8 Simple Ways to Practice Gratitude
Expressing gratitude genuinely makes us feel good.
It also makes other people feel good.
Gratitude is contagious.
So, don’t save giving thanks for thanksgiving.
Here are 8 simple ways to practice gratitude every day.
Write a letter to someone important in your life
Start keeping a journal of everything and everyone you are grateful for
Cultivate gratitude by journaling about one thing or one person at a time. Take your time, connect with your deeper self, and focus on what you love about the person or thing you are journaling about, what they have taught you, and how they’re a positive influence in your life.
This is a great way to incorporate gratitude into your life privately to build confidence and practice with expressing thanks to the people that matter. Know that you don’t have to try and thank everyone all at once. One method I use is to make a list of the most important people in my life and dedicate one day in my journal to each of them. Sometimes. I journal about the same person multiple times. This private record of gratitude is also beneficial to look back on when disagreements may arise. Rather than becoming completely swept away by the negative, you can remember all of the good qualities of the person and everything about them that you appreciate and are grateful for.
Tell people you’re grateful for having them in your life
This small expression of gratitude goes a long way. Simply thanking the people who are important to you for being in your life makes them feel valued and appreciated. Share a specific time they helped you, when they made a lasting impact on you, or just something that made your day. There are no rules for how to express your gratitude or for whom you are grateful, which is why it’s such a wonderful way to add more gratitude to your life. People will appreciate it, and you will feel a deeper connection with them as well when you focus on everything you are thankful for rather than taking the people in your life for granted.
Help someone without expecting anything in return
One of my favorite ways to show gratitude is to provide assistance to those who need it. Whatever it might be, it always feels good to give thanks through small acts. Offer to house sit for a friend while they are away. Help your neighbor weed their garden. Small acts of kindness speak volumes. They also gain compost interest; you’ll quickly find yourself with a fuller, more grateful heart.
Be respectful and patient
Leave a generous tip
Be kind to yourself
Gratitude begins with ourselves. Expressions of gratitude aren’t just for showing appreciation for others. They are also important for taking care of ourselves and appreciating ourselves as individuals, quirks and all. A grateful person is one who has the security and confidence to appreciate themselves as much as they appreciate others. Be kind to yourself and engage in some real self-care.
Create a gratitude ritual at home
Atle and I recently incorporated this one into our daily routine: Every morning, while we are eating breakfast, we share our goal for the day and what we are grateful for in that moment. Then, at the end of the day while we are eating dinner, we share our favorite part of the day, the biggest challenge of the day, how we grew, and three things we are grateful for. I love this new tradition because it keeps us thinking about the positive things in our lives rather than getting hung up on everything that is less than optimal, or everything could go wrong.
So, there you have it! 8 simple ways to add gratitude to your life. These practices may feel clunky and unnatural at first, but don’t worry, it will get easier. Before you know it, you will be finding things to be grateful for and giving thanks effortlessly. You’ll feel better, more compassionate, and more positive. Life is full of ups and downs, expressing gratitude and focusing on everything you have to be thankful for in life is a simple way to tip the scales and elevate your mood.
After all, expressing gratitude helps us to remember not to take anything in our lives for granted. We could die tomorrow, we could die today. There is no way of telling just what the future has in store for us and this doesn’t mean we should spend every moment of our lives worrying and fretting over the uncertainty of the future. Instead, we should savour the time we have here and now, and appreciating it.
Gratitude also reminds us to look for the good in others. It is easy to become focused on the problems of the world and to forget to be thankful for everything we do have. We can be grateful to people who have wronged us because they helped us learn valuable life lessons. When we thank the people in our lives for always being there we help to build a community of support and positivity.