Gratitude is a practice that we can all cultivate.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, gratitude is “the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.”

When we’re grateful and practicing gratitude, you find the things in your life and in yourself that make you happy, that you can appreciate and love.  It’s when you start noticing all the little things in life that bring you joy and realize that you can be thankful for all those small moments.

Training yourself to find the things you’re grateful for takes work and is literally, a “practice.”  We’ve put together a list of twelve ways to practice gratitude.

A woman writes in a journal at her desk as she writes down what she is grateful for to practice gratitude.

Write Down One Thing You’re Grateful For Every Day.  Take a moment to reflect on one thing that makes you happy each day.  It doesn’t have to be anything crazy, it can be something simple, like a nice glass of water, or your time stretching when you wake up.

A page of paper says not to compare yourself to others as a way to practice gratitude.

Compare and Dispair.  This is hard not to do, but remember that people only post the good and frequently fake, over the top lives on social media.  Don’t think of that as real life, and don’t compare yourself to others.

Women put up their hands to volunteer for a cause in how to practice gratitude.

Find a Cause You Love.  If you help others, you will feel good too.  Find an organization or cause that you care about and volunteer.

Someone has drawn "I Love Me" in the sand at the beach as a way to talk about loving yourself for practicing gratitude.

Write Down What You Love About Yourself and Carry That List Around.  Have a confidence list.  Write a list about that killer smile, how you crushed that Monday meeting, or that compliment someone gave you.  If you need a little confidence boost, take it out and look at it.

A mirror with cacti nearby as a metaphor for finding gratitude within yourself.

Write Something Great on Your Mirror in Dry Erase Marker.  Write out something that will give you a boost, like “You have an amazing smile,” or “Girl, I love all parts of You!” so you see it every time you go to the restroom.

A pile of leaves as a metaphor for going for a fall walk to practice gratitude.

Go For a Walk just to Enjoy the Fall.  When you exercise, it does wonders to your mood, so even a small walk can help.  When you go for a walk and take in all the tiny things you love about that area, the sky, the leaves, your neighborhood, you are giving thanks in a small way.

Tell Others Why You’re Thankful for Them in Your Life.  Let your friends and loved ones know that you’re grateful for them, it will give you a boost to tell them, and they’ll feel happy hearing.  Send a short text, give them a call, or write them a letter.

A woman sits and meditates looking at the sunset to practice gratitude.

Discover Meditation.  When you meditate, you can spend that time thinking of all the things that make you happy.

A woman stands in a yoga pose as she finds gratitude in practicing yoga.

Practice Yoga.  Take a break to practice your breathing.  When you do yoga you can also spend that time meditating on the good and what you have to be grateful for.

A woman watches a sunset as a way to practice gratitude by finding gratitude in the small things.

Find Gratitude for the Small Things in Life.  Nothing has to be so big, it could be that beautiful cloud you see in the sky, the flowers in your garden, or that morning cup of coffee.  Think about that one thing that can make you feel good and happy and then take note.

A girl holds balloons as she tries to be positive as a way to practice gratitude.

Minimize the Negative Thoughts.  It’s hard to say this and harder even to accomplish.  Try to think about how the negative could be turned into something positive.

Being kind to yourself is a way to practice gratitude as a woman lounges in sweats.

Do Something Nice for Yourself.  For me this is lighting a candle and taking a long bubble bath.  You could paint your nails, you could make a cup of tea that you love, you could call your best friend; whatever it is, do something for yourself that makes you feel good.

About the author

Alice Cash is the Marketing Manager for Jubilance by day and an award winning Theatre Director by night.  Leading the podcast Weekly Woman, she loves her candid conversations with women from all over the world about how they live and the amazing things they are doing to make a difference. Alice is also the editor of the bi-monthly newsletter the Jubilee, a blog dedicated to the power of female wellness especially concerning menstruation.  She’s worked in France creating theatre pieces and taught drama and filmmaking to women and children in Haiti.  She graduated from Georgetown University and holds two master degrees from NYU and The New School.  Alice has traveled to  40+ countries, including Tibet.  She is a New Yorker and can often be found in Central Park, searching out the best bubble tea, or directing a play, you never know where she’ll show up. @alicesadventuresinwonderworld
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