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Complete Guide: How to Practice Gratitude Every Day in 2024

Learning how to practice gratitude daily can be a game-changer, seriously! When you start counting your blessings and appreciating the good in your life, you unlock a treasure trove of positivity and healing.

You see, gratitude isn’t just about saying “thank you” – it goes deeper than that. It’s about acknowledging the goodness around us and letting it infuse our hearts and bodies with healing vibes.

Here’s the best part: a grateful heart isn’t just a happy heart; it’s a powerhouse of wholeness and joy.

Gratitude is the secret sauce to crafting a rich, balanced, and genuinely authentic life.

So, I wholeheartedly believe everyone should jump on the gratitude bandwagon.

Ready to start flexing your gratitude muscles? Let’s dive in!

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how to practice gratitude daily

How to Practice Gratitude Daily in 2024

Practicing gratitude is just that, a practice. The more we practice, the more it becomes like second nature.

Like muscle memory, I believe we can develop “heart memory,” too.

I first learned about the power of gratitude and how to practice gratitude every day via the Oprah Winfrey Show.

Like many of you- I watched The Oprah Winfrey Show every afternoon M-F without fail. 

I remember it like it was yesterday.

It was a hot day, and I was somewhat frazzled. I was folding laundry.

On this particular day, Oprah promoted the book Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach.

I was inspired! I got my hands on a copy of the book asap, and I have to say!- This book was transformational!

This book taught me many incredible life lessons and how to practice gratitude with a grateful heart. Life-changing.

The Meaning of Gratitude: Gratitude Definition

Before we can practice gratitude in our lives, it’s essential to understand what gratitude or being grateful is.

By the most straightforward definitions, gratitude is the quality of being thankful, readiness to show appreciation for, and returning kindness.

It seems simple enough. Then why do we humans seem to struggle with being thankful? It’s a fair question.

Why can it hard to be thankful?

There are many benefits to being grateful.

But the truth is that some people have more grateful dispositions than others. For some of us, gratitude just doesn’t come as easy. 

That’s why we need to practice gratitude.

Research suggests these differences may be rooted in our brains, genes, and personalities.

But if you’re having trouble feeling grateful, don’t worry! —you can do things to bring more gratitude into your life. (source)

How to Practice Gratitude Every Day

Practicing gratitude and having an attitude of gratitude can benefit your mental health, overall well-being, and happiness.

It is essential to recognize the good things in life, even when life feels overwhelming or complicated.

Practical Ways to Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude Daily:

how to start a gratitude journal

1. Start and Maintain a Gratitude Journal

There are tons & tons of gratitude journals on the market these days.

A few gratitude journals are great because they have extra features, like insightful prompts and inspiring quotes. But you can use any journal you like.  

How to start a gratitude journal:

  • I have my gratitude journal on my bedside table with my favorite pen at the ready.
  • I try to write in my journal every day. (When I miss a day or two or three…no worries! I pick up where I left off-this is a shame-free zone!)  
  • Sometimes first thing in the morning and sometimes at bedtime. There are even days I write in it twice- morning AND night. Those are good days!
  • I write 3-5 things for which I am grateful. Some days it’s easy, and I could write a long list, But there are those days when it’s hard. 
women with rainbow

2. Be on the lookout for things to be thankful for!

Practicing gratitude is just that—a practice.

When we want to be good at anything, it takes practice. And gratitude is no different.

So, like any good habit, we’ve got to train ourselves to watch carefully for the big blessings and the tender little mercies.

Miracles are everywhere all the time!

Daily Gratitude Examples:

Here are a few daily gratitude examples from my gratitude taken from my gratitude journal.

Big Things 

  • Brenda is cancer-free!
  • We are building a new house!
  • Jordan is engaged!
  • We’re going to be Grandparents!

The Tender Mercies (The Little Things)

  • A butterfly landed on my hand today!
  • Lucy learned how to use the doggie door!
  • Ben & Jerry’s. 
how to practice gratitude every day

3. Use Your Words. Say Thanks.

Want to know one of the easiest ways to practice gratitude every day? Just say Thanks. Simple, right?

When someone does something nice for you, say “Thank you.” When you notice someone (even a stranger) being kind or doing a great job- Say “thank you.”  

Being authentically thankful is powerful. Being validated and appreciated-equally powerful. When you take time out to say thanks, everyone wins.

Put it in writing.

A handwritten thank you card or letter will brighten anyone’s day! I know I love receiving handwritten cards and letters! (although it doesn’t happen much these days. But, sadly, it is a dying art.

When you love someone, are thankful to have them in your life, appreciate something they have done for you, or maybe you want to tell them they are the”bee’s knees,” as my Grandma used to say- then take the time and write them a note.

A handwritten thank you will make their day, AND it will put a spring in your step, too! 

Practical steps to writing thank you notes and letters:

  • Buy pretty thank you cards and postage stamps and have them ready. 
  • Stock up on colorful sticky notes. Put them in lunch boxes, on the bathroom mirror, on the fridge, in the car, etc.  
  • When you think of someone you could and should thank- do what Nike says and do it. If you can’t do it right, make a note in your calendar so you don’t forget.
  • Set a timer on your phone to remind you to send thank you notes a few times a month. It’s easy to let time slip away.  

4. Focus on Your Blessings

Gratitude is a choice.

Gratitude is a muscle that needs to be built. We have to choose to exercise our gratitude muscles.

One thing that helps me with this step is mindfulness. To me, mindfulness means thinking about what we are thinking about. So I try to do just that.

Intentionally think about things that are good in your life.

Fill up your head with positive thoughts. That way- there is less room for negative thoughts.

gratitude jar

5. Use a Gratitude Jar.

I love this one!

I bought this gratitude Jar from Oprah’s Favorite Things years ago. It’s beautiful and comes with lovely little notecards to write on.

At first, I brought the gratitude jar out during Thanksgiving, but now it’s a staple in our home. 

Sometimes, when being a Debbie Downer or stuck in negative self-talk, I go to my gratitude jar and read until I feel better.

If a fancy gratitude jar isn’t your vibe (or budget), no worries! You can whip up your own in no time.

Quick and Easy Ways to Make a Gratitude Jar:

Find Your Jar: Dig out that mason jar you’ve got, or rinse a used spaghetti sauce or pickle jar. Clear glass works wonders, as you can see your notes pile up.

Decorate (Optional): Want to jazz it up a bit? Throw on some stickers, tie a ribbon around the neck, or paint the lid. Make it as simple or snazzy as you like!

Keep It Handy: Place your jar in a spot you frequent daily, like your nightstand or kitchen counter. Keep a pen and some notepaper nearby.

Write and Drop: Whenever something makes you smile, or you feel that burst of thankfulness, jot it down and drop it in.

It only takes a moment, but trust me, the impact is massive.

On days when I feel a bit ‘blah’ or am caught up in my own web of negative chatter, I head straight to my gratitude jar.

A few notes in, and I’m already lifted. Best part? More often than not, I end up adding another note, so it’s like a double dose of positivity.

6. Practice Affirmations of Gratitude

Affirmations are positive statements that can help you challenge and overcome self-sabotaging and negative thoughts.

When you repeat them often and believe in them, you can make positive changes in your life.

Gratitude Affirmations Examples: I’m Grateful for..

  • Every breath I take!
  • My faith
  • My health
  • Family: My husband and my children.
  • Our home.
  • Freedom.
  • Fresh air and sunshine.
  • Food!
  • I am grateful for faith, hope, and love.
  • Smart doctors and good medicine.
  • Forgiveness.
  • My comfy bed.
  • Our crazy dogs.

Related Article: “I am” Gratitude Quotes and Affirmations to Live By

7. Collect Gratitude Quotes

I love a good quote, don’t you?

Another way to help cultivate an attitude of gratitude is to collect gratitude quotes and affirmations.

Here’s one of my favorite gratitude quotes:

It’s a funny thing about life, once you begin to take note of the things you are grateful for, you begin to lose sight of the things that you lack.”

Germany Kent

Put Positive Quotes and Affirmations Everywhere!

When you come across a positive quote or affirmation, write it down on a sticky note and stick it somewhere you will see it often.

You get the idea in your car, closet, laundry room, refrigerator, and bathroom mirror.  

I have a sticky note wall of positive affirmations and inspirational quotes in my office that I love. 

So when I’m tired, discouraged, sad, or need a minute…I can glance up and pull from my affirmations.

Need Inspiration? Check out all of my quotes and affirmation articles!

how to make a gratitude board

8. Make a Gratitude Board

A Gratitude Board is a visual representation of all the things, moments, people, and memories you’re thankful for.

It’s not just a feel-good project but a vibrant reminder of the goodness surrounding you.

Here’s how to make a gratitude board:

Gather Your Supplies: Grab a bulletin or cork board, some colorful pins or thumbtacks, a bunch of magazines, scissors, printed photos, and maybe even some crafty stickers or glitter if you’re feeling extra fancy.

Reflect and Select: Take a moment to consider what you’re grateful for. It could be your family, that amazing trip you took last summer, your furry friend, or even your favorite snack!

Flip through those magazines and cut out images, quotes, or anything that resonates with your thankful heart. Print out some memorable photos, too!

Arrange and Pin: Pinning your selected images and pieces onto the board. Arrange them in a way that speaks to you – maybe in a heart shape, a cluster, or even chronologically.

There’s no right or wrong; make it YOU!

Find the Perfect Spot: Place your Gratitude Board in a spot you’ll see daily – maybe beside your bed, above your work desk, or on the kitchen wall. It’s all about constant visual reminders of the blessings in your life.

Keep It Fresh: As days go by and more moments worth cherishing happen, add them to your board. It’s a living, evolving testament to your journey of gratitude.

Related Article: Vision Board Ideas for the New Year

thank you!

FAQs: How to Practice Gratitude Daily

What is gratitude?

Gratitude is the act of recognizing and appreciating the good things in your life.

It involves acknowledging the kindness of others, the beauty in the world, and the positive experiences you encounter daily.

Why is practicing gratitude important?

Practicing gratitude can lead to numerous benefits, including improved mental health, increased happiness, better sleep, and stronger relationships.

It helps shift your focus from what’s lacking in your life to what you already have, fostering a more positive outlook.

How can I start a gratitude journal?

Starting a gratitude journal is simple.

Each day, write down three to five things you are grateful for. These can be small, like a warm cup of coffee, or big, like a supportive friend. The key is consistency and genuine reflection.

Can gratitude improve my mental health?

Yes, numerous studies have shown that practicing gratitude can reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety and improve overall mental well-being. It helps create a positive mindset and reduces stress.

Related: How to Develop a Growth Mindset

How can I incorporate gratitude into my daily routine?

There are many ways to incorporate gratitude into your daily life:

  • Start or end your day by writing in your gratitude journal.
  • Verbally express appreciation to others.
  • Reflect on what you’re thankful for during meals.
  • Use reminders or apps that prompt you to think about what you are grateful for throughout the day.

Is it possible to feel grateful during difficult times?

Yes, it can be challenging, but finding small things to be grateful for during tough times can help build resilience.

Focusing on positive aspects, even in adversity, can provide a sense of hope and perspective.

Can teaching children about gratitude benefit them?

Absolutely. Teaching children to practice gratitude can help them develop a positive attitude, improve their social skills, and increase their happiness.

Activities like gratitude journaling, thank-you notes, and family gratitude rituals can instill this practice in their daily lives.

Final Thoughts: Practicing the Power of Gratitude Every Day

Wrapping things up, I’m telling you from the depths of my heart there’s some real magic in having a grateful heart.

Practicing gratitude daily is like a key that opens doors to all the good stuff, both here on Earth and in Heaven.

When you practice gratitude daily, life gets better – like, really better.

Meister Eckhart, a wise philosopher, once said, “If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.” And I couldn’t agree more!

So, why not give it a go? Start counting your blessings, big and small, and watch how they multiply.

 Until next time,

XO, Christine

christine mathews

I’ve been keeping it real since 1963. 🙂

I’m a child of God, a wifey, mama, grandma, full-time creative, domestic engineer, and self-care enthusiast.

I am obsessed with all things makeup and skincare and love getting my hands dirty out in the garden, my art room, or in the kitchen, whipping up something yummy for the fam.

I’m always down to chat and love collaborating with other creatives and brands alike!

Feel free to reach out anytime!

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  1. I love this Christine! You are an inspiration to my sorry ass these days! Life is a struggle and I need to follow your gratefulness idea. I’ve seen others do it. And I did it for a time. But it’s so easy to get in a slump! Thanks for the inspiration friend! Love ya!
    P.S. I loved seeing my name! Let’s hope the next scan says the same thing! ??

  2. Such a beautiful post! Often when I think of gratitude, my mind goes right to a gratitude journal or expressing thanks. I love your other examples, especially using affirmations.

    1. Thanks so much! Gratitude is a powerful practice and is so much more than journaling! Although it’s a big part of it. Thanks for stopping by! Happy Friday!

  3. This is so exciting and uplifting! I’m so grateful I saw your e mail. I have been dealing with depression and loneliness and this could help so much.
    You are a wonderful caring person, I love you and your family so much. God bless you

  4. Beautiful post! Practicing gratitude daily is something I am very passionate about. It has proven to be so helpful in my life. Thanks for sharing your tips.

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