6 Modern Ways to Take Your Gratitude Practice to the Next Level

published Nov 4, 2016
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(Image credit: Lauren Kolyn)

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, it’s the perfect time to kick your gratitude practice up a notch. Gratitude is a super tool for living a happy life, and the modern way to do it is nothing like the gradeschool-style hand turkeys marked with notions like “I’m thankful for my mom and Lego.”

Before you begin to stress about one more thing to do, know this: Expressing your thankfulness every day doesn’t have to be difficult or time consuming—in fact, it’s fun! Once you begin to experience the benefits of it, getting your gratitude out in the open is highly addicting.

Don’t believe me? Just try out some of my favorite—and easy!—ways to practice gratitude. I challenge you to adopt at least one of these practices and use it all year long—not just when turkey day rolls around. Remember, when you’re consistently focused on the good in your life, it expands.

Set Up Gratitude Reminders

Probably the number one reason most people don’t practice gratitude is because they simply don’t remember. That’s why it’s important to set up little reminders for yourself. This can be an alarm you set on your phone, sticky notes on your computer, or even objects like a piece of jewelry can serve as gratitude tokens.

Use the Five-Minute Journal

The Five-Minute Journal works for gratitude journaling newbies and seasoned pros alike. It uses a simple template that makes gratitude journaling super easy and also features daily inspirational quotes that help kick start your day with a positive mindset. And it really does take just five-minutes to fill out, sometimes less, so there’s no excuse.

Start a Gratitude Jar

If the thought of keeping a gratitude journal just doesn’t do it for you, try starting a gratitude jar instead. It’s super simple. Every day jot down one thing you’re grateful for on a sticky note, fold it up, and toss it in the jar. Whenever you’re feeling negative or down about something, reading some of your gratitude notes from the jar will get you back on a positive track fast.

Use Social Media as a Gratitude Diary

Credit for this idea goes to blogger and self-help book author Gala Darling. Her dreamy, Technicolor Instagrams are not only beautiful they are brimming with gratitude. She uses social media to express the things she’s grateful for. Not only is she gaining all the benefits of practicing gratitude, she’s also inspiring her followers to do the same. Win, win.

Find a Gratitude Buddy

Whether it’s a family member, a friend, or a colleague, try to find a like-minded person in your inner circle that you can call your gratitude buddy. Commit to sending each other emails or text messages everyday with one or two things you’re most grateful for that day. It’ll take literally seconds, but the payoff is tremendous. And as you know, accountability is key when trying to stay on track with any habit.

Not feeling it?

Supercharge Your Gratitude Practice By Getting Really Specific

If you’ve given a gratitude practice a shot and never felt any different, it’s probably because the things you were feeling grateful for were way too general. In order to get the most out of your investment, it’s critical that you get really specific. The key word is why. Write down why you are grateful for your home, family, or job? Getting deep supercharges your gratitude practice and maximizes the benefits.