts to get started: These are optional prompts you can use if you are having trouble getting started.

  • I am grateful for my family because: 
  • I am grateful for my friendship with __________ because: 
  • I am grateful I experienced ______________ because: 
  • I am grateful for who I am because: 
  • I am grateful I have the skill/ability to _________ because: 
  • I am grateful I was challenged by __________ because: 
  • I am grateful for where I live because: 
  • I am grateful to have learned _________ this week because:

Keeping a gratitude journal will help keep you centered, especially during times of great stress or sorrow. Most of us neglect to notice the bounty that surrounds us, in ways large and small. Recalling it in written form, in some detail, nourishes and enlarges our spirit, and gives us something positive to refer back to when times feel bleak.

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