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10 Quick Prompts for Cultivating Gratitude

Today is Thanksgiving Day here in the U.S., a great reminder to shift our thoughts to gratitude, big and small. As such, here’s a wide array of prompts to get you started in cultivating your appreciation—today and all-year round.

  1. Walk around your home, and think about everything you love about it. Yes, there are still things to fix, rooms to clean, and closets to declutter. But try to focus on the little touches that help you to feel at home here—or on the bigger fact that you do have a home.
  2. Give thanks for modern luxuries that make your life easier, safer, and more meaningful—everything from clean water to electricity to FaceTime to your car.
  3. Every day, focus on what’s delighting your five senses. Name these things, and sink into your appreciation for them.
  4. Draw what makes you really happy. This might be a fun activity to do with your whole family.
  5. Focus on the people you are thankful for. If you’re sending out holiday cards this year, write a few sentences on why you’re grateful for that person. Maybe you’re grateful for their support during a difficult time. Maybe you appreciate their silly sense of humor, their generous heart, or their delicious Christmas cookies.
  6. Take a walk in your neighborhood or another favorite place, and focus on the bits of beauty all around you, including wondrous trees, twinkling holiday decorations, and a refreshing breeze.
  7. Don’t forget about yourself. When giving thanks, reflect on these questions: What am I proud of? What does my body help me to do? What are my favorite traits or talents? What do people thank me for?
  8. Recognize the small but significant treats in your life—fresh flowers, your favorite cup of coffee, a super soft sweater, music that triggers meaningful memories, books that inspire and uplift.
  9. Before eating any meal, acknowledge everything and everyone who’s contributed to preparing this food—from the farmer to the factory worker to the grocery store to the cook (who might be you!).
  10. Think about this year’s struggles and how they’ve helped you grow. What lessons have they taught you? What (surprising) blessings have they brought? Maybe you bonded with a friend. Maybe you realized your strength. Maybe you accomplished an important-to-you goal. Maybe you realized you needed to change direction—and you did.

I know that around this time of year, it seems like there are thousands of articles on gratitude. Which can easily make gratitude feel meaningless and even annoying.

But remind yourself of the magic that happens when you pause even for just a minute and marvel at the immense beauty of the sky, at your toddler talking about Santa, at the nourishing food at your table, and at the incredible fact that you’re alive.

Hope everyone has a wonderful day!

Photo by Timothy Eberly on Unsplash

10 Quick Prompts for Cultivating Gratitude

Margarita Tartakovsky, MS

Margarita is an associate editor at She writes about everything from taking compassionate care of yourself at any weight, shape, and size, to coping healthfully with difficult emotions. Her goal is to give readers practical, empowering tips to better their lives, and to remind you that whatever you're struggling with, you're never, ever alone.

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APA Reference
Tartakovsky, M. (2019). 10 Quick Prompts for Cultivating Gratitude. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 16, 2020, from


Last updated: 24 Nov 2019
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