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Communication, Motivation

40 Simple Ways To Practice Gratitude

Written by Ciara Conlon
Productivity coach, speaker, blogger and author of Chaos to Control, a Practical Guide to Getting Things Done
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Gratitude is a powerful emotion that can improve your life in a variety of ways. When you are grateful, it is difficult to feel depressed or sorry for yourself.

According to Emmons and McCullough’s research, keeping a gratitude journal – a simple notebook where you write down daily what you are grateful for, has numerous benefits.[1]

The study found that people who kept a journal exercised more frequently, reported fewer physical symptoms, felt better about their lives overall, and were more optimistic. It also revealed that people who kept a journal were more likely to achieve their goals.

In comparison to the control group, there was a greater sense of connectedness to others, a more optimistic outlook on life, and better sleep quality.

If you want to reap the many benefits of gratitude, start practicing gratitude every day.

How To Practice Gratitude

Here are 40 simple ways to make gratitude a part of everyday life.

1. Keep a gratitude journal and add to it every day

Keeping a gratitude journal is an effective method for cultivating gratitude. Spend a few minutes each day writing down what you are grateful for.

A good meal, a warm bed, or a kind word from a friend can all be examples of this. You can begin to shift your perspective and appreciate what you have by focusing on the positive aspects of your life.


2. Tell someone you love them and appreciate them.

Expressing gratitude to others can help to strengthen your bonds and make them feel valued. Take the time to express how much you value the people in your life and how grateful you are for their presence.

3. Notice the beauty in nature each day

Nature is full of wonders that can awe and inspire gratitude. Take a few moments each day to appreciate the natural beauty around you, whether it’s a sunrise, a flower, or the song of a bird.

4. Value your friendships; good friends don’t come along every day.

In our lives, good friendships bring us joy and support. Make time to connect with your friends, listen to them, and demonstrate your concern. Taking care of your friendships can help you recognize the positive impact they have on your life.

5. Smile more often

Smiling is an easy way to cultivate gratitude and optimism. It can boost your mood and make those around you feel better.

Even when you don’t feel like it, try to smile more frequently and watch how your mood and interactions with others improve.

6. Watch inspiring videos that will remind you of the good in the world.

In today’s world, it’s all too easy to focus on the bad news and events. However, there are many inspiring stories and videos that show the good in people.


Make time to watch these inspiring stories; they will make you feel more grateful and optimistic about the world.

7. Make it a habit to do one act of kindness every day.

Kindness, no matter how small, can have a significant impact on both others and yourself. Make it a daily goal to do something nice for someone else, whether it’s holding the door, complimenting someone, or offering to help.

8. Avoid negative media and movies with destructive content

Negative media and movies can sap your energy and draw your attention to the negative aspects of life.

Choose to consume positive and uplifting media that will help you cultivate gratitude and joy.

9. Call your mom or dad more often

Your parents are most likely a source of love and support in your life, but we can all be guilty of taking them for granted at times.

Make an effort to call them more frequently and express your appreciation for everything they have done for you.

10. Cook with love, and think about those you will feed

Cooking is an excellent way to express gratitude and love. When you cook, think about who will be eating the meal and put your energy and intention into it. This can help you in appreciating the act of cooking as well as the joy it brings to others.

11. Volunteer for charitable organizations

It’s a wonderful way to give back and be thankful for what you have. It allows you to put things into perspective and appreciate your blessings.

Helping others benefits you as well as the people you help by increasing your sense of purpose and fulfillment.

12. Do not gossip or disparage anyone.

Talking negatively about others and engaging in gossip can damage relationships. Instead, look for the good in people and focus on what you can say about them.

13. Spend quality time with your loved ones

Spending quality time with loved ones is essential for expressing gratitude and strengthening bonds.

When spending time with your children or partner, make an effort to put away distractions and focus on the present moment.


14. Compliment your friends and family when they look good

Remembering to compliment your friends and family when they look good is an easy way to show your appreciation and boost their confidence. It shows that you are paying attention to them and value their efforts.

15. Write a card to someone you haven’t seen in a while

Writing a card to someone you haven’t seen in a long time and saying something nice to them can make their day and strengthen your relationship with them.

16. Add at least one new item to your gratitude list each day.

Adding to your gratitude list at least once a day helps to cultivate a gratitude habit and trains your mind to focus on the positive aspects of your life.

17. Look for the bright side

It’s easy to focus on the negatives when confronted with a difficult situation. However, by attempting to find the positives, no matter how minor they may appear, you can shift your perspective and discover reasons to be grateful. This can result in a more optimistic outlook on life.

18. Make a weekly commitment to not complaining about anything

Complaining is easy to do, but it creates a negative energy that affects not only you but those around you. By committing to not complaining for a week, you will be forced to find solutions rather than dwell on problems, and you will begin to appreciate the good things in your life.

19. Try to notice when people do a good job and recognise them when they deserve it at work

It is essential to express gratitude to those who work hard and do a good job. This not only boosts morale but also fosters a positive work environment. You can foster a culture of gratitude and appreciation by recognizing their efforts.


20. Reward effort; if someone does something nice for you, return the favor.

It is important to express your gratitude when someone does something nice for you. One way to accomplish this is to repay their kindness with an act of your own. This can start a chain reaction of kindness and gratitude that benefits everyone.

21. Meditate with your gratitude list, giving thanks for all your good fortune.

Meditation can be an effective way to cultivate gratitude. You can develop a deeper appreciation for the good things in your life by focusing on your gratitude list during your meditation practice. This can result in a more upbeat attitude and a greater sense of well-being.

22. Live mindfully, not worrying about the past or the future.

If you’re always thinking about the past or the future, gratitude may be difficult to come by. Living mindfully in the present moment allows you to fully appreciate the good things in your life. This can result in a greater sense of contentment and peace.

23. Thank the people in your community who help you, such as the shopkeepers and bus drivers.

It’s easy to take the people who help us every day for granted. By taking the time to express our gratitude for their service, we foster a more positive interaction. This can brighten their day and contribute to a more positive community overall.

24. Thank your loved ones for the little things they do for you

We often fail to recognise the small things that our loved ones do for us on a daily basis. Thanking your partner, family members, or friends for their support, care, and love can go a long way towards strengthening your bonds.

25. Place quotes and images around your home that remind you to be grateful

Surround yourself with gratitude reminders. Print some inspirational quotes or make a vision board with images that inspire gratitude. Place them in rooms where you will see them frequently.


26. Visit an elderly neighbor and express gratitude for their presence in your life.

The elderly in our communities are a wealth of wisdom and life experience. Call or visit one of your elderly neighbors and express your gratitude for their presence in your life. You might be surprised at how much they value the gesture.

27. Call your grandparents and express your love for them.

Grandparents are often overlooked, but they can be a wealth of wisdom and guidance. Call them and express your love and appreciation for everything they’ve done for you.

28. Embrace challenges and turn them into growth opportunities

When faced with a challenge, try to see it as an opportunity for growth. Maintain a positive attitude and concentrate on what you can gain from the experience. This mindset shift can help you in finding new solutions and increasing your resilience.

29. Send love to your enemies or people you dislike

Gratitude is more than just appreciating the good things in life; it is also about finding compassion for those who challenge us. Send love to people you find difficult, and try to understand their perspective. You may find that your relationships improve as a result.

30. Be thankful when you learn something new

Learning is a lifelong process, and every new thing you learn is an opportunity to be grateful. Recognize the worth of your education and the teachers and mentors who guided you along the way.

31. See your mistakes as an opportunity for growth

We all make mistakes, but instead of dwelling on them, try to see them as learning opportunities. Consider what you can learn from your mistakes and how you can apply that knowledge to better yourself and your life.


32. Help your friends see the bright side of life

If you have friends who are prone to dwelling on the negative, be there with them and try to help them see the bright side of life. Encourage them to practice gratitude with you.

33. Remember your friends who are by your side during difficult times

Instead of focusing on what is wrong, focus on the people who are there to support you. Spend some time thanking them for their love and support.

34. Help others when life treats you well

When things are going well in your life, make time to help others. Perform random acts of kindness or volunteer to help those in need. Your generosity can make a significant difference in the life of someone else.

35. Create a gratitude collage by cutting out pictures of everything you are grateful for

Make a collage of pictures of things you’re grateful for and arrange them in a way that makes you happy. Display it in your home as a reminder of all the good things in your life.

36. Make gratitude a part of family life by sharing it with one another at mealtime

Starting a gratitude ritual during meal times is one way to incorporate gratitude into your family life. This can be as simple as asking each family member to share one thing they are grateful for on that particular day.

This will not only help everyone in the family develop a habit of gratitude, but it will also create a positive and uplifting environment during meals.


37. Practice gratitude at the same time every day to make it a habit

To make gratitude a habit, practice it consistently and at the same time every day. This could be done in the morning or before going to bed.

Making gratitude a part of your daily routine makes it easier to remember and eventually becomes a natural habit.

38. Focus on your strengths

You can cultivate a sense of gratitude by focusing on your strengths and the positive aspects of your life. This will help you appreciate and be grateful for what you have, as well as boost your self-esteem.

39. Share the benefits of gratitude with family and friends

Sharing the benefits of gratitude with family and friends can inspire and encourage others to do the same. Talk about the beneficial impact gratitude has had on your life and some ways they can cultivate gratitude in their own lives.

40. Express gratitude every day on social media

Social media is an excellent platform for expressing gratitude and inspiring others to do the same.

You can spread positivity and encourage others to focus on the good things in their lives by posting a message of gratitude on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. This can also foster a sense of belonging and connection with others who hold similar values.

Final Thoughts

Gratitude is a powerful emotion that can bring us happiness, joy, and contentment.

We can cultivate an attitude of gratitude and abundance even in difficult times by incorporating these habits into our daily lives. Every act of gratitude, whether it’s thanking those who serve us or noticing the beauty in nature, can have a significant impact on our happiness and relationships.

So, let us embrace these simple yet powerful practices of gratitude in order to live a happier, more fulfilling life.


Featured photo credit: Chungkuk Bae via unsplash.com


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