30+ Gratitude Questions to Overcome the Tough Times

Gratitude can help us get through the darkest nights.

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A lot of times we can get stuck in a place where our minds seem to be rotting with the same spiraling thoughts, that same low negative energy, and gloomy feelings. Maybe a particular event led to it, or a series of them, that's the way things get complicated as time goes by. And it gets really hard to get out of that headspace that is worsening already troublesome situations. One of the things I can genuinely recommend to add to our thoughts slowly is gratitude, and I say it with a complete understanding of how difficult it can be. Please hear me out...

Do you believe that we have a say in the way we perceive life events? That two people can have different responses to the same thing? I'll assume you said yes because we see it all the time. People born in the same household can turn out to be opposites of each other. When presented with shocking news, one person can get agitated quickly while another can first try to understand the whole situation.

What I mean to say is, we have a say in our choices. We can decide the kind of people we want to be by the choices, little and big, that we make every day. We are capable enough to decide what seems right to us and behave that way. We can stop ourselves from doing something and also make ourselves take action. We are powerful enough to do that even if it doesn't seem that way sometimes. And we can decide the type of thoughts we want to introduce and nurture and the thoughts we want to let go of.

The past few months were incredibly difficult for me. It felt like my life was falling apart in all aspects, my health, my family situation, money, and friendships. One after another, I was receiving blows and each of them was making me weaker progressively. I really started to hate myself. I started to hate life for making me suffer so much. What had I done to deserve it?

In one of those days I sat with one of my best friends and he was sharing his own experiences with me. He too was going through a lot, in his family, his relationship, and his job. I could really relate to his pain, the unfairness of it, the overwhelming strain. But when I was nodding my head in total empathy, he said, "I am not going to let this take over my life. I know that there is a lot else that my life can be, a lot of better things. I am not going to give up." I remember how strongly that shook my core.

I am someone who gets inspired powerfully when I find something marvelous and then I do my most to inculcate those qualities in me. When my friend said that, suddenly a mirror was in front of my face and I heard myself say, "He's going through things very similar to yours and although he is suffering like you, he still has the strength to believe, to have patience, to stay strong, to see the light in the darkness. You've let yourself get consumed by what has happened to you but he is fighting to stay above it."

To say the least, it was a very humbling and desperately needed realization. At that moment, I strongly felt that I had to be more like my friend. I was upset with myself too that I had given up. But from that moment, I started to look for help and be of help to myself. When I would think those dreadful thoughts, I told myself, "Stop. These thoughts are not helpful. You are imagining destructively again." I checked my thoughts over and over and over until I realized that they had gotten less catastrophic.

I made myself genuinely appreciate everything I was actually blessed with. Recently, I had an episode of Bell's Palsy where the left side of my face became paralyzed suddenly. And, if a few weeks older version of me had gotten it, she would have been so distraught. But having learned to accept that life is unexpected and anything can happen at any time and I have to be prepared for it, I have to be my own source of strength, I told myself that it would be okay, and even if it didn't, I will still be okay.

This experience also made me so grateful for the way my facial muscles had moved all this time, the way my eyebrows raised, how my lips held food inside my mouth, and how wide my smile was. I had taken all of it for granted. I had failed to notice the innumerable ways that my body worked for me every single second. Thankfully, my face is back to normal now!

I have now come to believe that suffering does have meaning... Suffering is a part of life that none of us can escape but it is completely up to us how we suffer, how we heal. If feeling pain is an inescapable part of life, shouldn't we accept it when we can't easily end it? Shouldn't we learn how to live despite the suffering we can't remove? Believe me, I do not wish to be insensitive. I hope I am not saying things that make you feel worse. All I mean to say is that we can choose our way of life, our thoughts, and how we suffer even in the most desperate of times. We can hold on to ourselves even when it is really hard and we can decide to not give in.

So, after this incredibly long intro, I am giving you some helpful gratitude questions that you can choose to work on. These gratitude questions will help you look for the light or perhaps become it yourself. It takes these small things, one after another, over and over again, to overcome difficulties and become more resilient than we ever were before. You can write your answers to these questions in our gratitude journaling app or use a notebook. My ultimate wish is that living can become easier for you, and happier too.

Here are your gratitude questions:

Gratitude Questions

  1. Write three little things that went well yesterday.
  2. What is something that almost always makes you feel better? Describe that in detail.
  3. Make a list of the most basic things in your life that you might have been taking for granted but are really essential to your life.
  4. List 5 things that you can feel grateful for about your body. Try to appreciate things you wouldn't normally do.
  5. Write about the people you don't know personally but they make your life easier.
  6. List three qualities you appreciate about yourself.
  7. Write about someone you feel grateful for today.
  8. Write about 3 good things you have in your life right that weren't there before.
  9. What are some parts of your life that are going smoothly?
  10. List 3 things about someone you love that you're grateful for, and write down how they enrich your life.
  11. What are some simple joys of life that you enjoy?
  12. What is something that made you laugh recently?
  13. Express gratitude for the parts of your life you never want to give up.
  14. Write about one positive thing that happened today.
  15. Write about a life lesson that has helped you.
  16. Think about a time when you overcame something difficult and appreciate yourself for your strength.
  17. Write about a time when a loved one did something special for you.
  18. Take a moment to appreciate a fond memory that always brings a smile to your face.
  19. Write a letter to your future self expressing your hopes for them.
  20. Write about the qualities that make you who you are.
  21. In previous difficult times, what helped you feel comforted?
  22. In previous difficult times, what helped gain strength?
  23. Write a gratitude letter to someone who has been your well-wisher.
  24. Express gratitude for 3 little things that you might have taken for granted.
  25. List 5 things in your bedroom that you are grateful for.
  26. List 5 things that you like about your life.
  27. Write about the things that help you comfort yourself in cold weather.
  28. Write about the things that help you comfort yourself in hot weather.
  29. Express gratitude for a time you achieved a goal with your willingness and effort.
  30. Express gratitude for how you've grown and developed through the years.
  31. If your life were to end tomorrow, what are some things you wish you had appreciated more?
  32. Make a list of simple conveniences that help support your daily life and describe how they help you.
  33. What are some parts of yourself that you haven't been kind to lately? Think about the reasons and how can try to be more compassionate to yourself.
  34. Write about the things in your life that you can't imagine being without.
  35. Think about your body and the continuous way it helps you live. Notice your breathing and the movements. Sit with the feeling of awareness and appreciate all the things that come to your notice.

And, that's it! I hope this post comforted you just a little bit. I hope that things get easier for you. I am sending you blessings. If there's a friend who might find this post helpful, do share it with them. Thank you for reading my thoughts!

Continue Reading: 90+ Journal Prompts for Mental Health

Aarushi Tewari

Aarushi Tewari

The writer and affirmations speaker at Gratitude, Aarushi believes that one of the most effective ways of feeling inner peace is by being grateful and having a loving self-relationship.

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