DIY & How TO

Develop an Attitude of Gratitude

Practicing gratitude has so many benefits that can help you improve your relationships, your mindfulness, even your mental and physical health! Here are a few tips for developing an attitude of gratitude this season and all year long.

1. Start a gratitude journal.

If you're a tactile person and love putting pen to paper (we don't blame you!), start a dedicated Gratitude Journal. Use our Guide to Gratitude Journals to find one right for you. Be consistent and commit to writing in your journal each day, whether it's first thing in the morning or as a reflection before bed. In thinking about your day and finding a highlight to write down, you are able to give thoughtful measure to what you truly do have to be thankful for—even on the worst of days.

2. Try meditation.

From reducing stress and anxiety to improving focus and memory, there are many health benefits of meditation backed by science. And if meditation is not your thing, simply silencing the distractions around you and counting your blessings while breathing slowly is great way to develop an attitude of gratitude while reaping the benefits of meditation.

3. Set table traditions centered on gratitude.

Make a gratitude tradition for your family! Go around the dinner table and recite something that happened that day for which you’re grateful. This simple practice can have stress-busting, mood-lifting benefits. By reflecting back on the day through a lens of gratitude, you and your family may unlock new ways of interpreting the events of your day in a manner that grows you and sets you up for a more relaxing night while priming you for a more mindful and successful next day.

4. Add gratitude to your daily schedule.

Whether you use a LifePlanner™, paper calendar, or a digital one, adding one small gratitude note a day can add up to an entire week, month, even year of things you're grateful for. This healthy habit not only benefits you in the moment but looking back on it later can also have a compound beneficial effect (not to mention the daily practice of noting gratitude can train your brain to be more mindful)!

5. Be more intentional about how you want to respond to things out of your control.

If you encounter a situation that doesn’t go your way, whether you get stuck in traffic or have a bad day at work, practice taking a moment to think about how you wish to respond before simply reacting. This short pause can give you the chance to put things in perspective, help you relieve (or avoid) unnecessary stress, and reset your mindset so you have more control of where you want to focus your attention. That way, you can be more intentional about what takes up space in your head and heart, whether you choose gratitude or not. The more you practice this, the more natural and automatic it becomes.

You may also enjoy How to Journal to Reduce Stress and Best Self-Care Tips and Tools.