Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, enjoy good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships. Following are 17 ways to practice gratitude.
1. Think of a time when you were compassionate and thankful to someone else. How did it make you feel? What emotions came up as you thought about that moment? Write down what you learned from this exercise then practice using that same approach when thinking about yourself.
2. Write down 5 things in your life that you are grateful for. The list can be about anything, from the food on your plate to the people in your life and everything else in between. The key is to find something every day that you can feel thankful for – it will make a big difference if you do it consistently.
3. Write down 5 things that would be hard to give up if you would have to immediately leave home. It is easy for us to overlook the things that we take for granted and instead we should focus more on all of the things that we are enjoying in life, such as not having to worry about where your next meal will come from or being able to go to school without having to pay tuition. It doesn’t have to be a physical thing, it might just be having family members or friends in your life that you are able to see on a regular basis.
4. Write down 5 things that make you feel like your life is meaningful and how you want to improve upon them. It can be anything from improving your physical health to making more time for a hobby that you enjoy. It is important that this list becomes a vision of what you want your life to be like and how it will help you reach your goals and dreams.
5. Write down 5 things that make you feel proud about yourself. Over the years there have been many occasions where you did your best. It might be getting a job that you love or it could be finding time to volunteer at a homeless shelter and help feed the less fortunate. There are many things in life that we can feel proud about – but those feelings of being proud often go unnoticed.
6. Write down 3 – 5 times that you have made a big difference in another person’s life. There are many ways that we can make a positive impact on someone else’s life such as when you offer practical advice, give emotional support or help someone get through hard times. You might not even realize the effect your actions had on another person, but there may have been times when you were there for someone when they needed you the most.
7. Write down 3 – 5 people who have been important to you in your life and how much they meant to you. This list can include friends, family members or even teachers from school – however, it is a good idea to try and think of important people who have passed away or are no longer in your life. By reflecting on these people and the time that you spent with them, it will remind you about the importance of cherishing the relationships that we have now and also inspire us to build more meaningful relationships with others.
8. Write down 3 – 5 things about yourself that make you unique. Everyone has their own special talents and you have probably celebrated them with others in the past, but it is time that you take a moment to appreciate all of your qualities and be proud of yourself for who you are.
9. List 3 – 5 things that make you feel good about the way you look (this does not mean having a perfect body or looking like supermodel – it is just about being happy with the way you look). Too many people are unhappy with their appearance and that can negatively affect their self-worth. This exercise is simply about taking time to appreciate yourself for who you are by focusing on all of your positive qualities, such as your personality, your sense of humor and your intelligence.
10. Write down 3 – 5 things that you are thankful for in life right now. Take a moment to look back on all of the positive things that have happened so far and know that there is still plenty more to come in the future. There are many people who do not have the privileges that you have in life – so take a moment to cherish and enjoy all of the wonderful things about yourself, your life and other people.
11. List 3 – 5 things that make you feel good about yourself as a person. This is where it is important to know what type of qualities are most important in our life and what makes us feel good about ourselves as a person. It can be something as simple as having empathy for others, expressing gratitude and being dependable – but it is important to have an ongoing list of all of the things that make you feel like a good person.
12. List 3 – 5 people in your life who accept you for who you are. It is important to have other people around us who provide unconditional love, support and acceptance without conditions. Too many of us get caught up in the approval of others – but these kind of relationships can often lead to disappointment and feelings of being inadequate as a person. It is much better to enjoy the company of other people who accept us for who we are without judgment.
13. List 3 – 5 qualities that you want to develop in your life this year. It is important to know what we want out of life – but it is also a good idea to be realistic about how much progress will be made each day and each week. It can be a positive thing to set goals that are challenging for us, but it is also important to have realistic expectations and know what we should realistically achieve each day.
14. List 3 – 5 things that you have been holding onto from the past and you need to let go of . It can be good to look back on our lives and to learn from our experiences. However, it is important to let go of the past and not focus on something that you cannot change anymore. You can think about forgiving those who have wronged you in the past – but also make a conscious decision to forgive yourself for making mistakes or hurting someone else.
15. List 3 – 5 things that you want to do this year. It is important to set goals each year and make a list of the things that we can achieve – but it is also important to have balance in our life between our professional and personal achievements. It is good to challenge ourselves, but sometimes it can be a good idea if we take it easy this year and just take some time to enjoy life.
16. Write down 3 – 5 things that you can do this week to grow as a person. It is important to set goals for ourselves each day or each week and make plans on how we will achieve those goals. Too many people get caught up in their daily routine and do not make time for the important things in life – such as reading a good book, taking a walk or getting extra sleep.
17. Now take some time to reflect on all of these items and think about how you can apply this information to your life right now. You may want to come back at some point in time and add more items that are important to you on this list – but make sure that it is something that will be easily accessible when you need it.