How To Practice Gratitude – 11 Simple Ideas
Gratitude is a way of thinking and feeling. It can move us away from thoughts such as fear, resentment, anxiety, anger and negativity and towards more positivity, understanding, joy, empathy and hope.
Now, who wouldn’t want that?
The hard part is that feeling grateful isn’t always easy, comfortable or our natural ‘set-point’.
Therefore, we need to keep being aware of it, and keep practicing.
You’ve heard all about the amazing benefits of gratitude. And it’s something you really want to dive into. But maybe the thought of keeping a gratitude journal, just isn’t for you? That's totally fine. It's a common practice, but definitely not the only one.
Here are 11 great ideas on how to practice gratitude:
1. Change Your Words
Think about the words you use for your passwords and common phrases in your day to day life. Can these be changed to practice gratitude also?
Did you know that a ‘To-do list’ sounds much, much better as a ‘I get to…list’? I even have a friend that ‘refreshes’ her house rather than ‘cleans’ it!
Words can be powerful so use them to your advantage.
2. Write A Good Review
How many times do you write good reviews? If you’re like most people, it’s probably not enough.
Whether you’ve enjoyed a good book, tried a great recipe online or enjoyed that new café, then take 5 minutes to write a review for them.
3. Look for the opportunity in a bad situation
If you’re going through a rough time, ask yourself how you can learn from it.
What opportunity does this tough situation present? Because there will be one (at least).
4. Ban negativity
Even if you need to challenge yourself for a week, a day or even an hour to start with. Promise yourself not to gossip, complain, criticise or talk about bad happenings. Nothing good can come from dwelling on such things.
If you find yourself starting to moan or complain, switch it around and look for the positive in the situation instead. Verbalize that instead.
5. Express Your Gratitude
I could write how much I’m grateful for my wonderful husband one million times in my gratitude journal, but the full benefits will not be given unless I also express my gratitude to him personally.
If your grateful for somebody in your life, or something that someone did for you recently, be sure to express your appreciation to them. Tell them what it meant to you, email, call them, text them or even send a snail mail.
As long as you pass it on.
6. Enjoy Quiet Time
Whether you meditate or not, a few quiet minutes throughout your day can be perfect times to practice gratitude.
Take your lunch outside, put your phone down and take a good look around you.
Whatever you can see, you will be able to find things to be grateful for. Acknowledge them, enjoy them and appreciate them.
Before you get back on with your busy life.
7. Use Empathy
If a particular person is irking you, ruining your day or causing you misery – take a moment to think about why they might be acting like this. Because it’s about them, not you.
What must have been going on in their life for them to act this way?
Attempt to see the situation from an empathetic view, and the anger can dissipate. Instead focus on their good traits, skills, etc rather than the bad.
8. Fill A Jar
Have you had a random thought of gratitude during the day and don’t want to forget it? Scribble it on a post-it note and add it to a glass jar in a central space of your home.
When the mood of your home takes a hit, or someone in the family needs a little boost, pull those little scribbles out and have a read of them together!
9. Help Others
If you are in a position to help others, either with your skills, your time or financially, then you already have something to be grateful for, right?
So why not help others, while also helping your own well-being and volunteer. Think about the skills or resources you have available and how you can do good in the world.
10. Compliment Others
Giving out a solid, well thought out compliment is a form of practising gratitude.
You are acknowledging what you like about a person (what they did, wore, said, how they acted etc) and being grateful for having seen, heard or experienced it.
Therefore, it’s a benefit to your thoughts and feelings as well as boosting the other person - strengthening your bond with them and increasing trust. Win/win/win!
11. Gratitude Journal
It can be as easy or complicated as you want to make it, but a gratitude journal is a great way to jot down a few things that you’re grateful for each morning and night to bookend your day in a positive way.
Try a simple diary or notebook right next to your bed and work on making it a habit. You won’t be disappointed.
I hope this has given you a few ideas on how to practice gratitude with a bit more variety. Find your favourites, but also be sure to change it up and keep it fresh!