How do you become more thankful?
It’s something we hear all the time to practice gratitude. To just be grateful for what we have and have an attitude of gratitude.
This can be super difficult if you’re really not loving life right now. Who am I kidding, you’re hating your life, you’re stressed, you’re overwhelmed at work, maybe you wish you could quit your job, and things are just not going your way.
As cliche as it sounds, and as frustrated as it might make you feel, practicing gratitude daily can change your life – at the least your perspective.
Practicing gratitude and being more thankful for the things around you have tons of benefits.
Although you may express gratitude for an achievement like being promoted at work, there’s so much more to be thankful for.
Here are 15 daily ways to practice gratitude and become a more thankful person.
How to Practice Gratitude Daily
#1. Be More Mindful
From the moment you open your eyes in the morning to the second you go to sleep at night, you should practice being more mindful.
For example, as soon you wake up be grateful for breathing. When you’re getting dressed for the day, be grateful for your ability to move and dress yourself. As you take a step outside, notice the beauty in nature around you. I know this sounds weird and overdoing it, but think of all the people that cannot experience the things you do on a regular basis.
There are people who can’t dress themselves, stuck in hospital beds looking out the window at nature, people who have lost their lives and won’t open their eyes to another day. It’s the smallest things that we can take for granted!
So by being mindful and more present, you open yourself up to being more thankful. Even if that’s by being able to put one foot in front of the other and walk.
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#2. See the Good in Everything
Whether you’re having a bad day or going through some hard times, it’s imperative that you see the good in everything. Gratitude is not reserved for just the great times we encounter, they’re for the negative days too.
Practice seeing the good in everything by viewing those difficult situations as learning lessons. I know at the moment it may be hard to understand why you’re going through the situation at hand.
However, know that everything happens for a reason and you’ll never encounter something that you’re not capable of handling. We go through tough times to make ourselves stronger and wiser! So although you can’t see it within the moment, know there’s a learning lesson somewhere within.
Once you make a habit of seeing the good in everything, you’ll for sure begin to see all the things you have to be grateful for.
#3. Keep a Gratitude Journal
Keeping a gratitude journal with all the things you have to be thankful for can help boost the positives within your life. Write down what you’re grateful for, the things you love to do, people/things that make you happy and positive thoughts that come to mind.
You can do this exercise every day, weekly or monthly and refer back to it when you need some positive thoughts! I advise that you journal weekly as it’s a great way to keep you on track and thinking good thoughts throughout the week.
Having a list of things you’re thankful for is the perfect addition to your bullet journal too!
#4. Focus on Your Strengths
When you focus on your strengths, you’ll naturally do your best and attain top results. Martin Seligman, founder of Positive Psychology states the following: “For a person to be truly happy and live a meaningful life, that person must recognize their personal strengths and use these strengths for the greater good.”
I totally and wholeheartedly agree with his statement for this one reason alone. We can eliminate wasting time doing things that we hate and instead, find happiness by doing what we’re naturally good at and love.
This is nothing but a win-win situation for us; too often we do things that we dread and because we dislike it we don’t deliver our best. This can be quickly resolved by doing more of what we love/are well at and less of what we hate.
So, what’s your superpower? What makes you special or unique?
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#5. Spend Time with the People You Love
Life is too short not to spend time with the people we love! Use your time wisely by scheduling weekly or monthly dates to catch up.
This is a great way to practice the act of gratitude and support your loved ones. For example, you can pick up the check for lunch or dinner.
Additionally, you can practice gratitude by listening with intent while the other person is speaking. Keeping your cell phone in your bag or pocket shows active listening, alertness and appreciating the time!
#6. Volunteer and Get Involved
Giving back to others is the epitome of practicing gratitude and uplifting others. We oftentimes take the simplest things for granted in our everyday lives. By volunteering and helping others you unconsciously spread gratitude onto them.
Don’t believe me? Do an act of kindness by helping someone with something simple and note their reaction. I’m sure they’ll instantly be appreciative and show instant gratification.
If there are no options available in your area, create one yourself. This can be as simple as providing school supplies to children in need. Or dropping off toys at the Salvation Army for children in the foster system. It could even be giving the homeless hot cooked meals or buying prepared meals to give them.
Create your own volunteer lane if you can’t find one to join; it’s that simple!
#7. Do an Act of Kindness
Doing acts of kindness is the surefire way to practice gratitude among yourself while spreading positive vibes.
If someone is struggling with their bag, help them. Instead of opening the door for yourself, open it for the person behind you. Pick up the tab for a couple having lunch. Be patient with someone who doesn’t quite understand something.
There are so many ways to do acts of kindness and spread gratitude onto others.
#8. Give Genuine Compliments
It takes two seconds to give someone a genuine compliment and brighten their day. When you compliment someone, this gives the same effect as doing an act of kindness for them. It can heighten their self-esteem and possibly encourage them to spread gratitude by complimenting someone else.
Practice this by telling someone they look nice today or giving a kind compliment on their hair. As long as your compliment is genuine and kind, then you’re doing the right thing!
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#9. Replace a Negative Thought with a Positive One
Replacing all negative thoughts with a positive one is the best habit a person can have.
It helps you practice gratitude by intentionally removing the negative from your brain. Oftentimes, we can be prisoners in our minds with all the things that we think of on a regular basis.
Fill your mind with good thoughts by clearing out those negative vibes from your mental.
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#10. Don’t Complain
I know this is easier said than done however, not complaining is a great way to practice gratitude.
When you complain about something, it shows that you’re seeing the glass half empty instead of half full. Try practicing this daily by catching yourself when you’re complaining both verbally and within your thoughts.
Instead, take that complaint and replace it with something you have to be thankful for.
#11. Give Recognition
Giving recognition is an amazing way to practice gratitude and spread positive vibes to others. One way I like to give recognition to others is by acknowledging them and the things they do.
For example, the cleaning ladies at my job always smile when they see me. Why? I intentionally say hello to them, ask them how they’re doing and thank them for their hard work. Every time I buy lunch, I speak to the cashier and she gives me free brownies! Why? I take the time to speak to her and actively listen when she replies. Do you see the pattern here?
These interactions are all genuine and over time creates a trusting relationship that both parties nurture. Wouldn’t you want to walk around making kind acquaintances on a regular basis?
Try this exercise for yourself and watch how you brighten someone else’s day.
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#12. Always Say Thank You
I can’t tell you the number of people that walk around and do not say thank you. It’s a horrible habit and the total opposite of practicing gratitude. Anytime someone does something for you, whether it’s big or small, make it a point to thank them.
Additionally, if you do something nice for someone else and do not receive a thank you in response here’s what you can do to bring awareness. Smile and tell that person in a kind voice, “You’re welcome.” People oftentimes will be taken aback and realize their rudeness on the matter.
Typically, a person will apologize for their behavior and hopefully continue on their day with the intention of how they’re impacting others. If the person is continuing to be rude, disengage and don’t let it affect your positive vibes!
#13. Express Yourself
Express yourself by making it point to let your family and friends know how much they mean to you. Additionally, spread that love onto your coworkers and/or acquaintances that may brighten your day while at work or at a store. Have some time for Hygge at work too!
The point here is to let people know that you appreciate them and the positive ways in which they make an impact on your life. It’s great to be expressive and make it known while we’re on this earth; not once someone is gone.
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#14. Pay it Forward
Although you should be practicing gratitude every day, it’s a great exercise to “to pay it forward.” What I mean is, whenever someone does something nice for you, do something nice for someone else.
Even better, let that person know that they should now pay your gratitude forward onto another person! This can quickly and easily turn into a day filled with people paying gratitude forward onto others.
How great would the world be if everyone lived their lives doing wonderful things for others?!
#15. Avoid Negative Content
I’m leaving this for last as it encompasses the one thing that most of us spend our time doing. Avoiding negative content on social media, TV and other sources is key to stay fulfilled with gratitude. Most people see the word negative and think of just that, negativity.
However, negative can also be content that makes you feel jealous and envious of others. It’s imperative that you rid yourself of that type of content and replace it with positive sources that make you feel good about yourself!
Just think, when you’re in-taking a TV show that’s filled with drama, what are your thoughts? Sure, you may be laughing at the television since it’s not at your expense but still, that type of content is impacting you whether you’re conscious of it or not. This is why it’s good to totally eliminate the negative or severely limit it from your view.
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As for social media, get rid of the negative accounts that spew negativity into the world and make you feel less than. If you’re following someone that makes you second guess yourself, it’s time for that person to go. Putting yourself first is living with gratitude is the only way to experience true happiness overall!
Start Practicing Gratitude in Your Life
Incorporating gratitude into your daily life is actually fun!
Once you begin practicing it on a daily basis, you’ll instantly notice a positive shift. It’s easy to show our gratitude to others when we feel indebted to them or benefited by their actions.
However, it shows the value of a person when they’re grateful and spreading that among others selflessly! We have nothing to lose when it comes to being thankful and showing gratitude to others.
Free 30-Day Gratitude Journal
Ready to manifest gratitude from the universe? Get your FREE Printable Gratitude Journal, with 30 days of self-reflection prompts.
So take the initiative and start practicing these ways every single day!
How do you practice gratitude daily?
More About Guest Contributor
I’m Miss Ashley Allison, your personal development bestie! My goal is to help you drop excuses, dream big, turn your passions into profit and live life on your own terms.