15 Ways to Express Gratitude
Gratitude is much more than just saying “thank you” or “I’m grateful for you.” Practicing and living with gratitude means a sense of awareness that prompts you to appreciate your surroundings or the value it has brought to your life. A person who expresses gratitude is able to reflect on their day and focus on who or what made it better, and they might find various methods to share their appreciation.
At times, it may feel challenging to notice things that you are grateful for in this life. “When people are struggling to find positivity in their environment, the immediate instinct is to flip that into something negative about ourselves,” says Stacey Horaz, Early Head Start Program Coordinator. “Try to turn those negative messages around by reflecting on one or more things that bring you happiness—a favorite food, close friends or loved ones, beautiful scenes in nature and more.” If it is more difficult to recognize these, you might also notice that you are grateful for intangible things like love, health and happiness.
There are many benefits to pinpointing the things that bring you the most joy and finding positive ways to express gratitude for them! “The act of practicing gratitude may improve relationships, boost self-esteem, increase self-awareness and create positive thinking,” says Horaz. One of the best ways to begin living with gratitude and appreciation is by practicing with loved ones. Sitting around a table and sharing what you’re grateful for might not work for you, so instead you can try utilizing any of these different methods:
- Volunteer in local community events or at local shelters
- Donate money to charity or a local nonprofit
- Create a playlist for someone with special songs that you know they will love
- Find something that makes you laugh, and share that with loved ones
- Explore nature with a close friend or loved one
- Pay it forward—pay for a stranger’s meal or coffee
- Reflect on positive memories that you cherish
- Say thank you to someone who has helped you recently
- Spend uninterrupted quality time with the people in your life
- Write in a journal—this could be a letter to someone or a list of things that make you grateful
- Clean up your loved one’s or close friend’s space
- Treat a loved one to a fun event—a new movie, play, sports show and more
- Tip and/or gift your local mail delivery people
- Share and model these behaviors for younger loved ones
- Thank your customer service workers that are taking care of you
Remember to reflect on and recognize what you are grateful for each day. Find what makes you happy and learn to appreciate it.
If you find you are still struggling with your mental health or finding the things you are grateful for, Centerstone can help. Call 1-877-HOPE123 (1-877-467-3123) for more information about our counseling services.