10 Ways to Practice Gratitude

woman practicing gratitude

One of the most powerful of all positive emotions is gratitude and it forms a solid foundation to help us experience more joy, happiness, hope and optimism.  Since it focuses on what you have versus what you lack, gratitude – when practiced regularly – shapes our worldview toward noticing abundance versus scarcity.  You bring positive energy to the conversation when you speak with others about what you are grateful for.  We become better leaders, friends, co-workers and parents and are more content with the world when we practice gratitude.

Here are 10 ways to practice gratitude:

  1. One way to get started and to help keep yourself motivated is to post words, photos, and objects of gratitude in your home. Make sure to place the items where you will see them every day so they help remind you to take a moment to be grateful.  What motivates you to be grateful? Share it in our comments.
  2. Have you ever tried a gratitude journal?  This is one of the most effective ways to practice gratitude.  Grab a journal and write down 5 things you are grateful for today.  Try writing these 5 things down each night before you go to bed or if you don’t think you can do it every night, try it at least once a week.  Try not to write down the same things each time; it will help you realize that you have more to be grateful for than just 5 things.
  3. An exercise called Gratitude Letter & Visit developed by Martin Seligman, father of Positive Psychology, is one in which you think of someone who has made a powerful impact on your life.  You then write a letter of gratitude, and visit them in person and read the letter to them.  Of course, you can mail the letter but when done in person, it really creates a life altering event.
  4. Every morning, try to incorporate gratitude into your exercise or morning routine. While you’re warming up for a jog, do a few breathing exercises and then start to think about all the things for which you are grateful for.  You can start with your brain, body, muscles and then move on to noticing the trees, people and weather.  You will find that each day you will find something new to be grateful about.
  5. What would happen if you said “Thank You” more often?  Give it a try starting today – just start saying it for everything. You will find that it brings you more joy just for saying it.
  6. A lost art and one that still means more to people than a phone call is the Thank You Note. Write a note to someone when they touch your heart.  Or send a “just because” note i.e. “You were on my mind, I am so grateful for our friendship.”
  7. Today it’s easier than ever to show gratitude by sending your loved ones a quick text message.  “Thanks for making your bed today.”  “Thanks for being so sweet to your brother this morning.” “I am so lucky to have you for a husband.”  This is the easiest way to make someone’s day and the best part is that it makes your day better too.
  8. Appreciate each moment by practicing mindfulness.  Notice all that is around you and focus on the present moment.  Take in all of your senses – taste – sight – smell – touch – what you hear.  When we practice mindfulness, we ensure ourselves of not missing a single blessing.
  9. Announcing your gratitude is a great family activity.  Ask your child at the dinner table to state three things they are grateful for that happened today or before they go to bed. Don’t leave the grownups out!  You can even write them down in a journal if you like.  You can also make it to where you listen to all the “bad stuff” that happened and then list three things they are grateful for.  This helps everyone to realize that there are always things to be grateful for even on the worst of days.
  10. We all have ungrateful thoughts so allow yourself to acknowledge one ungrateful thought per day and then replace it with a grateful one.  We’ve all had those days when we’ve had a ungrateful thought about a co-worker.  After you’ve thought it, add something you are grateful for about that person.  By turning our thoughts around, we give ourselves the power to change our lives and be truly grateful for everything.

Join us next week as we launch our November Series: The Power of Gratitude!

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  1. Nan
    5 years ago

    I am GRATEFUL for this list! It’s a wonderful reminder. I’m trying a couple of these immediately.

    Happy new year, Robyn. Year of the Horse. Just the sound of that makes me grateful!

    Love, Nan

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