Gratitude is an attitude of thankfulness or appreciation for what you have. Embracing gratitude can be as simple as saying thank you, and practicing it connects you to what is truly important in your life.
A gratitude practice can have a positive effect on your mental health, relationships, and work. It helps frame your day, your expectations, and your actions.
It involves looking at the world from a more positive perspective, making gratitude an important tool to help you live a happier and healthier life.
In this blog post, I’ll cover 10 ways to help you embrace gratitude in your life.
1. Have A Positive Impact On A Stranger
Every day, you have an opportunity to experience gratitude by doing something nice for strangers. Hold a door for someone. Offer help when you see someone struggling. Offer a friendly smile. Or if you’re feeling truly generous, pay it forward and buy the coffee for the person in line behind you.
Gratitude is an emotion that resonates deep inside you. It makes you feel good, hopeful and connected to others. To embrace it and feel it on a regular basis, take actions that reinforce the emotion.
Making this type of behavior part of your everyday, changes how you interact and engage with the world. It makes you feel more grateful for your life.
2. Start A Gratitude Journal
A gratitude journal is a great way to start your day.
It can help you focus on what really matters, create positive feelings in the morning and keep them going all day long!
Gratitude journals started gaining popularity about ten years ago when Oprah talked about how powerful they were for her.
You can make it part of your daily routine by writing first thing in the morning or the last thing at night before bedtime; there are also mobile apps that allow you to do so if journaling is something you enjoy doing digitally.
There’s no need for fancy supplies either- any old notebook will work
If you’re stuck for inspiration on how to start read this post on gratitude journaling with a free 30-day gratitude journal prompt challenge included.
3. Reconnect With Friends or Family
Reconnecting with friends and family reminds you about the wonderful people that you have in your life.
Pick up the phone, send a text or an email to someone who has been on your mind lately- chances are they’ll be delighted to hear from you!
You can also reconnect with loved ones through social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Next time you find yourself scrolling through the profile or photos of a friend, drop them a like and a positive comment to put a smile on their face and reconnect.
4. Wear A “No Complaining” Bracelet
Complaining is kind of the opposite of gratitude, and like gratitude, complaining can easily become a habit.
You can break the habit by wearing a No Complaint Bracelet.
The goal is to wear the bracelet on one wrist for thirty days. But if you complain, you have to move it to your other wrist and start over.
You might be surprised how difficult it can be to keep complaints to yourself for 30 whole days!
By the end of the challenge, your mindset will have changed. You’ll be more grateful and able to focus on what is good in your life.
5. Practice Forgiveness
Forgiveness is powerful.
It releases anger, hurt, and frustration from you and makes room for positive emotions like gratitude.
If you find that you are still hurting or upset from something that someone else did to you, spend some time thinking about how that anger and hurt is actually hurting you.
Forgive them. Say the words aloud. And if you’re angry with yourself about something, release it.
You did your best at the time. Grow from the experience and move forward in gratitude.
6. Say Thank You to Express Your Gratitude
It’s so simple and yet we forget to say these two words.
Say thank you when you receive kindness from others.
The person you’re thanking will feel appreciated. You’ll feel good about yourself and them.
Consistently expressing gratitude helps you to build better relationships and connections. You can also express gratitude when you receive service by leaving a nice tip.
7. Do Something You Love
It’s easier to feel grateful when you have joy in your life. And of course, some days and weeks are more difficult than others.
However, there’s time to find joy in each day.
For example, listen to your favorite song and dance or sing along at the top of your voice.
Pet a puppy. Go for a walk and enjoy nature. Even in the city, you can see birds playing in the trees.
If you have more than a few minutes, take a class or find a new hobby. Or pick up an old hobby that makes you smile.
8. Send Handwritten Thank You Notes
Email is awesome but there’s something extra special about sending and receiving a hand-written note.
Buy pretty stationery and notecards and get into the habit of writing people you love.
Hint…parents, and grandparents really like this and it helps you stay connected. And if you don’t already, say thank you for gifts and kind thoughts and efforts with a handwritten thank you note.
9. Donate Time, Money Or Things
If you have some extra time or a little extra money, give it to a charity or cause that is important to you.
When you clean out your closets or find that you have some extra material goods around the home, consider donating them.
Gratitude is often enhanced and more readily embraced when you give to others. It serves as a reminder about all that you have.
10. Accept and Give Compliments
Giving compliments is enjoyable.
It can be fun to see someone’s face light up when you tell them you admire their hard work or that the project they’ve been working on is top quality.
But it’s not always so easy to accept compliments.
When someone pays you a compliment, absorb it and say thank you. Don’t negate the compliment with self-deprecating comments.
Honor their gesture with genuine thanks.
The same is true when you give compliments. Give them from the heart and without any intention other than to recognize someone’s skills, effort, or talents.
The great thing about gratitude is that once you invite it into your life, it is easier to make it a part of your every day.
A few simple steps can help you invite more of this amazing emotion into your life. Try one of these ideas today and enjoy.
Let me know in the comments which steps you’ll take first