Gratitude, as significant as it is, is so often overlooked in today’s day and age. Why is gratitude not at the forefront of our every day? Why gratitude? And, how can we all be a little more grateful? Here are 12 simple ways to practice gratitude.
But first, let’s start with some definitions.
“The quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.” – Oxford Dictionaries
“Gratitude is an emotion expressing appreciation for what one has—as opposed to, for example, a consumer-driven emphasis on what one wants.” – Psychology Today
“gratitude is the appreciation of what is valuable and meaningful to oneself; it is a general state of thankfulness and/or appreciation” – Sansone, R. A. (MD) & . Sansone, L. A. (MD), 2010
Why is gratitude so important?
Studies have shown that gratitude is strongly related to our well-being. Being grateful results in a more positive outlook on life, which can lead to greater happiness and greater life satisfaction. And who doesn’t want to be satisfied with life, people?!
Why am I talking about all this?
Gratitude has been something I have actively worked to boost in my life. Although challenging, in a world that can feel judgy and negative, choosing to be grateful each day has proven to be incredibly beneficial to my overall well-being. Without a doubt, every time I’ve experienced gratitude in life, I’ve felt better about the situation, no matter how negative it may have seemed.
I am by no means saying this has all been easy as pie! We do know that a negative mindset can be challenging to crack. And trust me, I’ve had my fair share of negativity in life (we’ll save that for another post!).
In hopes of inspiring you to notice the positive aspects of life more, I’ve listed some simple ways that have helped me boost my gratitude.
12 Simple Ways to Practice Gratitude:
# 1 – Start a gratitude journal
Why this worked for me: Starting a gratitude journal got me into the habit of looking for things I was grateful for throughout my day. With more and more practice, being grateful started to become more second nature to me, and my mindset slowly started to shift away from negativity and more towards gratitude.
# 2 – Start your day with a positive affirmation
Why this worked for me: Starting your day with a positive affirmation can help refocus the mind on the positive and build your confidence. I realized that many disappointments in my life stemmed from my lack of self-love. Through positive affirmations, I learned to love myself and to be grateful for my life and who I am, which all helped boost my well-being.
# 3 – Take some time to meditate
Why this worked for me: Through meditating, I learned to get comfortable with silence and to understand my mind and my thoughts better. With this more in-depth understanding of myself, I can refocus the mind on the positive and be more grateful.
Check out these 5 Meditation Tips for Beginners.
# 4 – Challenge yourself, for an entire day, to say thank you more often
Why this worked for me: I find challenging myself to do something for one day works because it is feasible. We can all do something for just one day.
Being mindful of expressing appreciation to others throughout my day helped me begin to notice just how many individuals I was grateful to be around each day. Plus, doing this had a positive effect on those around me – they felt good, and I felt good. Good vibes are contagious.
# 5 – Compliment someone
Why this worked for me: As small and simple as this may seem, the act of complimenting someone helps you seek out something positive to appreciate them for. I learned to be grateful for the good in others and to recognize any time someone offers a helping hand.
# 6 – Donate to a cause or charity you believe in
Why this worked for me: Donating reminds us of how fortunate we are and that we sometimes take things for granted. I learned to be grateful for what I have and for my ability to make a positive difference in the lives of others.
# 7 – Practice mindfulness
Why this worked for me: There are different ways to practice mindfulness – meditation and breathing being some ways.
Essentially, being mindful is to focus and be aware of the present moment. Being mindful taught me to be grateful for the here-and-now. And it taught me to find appreciation in small moments that I would have likely missed had I not been practicing mindfulness.
For more information on how to practice mindfulness, check out these 22 Mindfulness Exercises, Techniques & Activities For Adults.
# 8 – Try some breathing exercises
Why this worked for me: Breathing exercises help bring us back to the present moment; they calm us down and recharge us. Breathing exercises taught me to be grateful for each breath.
For more information, check out these Three Breathing Exercises And Techniques.
# 9 – Spend some quality time in nature
Why this worked for me: Spending time in nature reminds us that the world is big and full of natural wonders; it helps humble us, and brings us peace. I learned to be grateful for nature, our environment, and our planet earth, by simply spending more quality time outdoors.
# 10 – Spend some quality time with loved ones
Why this worked for me: Spending quality time with loved ones reminds us of how much they mean to us and how grateful we are to have them around.
# 11 – Write someone a Thank You note
Why this worked for me: Expressing appreciation to someone in a Thank You note is a small way of practicing gratitude. It reminds you to be grateful for those around you who have had a positive impact on you.
# 12 – Challenge yourself, for an entire day, to stop being negative
Why this worked for me: I noticed just how often I was negative throughout my day. This act of simply noticing helped slowly shift my mind and I began to make more efforts to think more positively and to be more grateful.
And with all this said, my hope is that you…
“Start each day with a positive thought and a grateful heart.” – Roy T. Bennett
Thanks so much for stopping by today. I am so grateful you did. <3