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