January 21, 2022
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15 Gratitude Journal Prompts to Better Health in Caregiving

It helps to have gratitude journal prompts to remind us of the good things that happen every day. 

As caregivers for the elderly, our minds can automatically focus on the job's frustration and difficulty. 

Journaling and gratitude practices can help us recall our purpose. And it also lets us see the good as much as the bad. 

So today, I’m sharing some gratitude journal prompts that can bring out the best in your experiences as a caregiver.

Why gratitude is important

gratitude journal prompts - gratitude

According to Harvard Medical School, being grateful also makes us feel like we're part of something bigger than ourselves.

It boosts general well-being, deepens social interactions, and reduces negative thoughts. 

And, the physiological reason for this lies in our brain function.

When we show gratitude, we produce dopamine and serotonin, hormones keeping the brain in a positive and happy state.

We also have the limbic system which is the region that controls emotions. Here, gratitude has been proven to activate the hippocampus and amygdala. 

These are two key regions regulating emotions, memory, and physical functions.

People also reported they had better heart health and lower cortisol levels, which is the body's stress hormone. 

By marked reduction of stress hormones, it helps reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. 

Gratitude increases the neuronal regulation of the prefrontal cortex. This area regulates unpleasant emotions like shame, guilt, and violent emotions.

How journaling helps mental health 

Caring for your loved ones can strain even the most resilient individuals. 

You may be so focused on caring for your loved ones that you don’t notice your health is also deteriorating. 

You may feel tired often, either gain or lose weight.  You might even notice becoming easily angry or irritated at people.

And worse, you might be inclined to use a chemical escape like drugs or alcohol.

The physical and emotional stress of caregiving — is common. 

Caregivers who don't pay attention to the effects of long-term stress and their emotional health are more likely to get caregiver burnout.

Caregiver burnout is a form of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion. 

gratitude journal prompts -  empathy

It’s important to remember that before we can take of others, we must take good care of ourselves first.

And, one effective way of reaching that goal is by journaling.

It’s a stress-relieving practice that reduces the impact of physical pressures on your health. 

According to a study, journaling for 15 to 20 minutes three to five times a day for four months was adequate to reduce blood pressure and enhance liver function.

Believe it or not, writing can boost your immune system and make you less likely to get sick. 

Those who write in a journal say that their immune systems work better. Their asthma and rheumatoid arthritis symptoms have also lessened.

And it not only improves your immune system, but also memory and comprehension.

It gives you more confidence and a better sense of who you are. It helps you deal with personal hardship and change.

Also, journaling unlocks and stimulates your right-brain creativity, which allows you to use all of your brainpower at the same time.

Read more here about caregiver burnout symptoms and treatment.

Gratitude journal prompts for caregivers 

gratitude journal prompts - self care

Gratitude journals are a great way to relieve stress and remind us of our purpose as caregivers. 

However, it can be boring when you write the same things over and over. 

That’s why gratitude journal prompts help us be creative and see ourselves from different angles. 

Journals give you specific themes to think about. And the prompts can jumpstart our brains to jumpstart when we don’t know what to write about. 

It’s especially helpful when you’re going through mixed emotions or if you need help narrowing your focus. 

So, what are some journal prompts for adults and caregivers that can help them become productive and happier? 

Here are some prompts you can start using the next time you write in your journal. 

gratitude journal prompts for journaling

Gratitude journal prompts:

  • Make a list of the things for which you are grateful. 
  • Consider the positive side of things and list five things that make you happy.
  • Make a list of compliments you've had from other people.
  • Describe a daily event or situation that you look forward to.
  • What life lesson did you learn in the past that you’re still applying today?
gratitude journal prompts - self care and self-love

Prompts for self-discovery:

  • What are you proud to be really good at?
  • What do you do to relax and feel better?
  • What do others appreciate about you?
  • What is a small achievement in the last week that you’re proud of?
  • What do you want to change to make you 1% better?
gratitude journal prompts - anxiety

Prompts for relieving stress and anxiety:

  • Am I taking care of myself? If not, what would I like to do about it?
  • Today was a stressful day. What made it challenging, and what can I do to make it easier?
  • What routine should you do to make you sleep better?
  • List three of the most important things you've learned through your anxiety.
  • What thoughts did you have after taking 5 deep breaths?

Tips when journaling 

Sometimes it's best not to follow the usual advice when we try journaling.

Often we feel guilty writing because we don't always write well. We get distracted, and we fail to keep up with the journal.

But, here's the thing - journaling is a habit. 

It's a habit you build that you need the most when you're stressed, rushed, or just not in the mood. 

And it's okay if you don't write every day. You don't have to feel bad about it.

Many benefits can be gained through journaling, but getting into the habit of writing every day is not always simple.

gratitude journal prompts tips

Here are some tips to get you started.

  1. Make things simple. Pen and paper are always good things to have. You can always write it down in your journal when you want. Or you can even use your phone as a journal. Talk to text in a note app can help you relieve stress with a stream of consciousness.
  1. Be creative. Let go of your thoughts and emotions. Use different colored pens to express your thoughts and feelings. You don't have to write long stuff. Jot down only what matters for you.
  1. Draw or write whatever feels right for you. Your journal doesn't have to be in a certain way to work. It's your own private place where you can talk about and make things to show how you feel. Let the words and ideas flow. The most important thing to do is not to worry about misspelled words or what other people think.
  1. It doesn't have to be pretty. If you're into calligraphy, that's well and good. But if not, that's OK. what matters is you have a place where you can dump all your thoughts.
  1. Keep your journal close by. Put it somewhere you can access it easily so you can write anything anytime.

You can keep a journal to help you get things back in order when your world feels like it's in a mess. 

Your sentiments and feelings help you learn more about yourself. 

Make sure you write in a place that is relaxing and comforting, maybe with a cup of tea nearby. 

I like to write early in the morning and on the way to bed. This helps to set the day and review the day. Find what works for you and make it a routine.

Look forward to your time writing. If your mind and body are happy, then that's a good thing for you to do.

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Gratitude journal prompts and self-reflection are the easiest ways to help reduce caregiver stress.

Being a caregiver has its ups and downs. And, it's one thing that feelings of isolation and loneliness always come with the journey.

It's crucial to remember that as caregivers, we must make an extra effort to look after ourselves. 

We can be more present for our elderly loved ones if we take care of our own health and well-being.

That's all for today.

Take care, keep mom safe and have a great day!


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