10 Ways to Build Gratitude into your Life 

It doesn’t take much to build an attitude of gratitude and reap the benefits of inner peace and happiness.  Pick any of these ten tips and make your day just a little better.

  1. Smile – This very simple action is one of the easiest ways to show gratitude. This physical clue will not only make you feel better but also let others see your joy and encourage them to do the same.  
  2. Send Thank You Notes – While snail mail may seem obsolete given technologies such as email and texting, nothing quite beats a good-old fashioned handwritten note to show you truly care. This will go a long way in adding a meaningful touch of gratitude.
  3. Take a Walk Down Memory Lane – If you’re feeling down, browse through old photo albums, saved mementos, or social media posts. Reminiscing on fun times with family and friends is sure to boost your mood and add a little bit of light to a dark day.
  4. Read inspiring stories – Reading others inspiring stories and moments of gratitude will help you appreciate things in your own life. Here is a link to a blog that lists the 10 most popular gratitude blogs citing stories that share the extraordinary power of gratitude.
  5. Give Back to your Community – Nothing makes you feel better than doing something nice for others. Volunteer at your local hospital, donate books to a library, or pick up trash in your neighborhood. No matter how small or how big, giving back to your community is a great way to express gratitude for the things you are given
  6. Do someone a favor – This is perhaps one of the simplest ways to show other you care and to feel great. Letting someone merge on a busy highway, paying for the drink of the person in the coffee line in front or you, or giving someone your seat on a crowded bus or subway are all smart acts that amount to insurmountable significance.
  7. Leave a Good Tip – At one point in our life, we’ve all been that person on the other side of the table, bar, or chair serving others and working a minimum wage job. Show the hardworking waitress/waiter, valet, hairdresser, barista, etc. that you truly appreciate their labor. Giving someone a good tip signals that you appreciate them and want to give something back.
  8. Play Music – Feeling happy? Blare your favorite tunes and have a dance party. Feeling sad? Listen to some soulful blues, recognize your feelings, and rebound.  Feeling stressed? Listen to some classical music to recalibrate. Whatever the occasion, take a step back and appreciate the talent and feelings that good music portrays.
  9. Be an Active Listener – Truly sitting back and internalizing what someone is saying to you is one of the most thoughtful ways to show that you care. Engaging with others is not all about talking, but mainly about listening to what others have to say.
  10. Reflect – Reflect on both the good and the bad and find what you learned from each experience. Everything happens for a reason. While it might not be obvious what that reason is, don’t get bogged down in the bad, but learn to see the tiny good in each experience.