When you have more gratitude in your life, you have more happiness in your life. Here are 47 simple ways to make gratitude a part of your day.
- Write Someone A Handwritten Thank You Note: The note could be for anything. An expression of love, help, thanks, support or just for being there for you. A handwritten note is one of the post impactful ways to express gratitude. It’s a lost art, but when someone receives your thank you card, it will make their day.
- Keep a Gratitude Journal: Keep it simple and each day write 1-3 things you are grateful for in the morning and in the evening. It will allow you to see more joy and beauty in your days. A lot of people focus on what they don’t have, or complain all day. When you focus on the positive, no matter how small, you attract more positive.
- Don’t Compare: It’s easy to compare ourselves to others and want what they have. When you do that, you’re not embracing your own unique journey. We’re all on a different life path. Embrace the path you’re own. Embrace your beauty and your uniqueness. As Dr. Seuss said: you were born to stand out. Feel gratitude for who you are and what you have.
- Appreciate The Simple Things In Life: Trying to figure out what you’re grateful for can seem overwhelming if you’re only focusing on big things. What about the simple things in life? That cup of coffee this morning. The bed you woke up in. That beautiful butterfly you saw on your walk. What about your ability to walk? Not everyone has that capability. We tend to overlook the simple things in life and take other things for granted. Don’t!
- Live In The Now: It’s easy to dwell on the negatives of the past or worry about the future. If you can live in the moment and take in everything as they happen, you’ll discover joys that are often overlooked. There are joys of watching your child play, the smell of coffee at the local coffeehouse, the conversation with your friend across the table (instead of checking Facebook) and the smell of rain. Relish and embrace these moments.
- Flash A Smile: A lot of people don’t smile these days, and often you have to be the one that initiates it. But not only does smiling make you feel good, smiling at someone will make their day too. Smile more and watch how your day can instantly turn around. While you’re at it, give compliments too. Be sincere - find something about the person that you appreciate and let them know.
- Volunteer: Give back to your community. Whether you feed the homeless, build a playground for kids or volunteer at an animal shelter, find something that will allow you to make a positive impact in the lives of others. This will make you feel great!
- Say Thank You: There is a lot of power in these 2 words. When someone does something nice, acknowledge them. Tell them “thank you.” Flash your smile with those words too. Not only will it make you feel better, but it will make their day too. Whether it’s the checkout person at the grocery store or a stranger holding the door open for you, always say “thank you.”
- Do Something Unexpected For Someone: It’s a great feeling to have someone bring home flowers unexpectedly, have dinner ready on the table, or give a hug out of nowhere. Surprise someone for no reason and brighten his or her day.
- Show Appreciation To Your Parents: Write them a heartfelt letter of appreciation for all of the love and support they’ve given you over the years. Many times, we don’t show our appreciation to our parents often enough. A letter is something they’ll cherish for the rest of their lives.
- Create An Impact Video: Make a video for someone that has impacted your life and send it to them. Really make it heartfelt and tell the other person not only that they have impacted you, but how. They will love it.
- Practice Random Acts of Kindness: Through your generosity, you can positively affect another person’s life and bring joy to yourself from having done so. It can be giving a care package to the homeless, handing out roses to random strangers or buying someone in line a cup of coffee.
- Go Complaint Free For 21 Days: Do you think you could stop complaining for 21 days straight? Complaining feels good because it gets out our negative feelings. However, if it becomes a habit, it can bring us down. Switching from our complaints to all life’s goodness will enhance our lives.
- Take A Gratitude Walk: Whether it’s right around your neighborhood or a hike in the woods. Immerse yourself in good thoughts while you look at the trees, flowers, snow – all the beauty and abundance of nature.
- Keep A Gratitude Jar: Keep a jar filled with notes on life’s blessings (small and big) in your home and whenever you, your spouse or children feel down choose a note from the jar for an instant lift.
- Host A Gratitude Dinner: Invite your friends to a dinner party and show your appreciation to them. It’s a great way to honor your friends and tell them how much they mean to you. Keep it stress free and invite them for a potluck.
- Hug Someone: Hug someone to show how grateful you are to have him or her in your life. A simple hug could be just what a person needs to feel loved and appreciated.
- Celebrate Your Wins: Be thankful for your successes. Write down all that you have accomplished this past year, which you may not even realize how many there are and then savor these successes rather than thinking about what you didn’t accomplish.
- Give Away Cookies: Bring cookies (or coffee) to firefighters and police officers and thank them for their protection and service.
- Donate To A Charity: Find a charity you believe in and make a monetary contribution to show your appreciation for the transformative work they do in your community, or nationally.
- Recognize Each Day As A Gift: Each new day is a “gift” to us and the only appropriate response for this gift is gratefulness, says Brother David Steindl-Rast, a Catholic Benedictine monk. Every breath is a miracle.
- Call Your Parents More Often: Let them know you care about them and appreciate them.
- Call Your Friends More Often: Yes, we’re in an era where it’s easier to send a quick text, email or Facebook message, however a phone call is more meaningful and you can have a deeper conversation (and connection).
- Unplug And Play: Technology can consume us – ipads, ipods, TV, e-mail and more. Take time away from the electronics to embrace and enjoy the beauty of nature, which is great for the soul. Here is the ultimate way to Unplug and Play.
- Say Grace: Say thanks before dinner to help express appreciation for the food that nourishes your body and the experience of enjoying a meal together with others.
- Leave Encouraging Words For Someone: Next time you are at a restaurant, at the grocery store, in a mall or even in the workplace, leave a positive note or quote with the intention of cheering someone up.
- Give A Genuine Compliment: Give a compliment on on a talent, skill, or strength that you admire in someone.
- Tell Co-Workers How Thankful You Are: Show appreciation to your co-workers or employees for their support with a project or task. You can do this face-to-face or with a nice card.
- Raise Happier Kids: Children are open books for learning and absorb things without judgment or reserve. Teach a child to be grateful by helping him or her send thank you notes for gifts received, say thank you more often, give teachers and others gifts, volunteer and watch their happiness increase.
- Practice Mindfulness: Sit down daily and think through five to ten things you are grateful for. The trick is that you need to picture it in your mind and sit with that feeling of gratitude in your body. Doing this every day will rewire your brain to be naturally more grateful, and you’ll start feeling happier after every session.
- Spend Time With Loved Ones: If you’re struggling with feeling the gratitude in the moment, go spend time with your friends and family. Of course it will help you grow closer to them and strengthen your relationship, but it will also give you a chance to practice your acts of gratitude on people that you care about.
Start small if they’re having trouble finding ways to support your friends and family. For instance, why don’t you make sure you’re listening intently the next time someone shares a story with you instead of waiting for your own chance to speak? Or start a conversation with a difficult member of the family by complimenting their new shoes or hair-cut.
- Do Yoga: Yoga allows you to learn to appreciate yourself through physical movement and exploration of the body. You’ll learn to savor your body’s health, intelligence, grace, and beauty. Yoga is the union of mind, body, and soul and you can be thankful everyday that you can participate in such a practice.
- Acknowledge Birthdays And Anniversaries: Acknowledge special days of friends, family and even acquaintances. A phone call, card, e-mail, or text might make their day!
- Share Your Gratitude Around The Dinner Table: You can share one thing you were grateful for that day with your family and ask them to do the same. This also helps teach the practice of gratitude to children, enriching their lives.
- Take Nothing For Granted: Sometimes we lose sight of all that we have, which is human but it’s important to stop and think about what and who you might be taking for granted. This will help you remember the many blessings in life.
- Look For The Good In The Bad: So many times in life, unpleasant things happen to us and then, in time, something good comes out of that experience, like a better job or relationship. Try to open up to any opportunity that might be there in difficult situations and use this new insight to find greater hope and strength.
- Make Gratitude Cards: You can have fun (and quality bonding time) by making gratitude cards with your kids. They can hand them out to classmates, teachers, cafeteria workers, family members or anyone they want to express gratitude towards.
- Brag About Someone: Acknowledge someone. Be their biggest fan and brag about their talents or characteristic traits in front of other people. You’ll make them feel so good.
- You Have Enough: Remember: There is nothing lacking. Our minds tend to lean towards what we are lacking in life instead of all the abundance that exists around us. We always have the choice to think about what is scarce or what is abundant in life. What’s key is to recognize this choice and the value this shift in mindset brings.
- You Are Enough: Many of us talk about ourselves in a negative way. Challenge your inner critic with thoughts of thankfulness, which will immediately turn your negative thoughts into positive ones.
- Create Gratitude Affirmations: Saying affirmations helps us to replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts. We have beliefs about ourselves that, if we changed, we would take more risks, overcome our self-imposed limitations and enjoy life more.
- Forgive Someone And Be Thankful: We can forgive for a better life by focusing on what we can be thankful for in a situation where a person has harmed us. This is tough, especially when the harm was life altering. However, if we can look for the good that came out of the situation, it can help us to forgive and heal.
- Play The Alphabet Game: Go through the alphabet and think about 1 thing you’re grateful for that begins with each letter of the alphabet, beginning with the letter A, and continuing all the way through Z. Doing this when you lay down to go to sleep is a great way to end your day with gratitude.
- Post Positive Notes Or Quotes Around Your House: To help keep the feelings of gratefulness alive and part of your day, write little positive notes and post around the house so they are in plain sight as a steady reminder of all that is good.
- Spread Gratitude: Share the practice of gratitude with others. Is someone you know coping with a stress or trauma? Suggest that they ease worries and suffering by redirecting their attention on feelings of gratefulness.
- Share A Positive Review: We often only write reviews when we have something negative to say. Share a positive review about a place where you stayed on a website like Yelp or TripAdvisor to help support a business.
47. Read Inspirational Books: Read books about gratitude and other inspiration. This will help you understand more the powerful effect that thankfulness can have on your life. A good one to start with is Thanks! How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier by Robert Emmons, Ph.D., the world’s leading scientific expert on gratitude, and see how the practice of gratitude can increase your happiness by 25%. Bonus tip: Buy a book for someone else and mail it to them.