10 simple ways to practice gratitude on a daily basis | InspirationIndulgence.com

Focusing on gratitude has been a game-changer for me in times of hardship. I’ll be the first to admit how easy it can be to complain, sulk, and not appreciate what I have in life. Last week was especially stressful for me, and I ultimately realized my attitude was running the show and responsible for my bad moods. My inner dialogue was constantly focusing on the negatives instead of the positives; how exhausting! Since I recently starting being mindful of practicing gratitude, I really feel that my life has transformed for the better. (The counselor in me) is a huge fan of cognitive behavior theory, which focuses on the ability to change our thoughts, which will in turn, change our behaviors and attitudes. Gratitude is essentially rooted in CBT theory.

You may be skeptical and think that this gratitude stuff is all a load of crap. However, studies have shown that practicing gratitude promotes longevity, helps lower the risk of depression, eases anxiety, improves mood, lowers blood pressure, increases energy levels, and more. So the question is, why wouldn’t you want to focus on gratitude?

Today, I thought I would suggest 10 different ways to practice gratitude, and just for fun, I listed some little things at the bottom of the post that I am grateful for today.

1.) Keep a gratitude jar

I’ve blogged about my jar before. If you are anything like me, keeping a gratitude journal can be a little overwhelming. I love the idea of keeping a jar because it’s a minimalistic approach, and it literally takes seconds to jot down something that you are grateful for.

2.) Meditate

I used to think that meditation involved lighting a candle, creating a totally zen space in my living room, crossing my legs, and keeping my mouth shut for an hour. Wrong. Friends, meditation doesn’t have to be this complicated. Simply taking the time out of your day to focus on deep breathing, calming thoughts, and your intentions is what meditation is all about. Meditation can happen when you are driving, when you are going for a walk, or when you are sitting at your desk. Try it out some time!

3.) Treat your friend to lunch or to coffee

Never underestimate the power of a random act of kindness. Share your gratitude by catching up with a friend and treating them to something special.

4.) Reframe the negatives

As I mentioned above, this past week has been especially stressful. When I woke up early last Thursday morning for my internship, I was feeling crabby, sleep deprived, and not especially keen to start my day. I took a moment while sipping on my coffee to think about how I should be grateful that I even have the opportunity to intern at one of the best schools in the state of Wisconsin. Reframing the negatives helped me ultimately look at the situation in a more positive light.

5.) Practice affirming yourself

For your reference I provided a list of 15 affirmations you should say to yourself every morning. Validating myself really helps me to be more grateful, and I think that it will work for you as well.

6.) Send a gratitude card

It always feels good knowing that we are appreciated. I challenge you to send a card to a friend letting them know how grateful you are to have them in your life/ I guarantee that it will not only make their day, but yours as well.

10 simple ways to practice gratitude on a daily basis | InspirationIndulgence.com

7.) Go for a nature walk

Nature is so self-serving, isn’t it? Sometimes a walk outside in nature is all you need to center yourself and practice thanks. We took time this weekend to look at the changing leave, and it set the tone for my whole day.

8.) Keep a gratitude journal

There are many kinds of awesome gratitude journals out there. Find one that works for you and try to stick with it! Getting in the habit of practicing daily gratitude is a wonderful habit to get into.

9.) Notice the little things

Sometimes, simply taking the time to notice the beauty around us can make all the difference in the world. I have found that living with intention and appreciating the small things in life has brought me so much internal joy. Notice the changing brisk temperatures. Notice a cute baby in the grocery store. Notice how kind your banker is to you.

10.) Indulge in self-care

Taking time for ourselves is always a struggle, at least for me. I wrote a few days ago about my struggle to say “no” and how I’ve been actively working on putting myself first. Taking time to care for ourselves is a wonderful way to appreciate the small joys of life and to be more mindful of what makes us happy.

…And now just for fun, I thought I’d share with y’all a few little things I am grateful for.

-Autumn in Wisconsin 
-A strong coffee with french vanilla creamer 
-When my favorite song comes on the radio
-Waking up to a clean home
-Apple spice candles
-My mom’s home cooked meals (nothing beats them)
-Fresh flowers
-The way Trevor’s sweatshirt smells
-When someone compliments me

-High-heeled booties that give me instant confidence 
-Sweet reader fan emails (I love and appreciate those so much from you guys!)
-My dad’s weird dad jokes
-The french toast from our favorite hometown diner
-The way rain smells
-The love I receive from the kids I nanny/babysit for
-The simple happiness I feel from decorating our home
-Oversized hoodies on a brisk night
-A cold glass of wine on a Friday night
-Waking up feeling fully rested and ready to take on the day
-My caring professors in my counseling grad program
-How loving my future in-laws are towards me
-How close I live to Lambeau Field- something I take for granted, surely.
-How I can literally call my sisters at any given point and I know that they will always be there for me, even if they are both across the state

How do you practice gratitude? What are you grateful for today?

“The real gift of gratitude is that the more grateful you are, the more present you become.”
-Robert Holden


  • I loved this post because I think it is so important to practice gratitude! I do so by keeping a journal, and by keeping this into perspective/thinking big picture when I’m having a difficult season.

    • Good for you, Kiara! It’s so important to keep positive despite tough times. And just being mindful of what gratitude is!

  • Divya @ Eat. Teach. Blog.

    What a beautiful list of things you’re grateful for. My husband and I keep a gratitude journal and every so often, we’ll write a line or two about what we are thankful for on that day, in that moment.
    It’s been a while since I’ve done an entry in there. You’ve inspired me to pull it out and write a few things down.
    At this current moment, I’m thankful for my 2nd cup of coffee and getting to experience what a REAL fall looks like. (I’m originally from California and I moved out to Harrogate, TN and the colors I’m seeing here are unlike anything I’ve ever seen before!)

    Thanks for sharing this post :) Beautiful way to start off the week!

    • Aw thank you so much for taking an interest in my post! I think that it is wonderful that your husband and you keep a journal together. Yes, here in Wisconsin the colors are phenomenal! I’m getting married a year from today so I am looking forward to having beautiful, bright colors for my wedding. (:

  • Lindsay Katherine

    I’ve been so busy and a little stressed lately (eh hem, sorry about that, I know we’re trying to schedule a Facetime call!!!), so this post came at a great time. While I’ve been overwhelmed with packing for a move (we closed Friday and move tomorrow), I should be grateful that I’m getting my dream house, not focusing on the stresses and my perceived negatives of moving. I love your idea of sending a letter of gratitude- 3 of my friends and I regularly send mail to each other, and I love it – definitely going on my list this week.

    • Oh girl, you don’t have to apologize- things have never been crazier for me. I’ve been so stressed so I completely understand. Real friends get it- I know that when the timing is better, we can catch up!!! Good luck on closing your home and everything else you have going on- I’ll be thinking of you! Can’t wait to catch up when the timing is right. For me, it may not be until this semester is over- LOL

  • Chrissa – Physical Kitchness

    Spot on! When I make a point to notice the little things (with my children specifically), I am insanely grateful. It’s amazing the things we miss when not in-tune with the everyday things. This is such a good post!

    • Aw that’s wonderful! I’d love to hear what “little things” you have noticed lately . :)

  • I definitely try to refrain from negativity. I love living a good positive life as much as I can. I also like to go out for coffee or lunch with friends or go for a walk.

    Autumn in Wisconsin is seriously the best. I love that we have actual Octobers.

    • I know! As we talked about on Snapchat we are truly blessed for where we live. <3

  • Lauren Norton

    This is great! These tips & tricks are amazing. I try to practice gratitude daily but keeping a journal is hard. I’m too busy! I love the idea of a jar.

    • That’s how I feel too. Keeping a journal is just another thing on my to-do list, that’s why I love my jar. It’s a no-committment kind of thing.

  • Aliza Hale Biorn

    I think that your suggestion to notice the little things is important. We can get so distracted by the large not-so-great things that we forget to look for the small goodness in our lives.

    • The little things help me remember what is important in life! <3

  • I love the suggestion of noticing the little things…there are so many things to be thankful for!

    • Right! Even the wind blowing….just noticing the tiniest little things can improve our mood :)

  • this post just made me so happy. thank you for such an uplifting post!

    • Aw thank you so much for reading, sweetie!

  • These are all great tips. The gratitude journal is awesome, it always helps me to write things down!

    • If I write my gratitude down, it helps me notice and appreciate it more!

  • What an inspiring post! We all have so much to be grateful for and need to be much more intentional about expressing it! Thank you for this sweet reminder today and great tips too!

    • Thanks so much for stopping by, Jessica!

  • I just recently participated in a yoga class, and I couldn’t believe how relaxing it was to just sit and meditate, focusing on your breath and letting go of any negative energy. It was amazing and I definitely want to continue doing that at home on my own. Great post!

    • Right! I was just telling a friend yesterday how badly I wanted to get involved with yoga, just for relaxation purposes!

  • Samantha Kinzie

    I absolutely love this post! I practice gratitude every day through meditation and journaling. This has helped with my internal dialogue and my outlook on life. Great tips!

    • Thank you! I am a beginner with meditation but so far, the effects have been life-changing!

  • I love these ideas. I’ve never thought about a gratitude jar before but that is genius. Thanks for sharing these! :)

    • I like the jar because I don’t have to stress about it! It’s just sitting on my counter and it reminds me to be grateful. :)

  • Elizabeth Johnson

    I love this! I really like reframe the negative. Such a great mental exercise to keep things in perspective. Thanks for sharing this!

    • Glad you enjoyed, Elizabeth! Thanks for your sweet comment!

  • Greta Hollar

    Such important things, not only for this time of year but all year around! The nature walk is my favorite.

    Greta | http://www.gretahollar.com

  • So glad that you realized what you were doing and made effort to change it back to a more positive, grateful one. This is such a great reminder to always be thankful! Thank you!

    • Kristin, you are always so grateful and positive! One of the things I admit most about you :)

      • Thank you so much, sweet friend <3

  • These are so great! I love treating my friends whenever I can. It always makes me feel so happy when they do it to me. I also love paying it forward whenever I’m at the coffee shop drive thru. The gratitude jar sounds like a fun idea. In the fast paced world we live in today, it’s hard to remember all the things we are grateful for. It’s nice to take a step back and remember all of them.

    • That’s awesome, Lexi. You’ve inspired me to “pay it forward” next time I’m at Starbucks!!!

  • All of these a great tips Chels! I love the gratitude card/letter. I remember taking positive psychology during undergrad and one of our biggest assignments was writing a gratitude letter then reading it in person to the receiver. It was such a magical experience!

    Rachel | http://www.theconfusedmillennial.com

    • What an AWESOME assignment!!!! I always feel good writing handwritten cards to others.

  • Yes to all of these girl! You have so many great ideas here :)

    • Thanks, Jenny!! Have a great day!

  • I love this! There is so much negativity on the web right now and I just think everyone would be happier if we focused on the positives.

    • Right! I’ve been both positive and negative and I’ve found that being negative does NOT serve me, whatsoever.

  • Lovelovelove all of these. Gratitude is SUCH a game changer…it’s really a LIFE changer. I actually had a similar experiences as Rachel Ritlop in that I took Positive Psych and had to write a gratitude letter…I wrote it to my dad and called him up to read it and he ended up crying, and he’s SO not sentimental like that! Powerful stuff.

    Coming Up Roses

    • Aw omg! That truly is powerful…what a wonderful assignment. You are a sweetie!!!

  • Thanks for this, great ways to be better person xoxo


    • Thanks so much for stopping by!

  • Jena Proctor

    These are all great reminders to be grateful and to spread that feeling. Gratitude will change your life in ways you can’t imagine!

    • It really does. It changes your whole thinking process! There’s that CBT part 😉 haha.

  • These are fantastic reminders. I need to start a gratitude jar and journal especially now since the days are getting shorter and I feel the seasonal depression kicking in.

    • I suffer from that, as well, Chel…hang in there, sweetie! Practicing gratitude can’t hurt. 😉

  • Kelsie Kleinmeyer

    I love ALL of these ideas- my favorites are the gratitude journal and taking friends to coffee. What a great excuse to hang out and show thankfulness to someone!

    • Thanks Kelsie! Sometimes I think gratitude is just showing by example :)

  • I simply love this post, especially the idea of having a gratitude jar! I also believe that practicing gratitude is extremely important. – HilLesha

    • It will improve your whole mindset! Thanks for stopping by.