How to Add Gratitude to Your Daily Routine 

This is a guest post written by Laurie. Find out more about her at the end of the post!

The holidays are a special time of year. It’s when we are encouraged to count our blessings and recall fond memories of holidays past. We take a break from our regular routines to slow down and spend time with family and friends, and there is an atmosphere of giving thanks and appreciation of one another.

But come January, we return to our busy lives. Back at work or university, we get caught up in tasks and projects and stop noticing all the wonderful things around us. But what if instead, we could hold on to that attitude of thankfulness all year. There would be enormous benefits for our mental and physical health. 

If you haven’t already, now is the best time to add a gratitude practice to your daily routine. 

Why is Gratitude so Important 

Having a gratitude practice is one of the most important additions to our routine, boosting our day-to-day happiness. Multiple scientific studies have linked gratitude with greater feelings of happiness, and it has been found to reduce negative emotions such as envy, greed, and anger. 

One study found that a practice of gratitude is more powerful than patience, forgiveness, or self-control in determining our future happiness and feelings of hopefulness. 

Gratitude has physical effects as well, with one study finding that participants who practised gratitude had fewer visits to the doctor than their peers. It has also lowered blood pressure in some cases, and can improve our overall immune system.

But the positive impacts of gratitude go beyond ourselves. Supervisors that express sincere thanks to their employees build more productive and loyal teams, and people that practice gratitude are much more likely to donate to charities.

Types of Gratitude Practices to Try 

There are many ways to add gratitude to your daily routine. Here are a few suggestions: 

1. Write a thank-you note

Send someone a message of appreciation. It doesn’t have to be a long note, just a quick line that genuinely expresses your gratefulness for something they did. It will boost your mood as well as theirs.

But it turns out that we don’t even have to send the letter to gain the benefits. So write a letter to that awesome teacher you had in elementary school or an old friend you lost contact with, just for yourself. You’ll enjoy those positive memories with a healthy dose of gratitude. 

2. Journaling 

Similar to thank you notes, journaling is a great way to express gratitude. There are many mental health benefits to journaling, and it can be an easy habit to add consistently to your routine.

Writing down things that you are grateful for is a wonderful way to practice gratitude.

3. Prayer 

A gratitude prayer isn’t a religious practice, it’s about reflecting on your day or looking forward to what’s to come. Mentally listing three things you are grateful for first thing in the morning can be a great way to start your day.

I like to use this method in conjunction with listing three of the day’s accomplishments as part of my night-time routine. 

4. Slow Down 

How often do we automatically say “thank you”? Think about the last time someone held the door for us when our hands were full; the mail carrier hands us our package; the cashier gives us our change- we say thank you on autopilot.

Next time, slow down and think about being genuinely appreciative. Turning that interaction into sincere gratitude makes for a better day for both of you. 

5. Be More Present 

Hundreds of positive things happen to us every day, but we’re usually too busy to notice them. When we try to be more present, we are more likely to appreciate those little things that improve our day.

It might be getting extra whipped cream on your cocoa, a quiet evening at home, or a beautiful sunset. When we are calm and feel like we’re on track with our goals, we are more likely to notice and appreciate these little things to be thankful for.

Tips to Make Your Practice More Beneficial 

The benefits from gratitude are enormous, but they may not happen overnight. Here are a few ways to make your new habit more successful:

1. Get specific 

Instead of writing a generalised statement, try to be detailed. For example, instead of thinking, “thank you for a great evening,” change it to “I’m grateful for the fun evening of baking cookies together and watching old movies with my best friend.” 

2. Change your vocabulary

This can be one of the most difficult things to do, because we don’t always hear ourselves talk. Try to pay attention to your language and change the focus from yourself to others. Think of adding words like blessed, fortune, gratitude, abundance, gifts, and thankfulness to your vocabulary. 

3. Mix it up

When we do the same thing over and over, it becomes routine, and we switch into autopilot. Gratitude needs us to be present in the moment, to gain the full benefits.

While we may always be grateful for the same things like family or friends, try to think of additional ideas to mix it up. This prevents it from losing meaning and makes us more focused on looking around us at all the possibilities.

What are some of the things that you’re grateful for? What type of gratitude practice works best for you?  Do you want to try adding gratitude into your daily routine? 

Let us know in the comments 🙂

Happy reading x

About the Author:

Laurie Trueblood is a freelance writer specialising in topics of nerd culture and mental health.

She is the editor for Adventures to Authenticity, a fantasy-themed self development and lifestyle blog.

Photo by Brett Jordan from Pexels

65 thoughts

  1. I wrote a gratitude letter to the only person who ever stood up for me I school when I was being racially abused, added that letter to my blog too. Gratitude dairies and letters are great examples of positive psychology interventions

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The more negative thoughts that we focus on the more miserable we become. What we think about or dwell on is what comes out.

    You mentioned being more present! Love that! I feel like that goes hand in hand with being intentional. Intentionality is something that I am going to work on in the new year.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is such a positive post! The one thing the pandemic has taught me was to practice gratitude on a regular basis. These are all great suggestions and a good reminder to experience gratitude all year long. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve practiced gratitude journaling for about 2.5 years now, and it has had a major impct on how I speak to others and even on my memory, which naturally has an impact on how I physically feel. My practice is based in my Christian faith, so I use imagery from the Bible to guide my practice. On really bad days I think about how a widow during a famine gave a few drops of oil to a prophet in need, and found that her oil never ran dry so I write down “five dorps of oil,” five things I’m thankful for. On most days I write “12 baskets of overflowing lefotvers,” tributing the New Testament miracle of feeding 5,000 people with just a couple of fish, and having twelve overflowing baskets of food leftover.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. These are wonderful points on gratitude. Gratitude makes each day feel better and makes you appreciate life more. I like the gratitude prayer and listing three accomplishments as part of your night-time routine. Great way to start and end your day.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Love this post! I always write down what I’m grateful for each day as I think it’s really important to reflect on the positives. I’ll defiantly be doing some more of these also! Thank you so much for sharing lovely Xo

    Elle – ellegracedeveson.com

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  7. These are some wonderful tips – I love sending letters to loved ones as well as receiving them to say thank you or just dropping a kind note. I’ve been trying for the past couple of weeks to be more intentional with making a gratitude list each day, but alas business takes over! I’ve jotted a couple of these down to try.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This is something I am working on so these tips are perfect! I would like to work on using words of gratitude more in my daily life. Next month it is the focus with my students so hopefully it will help me too!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Loved reading this, gratitude is something everyone should have up there. Thank you for sharing your tips. Throughout the pandemic and lockdowns it’s been such an eye opener to be more present and being grateful for the things you have got no matter what it is x

    http://Www.nadinealex.blogspot.com

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  10. A thankful heart is a happy heart. This post is so beautifully written. Listing your accomplishments and prayer are great ways to be more thankful everyday. I do need to slow down and appreciate the positive things that come my way. Thanks for the tips!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Great tips and so much needed now when we are exposed to all the perfect lives on social media leading to comparison and sadness when we see how much we apparently lack. Thank you!

    Like

  12. Yesssss!!!!!!! These are the things to do to add gratitude to your daily life and improve yourself spiritually. I like the point ‘change your vocabulary’. People should not be to hard on themselves. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Gratitude about everything we have and everything we are is so powerful! I loved how this post highlights all the benefits comming out of it and all the ways it can be expressed. We all from time to time tend to forget how blessed we are and this post works as a wonderful reminder. Great job!

    Liked by 1 person

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