7 Simple Ways to Practice Gratitude


Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for abundance. ~Eckhart Tolle.

As we embark on the holiday season, now is the perfect time to start cultivating gratitude. Practicing gratitude can alter your life in a positive way. Moreover, people who practice gratitude are generally happier, exercise more, have less physical problems, and remain more optimistic about life. 

5 Ways gratitude can improve your health and well-being:

  1. Gratitude improves your physical health. Grateful people are more likely to take better care of their health and experience less aches and pains, and report feeling healthier. 

  2. Gratitude improves psychological health by reducing toxic emotions such as envy, resentment, frustration and regret. 

  3. Gratitude enhances empathy and reduces aggression. Studies show that grateful people are more likely sensitive and empathic to those around them even when others behave less kindly.

  4. Gratitude improves your sleep. Just spending 10 minutes before bed journaling what you are grateful for can help improve your sleep. 

  5. Gratitude increases mental strength by reducing stress and may also help individuals overcome trauma.  

7 Simple ways to cultivate an attitude of gratitude:

  1. Notice the day-to-day world from a point of gratitude and you’ll be amazed at all the things we take for granted (a brand new day, a body that can see, feel, hear, smell, taste, a roof over your head, food on the table, clean drinking water, a warm bed to sleep in, clothing on your back, and so forth)

  2. Journal the things you are grateful for before bed. This helps end the day on a positive note and is a great reminder for the positive things or lessons learned during the day. Keep a notebook by your bed, and jot down 3 things each day.

  3. Give at least one genuine complement daily, whether it is by showing your appreciation for something, or whether directly to the person.

  4. When you find yourself in a challenging situation ask yourself, what can I learn from this?

  5. Make a promise to yourself not to complain, criticize or gossip for a week. If you slip or lose willpower, keep going. Notice how much energy you were spending on negative thoughts. 

  6. If you identify someone that is difficult to be around with a negative trait, switch it in your mind to a positive trait. 

  7. Join a cause (donate time, money, talent) to something that is important to you. By getting involved you’ll appreciate the organization better, give back, and it will appreciate you more too.

Developing an “attitude of gratitude" is one of the simplest ways to improve your satisfaction with life. We all have the ability and opportunity to cultivate gratitude. Rather than complaining about the things you think you should have, why not shift focus on all that you do have.