25 Simple Ways to Practice Gratitude

family saying grace before dinner

Have you noticed that when a colleague says something negative about your work, you can’t get it out of your mind? Yet when three co-workers compliment you on a job well done, you don’t give it much thought.

You can blame your brain for that. Science indicates that the human brain has a negativity bias, which means, according to psychologist Rick Hanson, Ph.D., “the brain is like Velcro for negative experiences but Teflon for positive ones.” Because of this bias, you need to intentionally create a high ratio of positive events to negative events.

You can bring more good vibes to your brain through practicing gratitude. You may already be thanking your partner for picking up groceries, but what about expanding your gratitude practice? Have you considered how many people contributed to the coffee you drink every day? The coffee bean farmers, distributers, truck drivers, coffee shop owner, barista, and many others played roles in getting a delicious cup of coffee in your hands.

With Thanksgiving around the corner in the United States, it’s a good time to enhance your day-to-day life through giving thanks. Research indicates that gratitude practices boost emotional well-being as well as physical health. The following are 25 easy ways to make gratitude a part of your day.

1. Send a Text Message

A simple “thank you for making my life brighter” text message can go a long way.

2. Keep a Gratitude Journal

Spend a few minutes each night jotting down three to five highlights from your day.

3. Pause Before Meals

Take a quiet moment of mindfulness before digging in, and silently thank everyone involved in making the food from the farmer to the preparer.

4. Run Errands with Gratitude

Make a point to thank each cashier, bank teller, and grocery bagger for helping you get through your errands. Your gratitude will no doubt enhance their days as well.

5. Take a Walk

Try practicing gratitude for what you notice—the clean air, the big sky, the warm sun, and the rest of your surroundings.

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6. Try a Body Scan

Lie down and move your mind’s spotlight slowly from your toes to your head. As you concentrate on each body part, express gratitude. For example, you may say to yourself, “Thank you, feet, for taking me on epic adventures.”

7. Write a Thank-you Note

Bring back the forgotten art of snail mail and send a handwritten note to someone who recently gave you a hand.

8. Set Reminders in Your Phone

Harness technology for good and remind yourself every afternoon to be thankful.

9. Make a Phone Call

Do you have a friend who helped you through a tough time? Reach out and offer a word of thanks.

10. Consider Your Clothes

Use your clothes as another way to reflect on interdependence. How many people contributed to make your shirt? Farmers, designers, seamstresses, retail store owners, and others combined to create and deliver this item.

11. Notice Your Shower

Have you thought about who is involved to get water to your shower? What about your soap? Let your mind expand to thank everyone who contributed to your daily bathing routine.

12. Give Family Members a Nod

It’s easy to take family members for granted. Notice what happens when you give your undivided attention to your spouse or sibling by thanking him or her for supporting you through thick and thin.

13. Give Thanks for Your Cup Being Half Full

Stop for a moment and appreciate your simple glass of water. You are alive because of water, and it deserves your attention.

14. Leave a Note for the Postal Carrier

Imagine how your postal carrier might react when she receives a note of thanks. This person delivers happiness to others, and it might be time for him or her to get some, too.

15. Thank a Former Teacher

When you look back on your education, is there a particular educator who influenced you? Offer that teacher a well-earned shout-out.

16. Give a Colleague a High Five

Similar to family members, you may take your co-workers for granted. Take the time to thank your colleagues for a job well done.

17. Pray or Meditate

Contemplative practices often include spending time giving thanks. Take some quiet time to reflect on your blessings, and be grateful for the good qualities you possess within yourself.

18. Ponder Your Pet

Have you considered how much joy your pet brings to your life? This animal offers up unconditional love to you through thick and thin. Give her an extra long belly rub of thanks.

19. Thank Your Garbage Collectors

What would life be like if your trash wasn’t picked up each week? The men and women who keep our cities clean should be thanked.

20. Write a Kind Review

Consider how your favorite restaurant might appreciate your kind Yelp review. You could also take the time to write an Amazon review for your favorite brand.

21. Thank Those Who Keep You Safe

Who do people call when they are badly hurt or afraid? Police officers, emergency medical technicians, and firemen and women tend to people during their most critical times. When you see them, thank them.

22. Send an Email to Your Child’s Teacher

It is hard to imagine spending each day teaching 30 children the tools they need to thrive.Teachers offer patience, kindness, and encouragement to future leaders, and they have earned your gratitude.

23. Take Three Deep Breaths

This simple practice can give you enough time for one simple moment of gratitude. Be grateful for your breath, because you wouldn’t be here without it.

24. Stop and Smell the Roses

When is the last time you appreciated the natural beauty surrounding you? Mother Nature offers jewels around every corner, and your senses can feast on her offerings. Pause and take it all in.

25. Donate

Is there a nonprofit doing excellent work to make the world better? Thank the organization with your words and also your wallet, if possible. Even small donations go a long way.

By infusing gratitude into your daily life, you will improve your own outlook and also create joy in others’ lives. Your grateful outlook will help make your days great and full.

 


Deepak Chopra will teach you an effortless, personalized style of meditation that helps you feel grateful for every day with our Primordial Sound Meditation Online CourseLearn More.


 

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About the Author
Sara Schairer is the founder and executive director of COMPASSION IT , a start-up nonprofit organization and global social movement whose mission is to inspire daily compassionate actions and attitudes. She created the one-of-a-kind reversible COMPASSION IT wristband prompting compassionate actions on six continents, 48 countries, and all 50 states. Wristband sales fund compassion education programs for youth, teens, and adults. As a public speaker, Sara encourages her audiences to “compassion it” in their daily lives. A Stanford-certified instructor of Compassion Cultivation...Read more