express gratitude

4 Easy Ways to Express Gratitude Everyday

When most of us think about building healthy habits- our brains automatically go to the more obvious choices like exercising more and eating better. Yet, there is a lot to be said about our daily mindset. In fact, I’d argue the intentions we set daily and the way we approach each day are THE single most important habits for building sustainable health.

When you live in a relative state of positivity and hope (obviously all day everyday can’t be rainbows and sunshine- but it can come close!), it makes staying on track with your health goals so much easier. One of the ways to add more joy into your life and ditch a chronic level of stress is simple: express gratitude. Expressing gratitude is magical to say the least. 🙂

Related Article: The Power of Gratitude and Resiliency

express gratitude

The benefits of expressing gratitude everyday

The best part about starting a gratitude practice is that it doesn’t require any change in your daily habits. It simply requires a change in your mindest around your normal everyday activities. Here are some of the potential benefits:

  • Less stress and anxiety
  • Boost your feel good hormones and physical health
  • Improved self esteem
  • Sleep better
  • Be more open to opportunities in your life (specifically work and relationships)
  • Feel a sense of peace in your life- less reactivity and more positivity

Related article: 3 Tiny Habits of Health that You can Start Today

express gratitude

4 easy ways to express gratitude

Expressing your gratitude doesn’t have to be complicated, here are some simple ways to add it to your daily routine.

1. Keep a journal

This is part of my daily morning routine that I complete and it is my absolute favorite way to start the day. Keeping a journal for gratitude can be as simple or as in-depth as you’d like. I always shoot for writing down 3 things I feel grateful for in the morning- usually it invovles what happened in the past 24 hours or something that has been lingering on my mind that I’m particularly thankful for. I write mine in my planner but you can buy a structured journal, grab a notebook or piece of paper, or even open a new document on your computer- whatever works!

Amazingly, when I first started this practice over a year ago, I found myself feeling a bit cheesy and not knowing what to write. Now I write down everything that comes to mind- from the smallest to the biggest occurrences. Now, when I start writing sometimes I have a hard time deciding what things I should write down. I have also noticed that there are often a lot of repeat things I am thankful for- like snuggles with my daugther and husband- that help me realize what is most important to me in my daily life.

Related article: Habit Tracker Bullet Journal Ideas

2. Say “Thank You”

This one might seem obvious, but often it’s overlooked. When I started trying to add more gratitude to my day, I realized how much I took for granted in the past. Did I ever tell my parents thanks for all of their emotional and financial support? Probably in some form, but not explicitly. Or how often did I scoff at kind words or compliments instead of simply saying thank you and accepting them? The biggest thing I was guilty of was not expressing myself when I was excited for something (and grateful)- which gave my friends and family the impression that I was either bored or indifferent- not the intention I was going for at all!

Being able to verbally express gratitude in the moment for both small and big acts of kindness is important. Don’t assume the other person knows you’re thankful! Plus, putting words to their actions helps boost a sense of connection and joy. Writing thank you cards are a fun way to express gratitude as well- so keep a pack of cards around that you can use when you feel inspired.

3. Start a gratitude ritual

There are a lot of simple ways to add gratitude into a particular part of your day. Many of us have a few habitual gratitude rituals without even realizing it. For example, saying thanks before a meal is a common one. A ritual can be added into any part of your day, simply attach it to a cue (like a certain action, time of day, meal, et.c) and stay consistent with it.

One ritual we’ve started this year with my daugther is expressing gratitude right before bed verbally. We have a favorite book that we read followed by the question: what are you thankful today? It leave us all in a good mood right before bed. Often, I find myself falling asleep with a smile on my face thinking of the cute things my 2 year old said she as thankful for that day.

4. Be mindful with your daily tasks

It can be easy to go through the motions of everyday and forget about all the magic we encouter in daily life. When we bring awareness and thanks to our normal routines it makes each day a lot more enjoyable. Examples include drinking a cup of coffee or tea, eating a meal, driving, spending time with loved ones, grocery shopping, showering and many other relatively “mundane” activities that are actually quite amazing if we take the time to appreciate them!

My favorite example is mindful eating. Food is meant to sustain us both physically and emotionally. When we’re always rushing through meals and eating on the go, it affects our relationship with food. Stopping to actually enjoy and be thankful for the food we are putting in our bodies makes it easier to eat well and feel good.

express gratitude

The gratitude progression

When starting a gratitude practice, some pretty cool things start to happen with time and consistency. You’ll notice a change and gradual progression with what you find gratitude in each day. It usually goes something like this:

  • At first, it can be hard to come up with more than one or two things you’re thankful for
  • You start noticing all of the awesome things in your normal day- big and small
  • You feel more thankful and present each day
  • As you continue, you find joy in parts of your day that you didn’t even notice before
  • You feel more gracious towards those around you- friends, family and co-workers
  • Suddenly, you find peace and gratitude even in the hard times- because you know they are serving a bigger purpose and helping you grow

This last step is pretty awesome. What you once saw in your life as a barrier or problem, you will start to realize is essential. Since since you now know it’s essential, you can move forward and even find a little bit of gratitude in your day when facing tought times.

This helped me a lot the past few months when dealing with a total change of plans and being stuck in lockdown. Instead of focusing on the negative, I found I could focus on the family time I was gaining and use the extra time inside to gain some momentum with my wrting and business. There’s almost always a silver lining if we have the right mindset and take the time to actually see it from a place of gratitude.

Related article: How to Establish a Daily Mindfulness Routine

express gratitude

Getting started with a gratitude practice

Just like anything, the more you express gratitude the easier it will be. If you want to get started, set a small goal that you can complete daily for the next 30 days. Then build from there based on what’s working for you and how you’re feeling about the whole process.

Having a gratitude practice is one small part of the mindset shift you need for building Consistent Healthy Habits. Want to learn more? Pick up my in-depth beginner’s guide here!

Do you have a gratitude practice? Do you feel like you express gratitude enough in your day? We are sharing what we’re thankful in the Facebook Group “Developing healthy habits” each week in September if you want to join in!

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