5 Ways to Make Gratitude Grow This Year

5 Ways to Make Gratitude Grow This Year

It's easy to get overwhelmed by all the [very scary] headlines. However, it’s vital to our well-being not to lose sight of all the good things that still exist, too. One of our favorite ways to cultivate gratitude is journaling!

Journaling about things for which you're grateful, especially now, will channel your thoughts to good things. The process can curb the anxiety and elevate the positivity for you and everyone around you. This is especially important for our children and those who live with anxiety. Here are some tips on how to make gratitude a daily habit!

1. Spend 5 minutes every morning thinking about what you have to be thankful for that day

The alarm clock goes off, and you’re already NOT thankful to be getting out of your warm, cozy bed. You’re tired, you have a lot to do today, and you don’t even want to discuss the dishes you left to “soak” in the sink overnight. Let’s face it, when your day starts off on the wrong foot it’s not likely to get any better.

Instead of fretting over to-dos for the day or the ones you didn’t quite get to yesterday, spend just 5 minutes after you wake up to consciously dwell on the things you have to be grateful for today.

Do you have a warm bed? Good! Do you have access to food, water, or coffee? Awesome! Did you wake up to see another day? Yes! These are all simple things to get your day started off on the right foot and not the wrong side of the bed.

2. Remind yourself of 3 things you’re thankful for when you get upset/angry.

Ok so, your day was going well until you read the most recent headlines, your boss sent a rude email, AND your husband conveniently “forgot” it was his turn to do the dishes after dinner. You start pondering all the things that went wrong today and then you remember the bad thing that happened yesterday, and last month, and last year until you are overwhelmed with anger and frustration. We’ve all been there. Things build up and build up until we just can’t take it anymore.


It doesn’t have to be this way. Yes, people around us will make mistakes and cause us pain and frustration BUT we have the choice to remain calm. Whenever you start feeling angry or upset PAUSE and remember the good parts of your day.

Remember when Karen said she loved your top and you felt so good? Remember the sweet little “I love you” note your partner left on the dashboard? Remember how beautiful the sunrise was on your way to work? There are so many little things that are wonderful that can become overshadowed by the small inconveniences we experience.

Train your brain to react to anger and frustration with gratitude and watch as your speech gets sweeter, you appreciation grows deeper, and your days look brighter.

3. Journal about your gratitude.

Be honest, who doesn’t have a draw/box full of unused notebooks? You get them as gifts or you buy them because they just looked so cute when you were waiting in line at Marshall’s, but now they just sit there mocking you. Well, let’s put those bad boys to use!

Gratitude journaling is easy, therapeutic, and helpful for your overall attitude. It’s as simple as writing down one thing, just ONE thing, you’re thankful for each day or week to commemorate the good things. You can be as creative or simple as you desire. Date it, write it, and store it somewhere accessible.

Maybe you write in it on your lunch break or right before you go to bed at night, whatever works for you! Before you know it, you’ll have a notebook full of things you have/have experienced that filled your heart with gratitude.

Having a bad day? Open up your notebook and read about all those wonderful things to help drown out the negativity you’re feeling.

4. Reflect on how far you've come.

We all started our journey somewhere. Maybe you’ve experienced great pain, loss, or disappointments in your past that helped build you into the person you are today.

Instead of missing what you had, be grateful that you had it or reflect on when you had less compared to where you are now. You’ll still have bad days, you’ll still experience pain, you’ll still face hardship, but looking back and remember what it was like when you had nothing, when you felt lonely, when you hurt deeply, helps you appreciate how far you’ve come.

Whether your journey is just beginning or you’ve been traveling for quite some time, reflect and refresh with all the small steps you’ve taken and be grateful.

5. Write to those for whom you’re thankful.

We all have at least one person in our lives for whom we are so grateful. There are the obvious answers like mom, dad, sister, brother, or friend, but are there more? Of course! How often do you tell them? Oops. Yeah, I’m guilt, too.

Although we may feel appreciative, we often forget to express that to others. Let’s change that! Now more than ever your friends and family need a reason to smile and you can be that reason.

Every week or month choose a few people or just one person to write a little note to expressing your gratitude. It doesn’t have to be some long, poetic novel diving into every small detail of how they’ve impacted your life. It can simply be a few words about how much you love and appreciate them. Maybe specify something they’ve done for you recently or something they do for you consistently.

Thank your mom for all the times she did your laundry or cooked you a meal. Thank your friend who helped you smile on a bad day. Thank your favorite barista for making your coffee just how you like it. Small gestures have grand results.

Spreading thankfulness to those around you can impact them greatly, and create a domino effect of gratitude in the lives of those they come into contact with, as well.

So, can you do it? I think so.

It may not happen overnight, but when you dedicate just a small piece of your day to being intentionally grateful you’ll be impressed by how seamlessly it flows into all aspects of your life.

Want to start journaling, but don’t know where to begin?

Get the Gratitude Finder® journal below and see for yourself how easy it is to start!

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