5 Little Ways to Show More Gratitude in Your Day
Thanksgiving is around the corner, and if you haven’t already, it’s time to start thinking about what you’re grateful for. Beyond the benefits of showing gratitude, such as better health, happiness, and sleep, it’s also a good way to de-stress and bring more positivity to your day.
Whether you’re starting the morning off fresh by giving thanks or ending on a sweet note before bed, cultivating more moments to be thankful and give back will improve your quality of life on a day-to-day basis – so being consistent here really is key.
Start your practice early by getting a head start, before Thanksgiving, and continuing from there. (Here are a few ways to express gratitude over the holidays.) And if you choose to share your gratitude with others, you’ll brighten their days as well.
We’ve found several wellness experts to share their tips for showing more gratitude. Each small step will really add up. Feel free to pick and choose whatever feels best for you.
Keep a Gratitude Journal
According to Zakiyya Rosebelle, a life coach and author of several gratitude journals, writing down your thoughts as a daily check-in can make each day more positive.
“Start a gratitude journal. Set a goal to be more grateful for your blessings and joys. To be grateful means to feel a genuine, heartfelt appreciation for the good things in your life. Start noticing all of the good things in your life, appreciate them, and write about them in your gratitude journal,” she says.
And feel free to share them with others. “Let your loved ones know that you are grateful to have them in your life. Text your family or friends a heartwarming message such as ‘Hi, I hope you are doing well,’ or ‘I miss our chats. Let’s catch up over a cup of coffee,’” she suggests.
Help Someone in Need
Help someone who is weak where you’re strong. “Every single person has strengths and weaknesses. You can show gratitude by thinking of someone who is struggling in an area of life where you know you have aptitude, and help them,” says Shlomo Zalman Bregman, a matchmaker and relationship expert in NYC.
Your assistance could be financial, strategic, or supportive. It could be leveraging your professional network or helping someone in an area where you’re particularly blessed. “This practice helps cultivate the trait of gratitude in yourself by forcing you to look inward and take stock of your strengths,” he says.
Offer a Random Act of Kindness
Give a homeless person a sandwich, pick a charity and donate to a wonderful cause, or help someone carry his or her bags when struggling on the street…
“There are many ways we can make a person smile and lighten their load in life,” says Bregman. Plus, the act of doing so cultivates the trait of gratitude in us, so it’s mutually beneficial.
You can also give someone a compliment. “This can sometimes be intimidating, as a lot of people have a hard time approaching someone they don't know, but it just has to be something simple,” says Tesse Struve, founder of Millennial Mom Coaching. “You will walk away knowing that you have brightened someone's day and feel grateful for the opportunity to make the world just a little bit better.”
Write a Thank-You Note
Spend twenty minutes writing one letter a week to someone you're grateful for and explaining why you're thankful.
“A 2016 study by researchers at the University of Indiana found that people who did this only three times showed more activity in the area of the brain associated with gratitude than a control group, even months after the last letter was written,” says Kate Hanley, author, writer, and coach. “Gratitude has the capacity to change your brain, which also makes it easier for you to ‘go there’ in the future.”
Give Yourself Gratitude
Don’t forget about yourself. If you can’t feel loved and at ease yourself, how do you expect to give back to others? Treat yourself to a warm bath or workout class after a busy day at work. You could also have a glass of wine and unwind with some music or your favorite show.
“It's also helpful to take a moment to STOP in the middle of your day or when you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed. Stop, look around, and find one thing to be grateful for in that moment. By practicing gratitude a little bit every day, and by living grateful for each and every moment, we will improve our moods, our relationships, and our happiness,” says Struve. Take a moment to be grateful each day, and your entire outlook can become more positive.
What are you grateful for in life? Please share below!