Gratitude is such an important and critical component to include in everyone’s life. Gratitude allows us to grow as people, stay grounded, and also cultivate more happiness in our lives. However, many people get stuck on how to practice gratitude. Your gratitude practice can encompass many things and each strategy can serve you in a different way.
Today I will be sharing 7 different ways to practice gratitude. Some are simple and easy to incorporate, some take up a little more time, but all are bound to help you cultivate more love and gratitude in your life.
1. Gratitude Journal Log
Journaling is probably the most common way to practice gratitude. This is an incredible habit and practice to have in your life. The journaling can be done in many different ways, but no matter what, consistency is key. Try to make this a habit and stick to it daily to see the greatest benefit in your life. Some ways to practice this could include:
- Writing 5 things you are grateful for in the morning or evening
- Writing one line a day of something you are grateful for
- Freewriting a whole page of things you are grateful for that day
2. Love List
This is a practice I have shared before to help cultivate greater self-love and love for the world. But, it is also a great tool to cultivate greater gratitude. This list can be done in a few ways as well. This is an exercise that can be done a few times a month, every day, or periodically, it is really up to you. Nonetheless, this is a great practice to keep in mind and also return back to as you move through seasons in your life. The love list can be done as:
- Self Love List: a long list of things you love about yourself including your body, mind, and personality
- World Love List: a long list of things you love about the world including your favorite places, people, things, moments. This could be as detailed or as vague as you want. It is meant to serve as a reminder of the good in the world.
- Friend/Partner Love List: a long list of things you love about someone else, whether that be your partner, family member, or a friend. This would be a great list to cultivate more love for a special person in your life, and also a great list to share with that person if you feel like doing so.
3. Dinner Conversation
A very easy way to practice gratitude is to make it a part of an everyday activity, like dinner time. Dinner time is a great opportunity to connect with family after a day at work or school. By adding in gratitude to dinner time conversation, it creates a warm, loving, and happy environment. A simple way to include this is to ask everyone at the table to list 3 things they are grateful for from that day. No matter what kind of day you had, this simple practice will allow you to focus on the positive and bring you back to a better mental state.
4. Gratitude Jar
This is another simple and easy practice to include in your life. You can do this by yourself or with your partner or family. The concept is simple, every day write down something you are grateful for. You can choose to date the entries, give little details, or lots of details. You can tailor this to your life based on how much time you want to dedicate per day to this activity.
You can also do this with your whole family and each person can have their own gratitude jar. Make it a ritual in your home to write one thing for your gratitude jar every night or even on a weekly basis. This is a great way to teach your kids about gratitude and also practice self-care and reflection as a family.
5. Say “Thank You” More
This may sound like a very simple idea and something you feel you already do. But, I encourage you to really think about how often you thank others around you. This could be for simple things, like someone holding the door for you, or big things, like someone helping you with an important project.
Take the time to think about who you may owe a “thank you” to. Maybe you can send them a card, an email, a note, or a small gift to show your appreciation. Even a simple text or phone call could do the trick.
Also, try to be more aware of this within your daily life. Try to express your gratitude for others in your life more often, even with simple daily tasks. Thank your partner, kids, friends, co-workers for their help in the moment, and tell them WHY you appreciate them. Plus, this is particularly meaningful for people whose love language is words of affirmation.
6. End of Day Recap
This practice is something that is great to do with a loved one, friend, or partner at the end of the day. Before bed, take a few minutes to share 5 things you are grateful for from that day. The more specific the better in order to avoid generic responses day after day. This practice can be done in person with someone you live with, or this can be done over text. Either way, it is a great way to end the day with a positive moment.
7. Use An App
An easy way to incorporate more gratitude in your life is to use an app. You can download a gratitude log app or an app like 5 Minute Journal, which is my personal favorite. The 5 Minute Journal app gives you prompts both morning and night to cultivate more self-love, mindfulness, and gratitude in your day. You can even attach a photo to each day’s entry, which makes for a beautiful memory log at the end of the year. Regardless of what app you choose, an app can help to keep you accountable, and many have notifications that can remind you to take time for gratitude.
I hope that these 7 practices gave you some inspiration to help you step up your gratitude game. Gratitude is very important for a happy life, so be sure to practice gratitude often.