"Find the good. It’s all around you.” —Jesse Owens
Gratitude is a way of seeing—a soft light gently illuminating the beauty that already surrounds us. When we take the time to appreciate seemingly tiny, everyday moments, we realize they are, in fact, not small at all. They are the makings of an expansive and fulfilling life.
While the holidays invite us to pause and reflect on life’s gifts, creating a routine gratitude practice can have a measurable impact on our well-being. Research shows that gratitude can increase happiness, reduce depression, raise self-esteem, and even improve sleep!
Here are 5 simple exercises to help you create a regular gratitude practice in your life:
1. Start a Gratitude Jar
Designate a jar for collecting moments of gratefulness. Each day, write down at least one thing you appreciate on a slip of paper. Then tuck the paper in the jar for safekeeping. Over time, you’ll create an archive of life’s beautiful moments that you can return to whenever you feel the need.
2. Take a Gratitude Walk
Set aside 15 to 20 minutes a day to go on a walk. With each step, take note of the sensations against your feet, the sounds in the distance, and the smells in the air. Let your senses awaken your gratitude. As you walk, give thanks for something you’ve observed along the way, and for the chance to experience it.
Who are you grateful to have in your life? A coworker who makes you laugh? A cashier who brightens your grocery runs? An aunt who offers a listening ear? Set aside time to express your appreciation with a handwritten note—whether it is once a week or once a month. Each note is an opportunity to celebrate and connect with the people in your life.
4. Make a Gratitude Board
Visualize your gratefulness with a collage. Every week, add one thing that makes you smile—a vibrant image from a magazine, a quote that resonates with you, a photo of someone or someplace you love. Notice how your weekly scavenger hunt for joy amplifies your appreciation.
5. Offer Yourself a Mantra
Every day comes with its unique set of challenges, and having a short affirmation at hand can be a meaningful way to ground yourself in gratitude. Display your mantra on your desk, or post it on your wall to elevate your perspective and refocus your thoughts. Here are a few examples:
I am grateful for who I am and who I am becoming.
I appreciate the lessons this day holds for me.
My breath is a reminder of the possibilities within me.
Discover more ways to welcome gratitude and create a regular practice in your life with our appreciation-themed gifts.