10 Practical Tips to Cultivate Gratitude
Congratulations! If you’re reading this article, it means you’re interested in starting or further developing a gratitude practice.
That’s great news because, as we discussed in last week’s blog, being more mindful in appreciating the good things in your life yields tremendous rewards in your overall wellness. You’ll find yourself feeling happier and healthier, more content, and more confident.
But if you’re left wondering HOW to make space for gratitude in your life, you’ve come to the right place. You need to be intentional about it. To get you started on your way to your most gracious self, we’ve collected ten proven strategies for cultivating the miraculous power of gratitude.
10 Ways to Cultivate Gratitude
Choose the ones that resonate the most with you and begin your gratitude journey today!
# 1 – Be Mindful: I can’t say enough about the importance of staying present in the moment. Take the time to look around and appreciate the beauty in the world, and your inner light will shine a little brighter. From a blue sky to a friendly face, this is truly a gorgeous planet we inhabit.
#2 – Start with Intention: Each day, after your alarm clock has gone off, the cat has been fed, and the dog has been walked, set a positive intention for yourself. This can be just about any goal you hope to achieve that day. It should be something attainable and something you’ll be proud of when you finally lay your head down in the evening.
#3 – End with Reflection: Hurray! You accomplished what you set out to do in the morning. Now night has fallen, and that goal you met might not even be the best thing that happened. Every evening, it’s helpful to make a mental note of what you appreciate about the day you had and savor it.
#4 – Write It Down: Instead of making a mental note, make an actual note – in your gratitude journal! Journaling itself is proven to help with our mental and emotional health; journaling about gratitude reinforces the benefits of both practices. Simply write down 3 things you’re grateful for each day.
#5 – Express Yourself: A little “thank you” goes a long way. Being intentional about showing appreciation to the people you encounter brightens the day of those around you. And making someone else smile has a magical way of making us smile too. That’s a gratitude win!
“Silent gratitude isn’t very much use to anyone.” – Gertrude Stein
#6 – Note It: I don’t get a thank you note every day, but when I do, it warms my heart as much as a comforting cup of tea ever could. Anytime someone makes it into your gratitude journal, let them know with a handwritten note. Or try an app like Punchbowl to create personalized greeting cards.
#7 – Show, Don’t Tell: A kind and thoughtful gesture is one of the best ways to demonstrate appreciation. Send flowers to a friend just because you’re thinking of them; bring a colleague their favorite mocha latte; or surprise your mom with her favorite meal when it’s not even her birthday.
#8 – Think About It: Meditation is another one of those daily habits that come with its own set of unique health benefits. Try sitting quietly for 10 minutes and reflect on what you are grateful for and to who you are grateful. Mentally send those gratitude vibrations out into the universe.
#9 – Choose Wisely: Who do you spend your valuable time with? It can have a big impact on how you feel and how you live your life. Those who choose to focus on the negative can weigh you down. But if you fill your hours alongside people who practice gratitude, it will help you do the same.
#10 – Stay Positive: Is your glass half full? It should be! Try looking on the bright side and focusing on the positive rather than the negative. You’ll see life in a better light, and you’ll be more grateful for it. Lean into things that are working, that make you happy, and let the gratitude fill your soul.
Always remember that gratitude is a choice, and it’s one you can make every single day. It just requires intentionality. Although things don’t always turn out the way we want, and life comes with seemingly endless challenges, there are still many reasons (great and small) to be grateful every day.
Lisa L. Baker is a professional life coach, career strategist, and keynote speaker. Lisa is the founder of Ascentim – a Maryland-based coaching practice that utilizes a unique G.R.O.W. process to help clients gain clarity, realize new possibilities, overcome obstacles, and win at life. Lisa shows high-performing professionals how to Level Up and Live the Life of Their Dreams.