7 Ways To Practice More Gratitude

Happy Thanksgiving friends!

It's that time of year where all of a sudden the air is abuzz with talk of "giving thanks" and "practicing gratitude". We are reminded to be more mindful of the things we are blessed with in our lives, even when it feels like things are tough and stressful.

And I'm going to add my voice to the topic. Because while #gratitude is trendy, it's actually really, really important. AND it's something that we could all be better at incorporating into our lives all year round instead of just around the holidays. 

But why exactly is gratitude important? And how do we go about bringing more of it into our lives on a daily basis?


Gratitude goes beyond simply being thankful for something/someone or being something we talk about around Thanksgiving. Gratitude is a deeper, longer lasting positive emotion. As the University of California at Davis puts it, gratitude is "a constant mindset that allows for deep mindfulness with many benefits to the self.”

People who practice gratitude - i.e. taking time to reflect on what they are deeply thankful for - experience more joy, happiness and positivity in their lives.

Researchers have even found that beyond psychological benefits, gratitude is also associated with physical health benefits (such as stronger immune systems and lower blood pressure), as well as social benefits (such as being more forgiving and feeling less isolated).

Um… all of that sounds pretty good, right? Sign me up!

But how do we go about practicing more gratitude on a daily basis? Well, my friend, I’ve put together several options below to get you started.

Try one, a few or all of them! See what works best for you!


1. 3 Things Journal

Find yourself a beautiful notebook or journal and keep it on your bedside table. Each night as you climb into bed, write down 3 things you are grateful for. They could be things that happened that day or just general things you are grateful for in your life.

Use one of the following prompts:

“I am grateful for {blank}.”

“I am grateful for {blank} because {blank}.”

For example, I’ve kept a journal like this off and on over the past several years and some entries I’ve made include:

  • I am grateful for my new client who signed up today.
  • I am grateful for the badass women in my life.
  • I am grateful for my intuition because it guides me when making important decisions.

Alternatively, if you don’t love the idea of listing statements, you can keep a gratitude journal where you free write about your gratitude each night (or morning).

Totally up to you. The key is taking a moment to reflect on what you’re grateful for and physically write it down. If you’re new to cultivating a gratitude practice, this is a wonderful place to start!

2. Quiet Reflection/Meditation

Find 5-10 minutes every day to sit quietly and reflect on what you are grateful for. You could follow a guided gratitude meditation (there are lots of useful resources for this online, such as The Chopra Center) or simply do your own form of reflection.

Light a candle. Put on some soothing music. Close your eyes. Take a few deep breaths. And say Thank You, acknowledging what you are grateful for.

Just giving ourselves a few minutes of being quiet each day goes a long way towards self-understanding and working through challenges in our lives - expressing thanks while we do so is a fantastic addition.

3. Write A Letter Of Gratitude

Think about someone you are very grateful to have in your life and write them a letter telling them all of the reasons why. Then grab yourself an envelope and a stamp and head on over to the nearest mailbox. I guarantee it’ll feel good to watch that letter drop into the box!

BONUS: Writing out your gratitude is actually beneficial for both you and the person receiving the letter.

For you, it’s a great opportunity to reflect on how meaningful someone is in your life, plus the act of expressing that to someone can give you an emotional boost.

For the recipient, it will be a welcome surprise and boost to their own spirit as well. It’s not often that we receive letters like this - outlining all of the ways in which someone is glad to know us - and therefore receiving one in the mail is extremely impactful.

Yes, we may write letters like this around birthdays or holidays, but writing these to people out of the blue can make it feel even more meaningful. Snail mail for the win!

4. Create A Gratitude Jar

Create a gratitude jar as a place to begin collecting all of the things that you are grateful for throughout the year.

Start by finding a mason jar or another jar with a lid (you can use a box too if you’d like). Keep little strips of paper and a pen handy so that each time you feel inspired, you can write something down and pop it in the jar. You can make this a daily practice or simply add to it whenever you feel moved to do so. It’s up to you.

Then, whenever you need a boost, you can go back and look at the contents of your jar. It can also be fun to look through your jar after a year of collecting your notes of gratitude and reflect on all of the great things that happened throughout the year!

In case you need a little inspiration to get started, I’ve done some research on Pinterest for you!

5. Gift your time

Volunteer in your community. Show up for a friend who is having a tough time. Take your new colleague out for coffee. Given that our lives seem to be endlessly busy these days, carving out time for others is a very impactful way to express your thanks.

While this one doesn’t necessarily involve saying “I am grateful for...“, giving your time shows that you care about the people around you and are grateful to have them in your life.

If you're looking for volunteer opportunities in your area, sites like VolunteerMatch and DoSomething are a great place to start!

6. Start your day with gratitude

When you wake up in the morning, start your day thinking “I am grateful for today!”

While you may not know exactly what lies ahead of you that day, starting it with a grateful, positive state of mind (rather than immediately reaching for your phone or stressing about the work you need to get done) will begin your day on a more positive note and make any difficult moments that come up a bit easier to handle.

If another phrase or positive affirmation works better for you (for example: “Today is a great day!”), then use that instead. It’s all about finding something that feels good to you and starts your day off with gratitude and a positive mindset.

7. Create a Daily gratitude practice at home

Gratitude is a social emotion, so finding a way to share it with the people around you reinforces the positive feelings associated with it. A lot of us have a tradition for expressing gratitude at Thanksgiving dinner, but what about incorporating it into your daily dinner or bedtime routine?

Whether it be with your family, significant other or roommate, create your own daily gratitude practice in your home.

For example, you could find time each evening when you get home from work to share with one another what you are grateful for that day. Or if you tend to be on different schedules, you could get in the habit of leaving each other little gratitude notes to see when you leave in the morning or get home at night. Or if you live alone, find a friend you can make a habit of sharing gratitude with daily via phone, text, email, etc.

These are just some examples. Talk to your roomie, significant other, or family/friends and brainstorm what gratitude practice would work best in your lives!

Lastly, A quick note of gratitude

As I sign off this week to enjoy the holiday, I want to say that I am grateful for YOU - my readers - for all of the support you've shown me since launching Compass Maven.

It means the world to me that you read my posts, share them with your friends and send me notes of encouragement! I truly cannot thank you enough!

With gratitude,


P.S. Any other ways you like to practice gratitude? Let me know in the comments below!