Ideas To Start a Daily Practice of Gratitude

Scientifically proven benefits of gratitude. Focus on the positive things in your life and remind yourself that even when life is challenging, good things are still around you. With a regular gratitude practice you may begin to notice how the challenges have helped you gain insight or grow as a person.

Begin each day by writing down everything you’re grateful for in a journal. It’s a wonderful way to start the day and create an overall feeling of contentment and happiness about life. Scientific studies have shown the power of positive thinking can affect our overall health. Feel and express gratitude as a regular practice and you will see your life is extraordinary. Click through to download the FREE 6-page gratitude workbook. Pin it now to read later. @jillconyers


I started a daily practice of gratitude in October of 2014. At first, it was a conscious daily action to write in a journal with the intention of creating a habit. Now, my gratitude is sometimes a thought when I first wake up in the morning, a note in my journal or a post it on my desk at work. Thoughts and expressions of gratitude sets the tone for my day and creates a mindset that makes whatever challenges I face throughout the day less physically and mentally draining.

Begin each day by writing down everything you’re grateful for in a journal. It’s a wonderful way to start the day and create an overall feeling of contentment and happiness about life. A morning gratitude practice also sets the tone and establishes a positive outlook for the day ahead of you. And, if that isn’t reason enough to develop an daily attitude of gratitude, scientific studies have shown the power of positive thinking can affect our overall health.

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Developing an attitude of gratitude is linked to a happier way of life and research shows people who practice gratitude consistently benefit from:

  • Stronger immune systems and lower blood pressure;
  • Higher levels of positive emotions;
  • More joy, optimism, and happiness;
  • Acting with more generosity and compassion;
  • Feeling less lonely and isolated.

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2 psychologists, Dr. Robert A. Emmons and  Dr. Michael E. McCullough have completed studies on gratitude and in one study found that, those who wrote about gratitude were more optimistic and felt better about their lives. And, you might be surprised to know, they also exercised more and had fewer visits to physicians than those who focused on sources of aggravation.

Emmons and McCullough also reported, participants who kept gratitude lists were more likely to have made progress toward important personal goals (academic, interpersonal and health-based) over a two-month period compared to subjects in the other experimental conditions.

Brene Bown, scholar, author and public speaker, said, “without exception, every person I interviewed who described living a joyful life or who described themselves as joyful, actively practiced gratitude and attributed their joyfulness to their gratitude practice.”

Use a journal if that’s your thing. Or, spice up your gratitude practice with different types. Choose two, three, or all of the ideas below. They’re all beneficial, so choose those that most resonate with you, and feel free to “mix it up”.

Maybe start with committing to 3-4 days a week and go from there.

The best gratitude practice for you is the one you will stick with!


  1. Start your day with a grateful heart. First thing after you wake up, acknowledge what you’re grateful for.
  2. Send a handwritten thank you letter by mail or deliver in person.
  3. Meditate, focusing on the present moment without judgement.
  4. Look into a mirror and say out loud, “I’m thankful for you.”
  5. Reach out to someone that changed your life and share your gratitude for them.
  6. Donate your money or time to a charity.
  7. Spend 5 minutes with your hand on your heart, appreciating you and your life.
  8. Notice the beauty of the things you see everyday, a sunset, a sunrise, green grass, flowers and blue skies.
  9. Remember the difference between wants and needs.
  10. Post words, photos or objects of gratitude around your home. Download the printables below and keep them where you will see them often.

However you choose to express your gratitude keep it simple making it easier to maintain consistently.

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  1. There’s so much to be thankful for and I love that we can easily do that from the moment that we wake up. It’s going to help you be more positive and optimistic towards life!

  2. I think this is a great idea to start a daily practice of gratitude because it brings positive things into our lives. I think I am going to do the journey.

  3. I love this idea! There are so many great benefits to being grateful. Definitely something I should start doing.

  4. While I agree it could be such a postive thing to do if we wrote a gratitude list, it is also too difficult to follow. Especially on the days that we are already down and we can not think of anything positive about us.


  5. This post is a great reminder of the importance of practicing gratitude on a daily basis. The biggest challenge for me is to be consistent. Many times I start a gratitude journal, but if I forget or get too busy with other things and don’t write in it for a few days in a row, I tend to stick it in a desk drawer and forget about it. Time to get it out and dust it off!

  6. I love this post! It’s so important to wake up with a grateful attitude. When my daughter was growing up we used to write our daily accomplishments + what we were grateful for on a piece of paper and we’d put it in a jar each night. It’s so fun to look back over those little notes 🙂

  7. I’m a huge fan of journaling, and a gratitude journal is a great habit! I like your other tips though; sometimes my coworkers and I will write thank you notes to each other if we had to work through some challenges at work, and I definitely recommend that practice!

  8. wow! This is so helpful and lovely. I use my 5-minute journal to practice gratitude daily. Have you ever heard of it? I have however been slacking on my daily practice. This is a great reminder to do this daily and a great free resource for those interested in beginning.

  9. Thank you so much!!! This is a super beautiful post and yes we need to be thankful everyday. I’m going to start my morning off every morning with a thankful moment!

  10. This is important I feel and if it helps the immune stystem and allows you to be happy, it must be something we should all try! ☺️ Just making a good first impression and being polite is a start right?

  11. I admit being a working mom and getting busy all the time, i forget the things that I should be thankful for. This is a great reminder.

  12. Im really trying to get better at this, Meditation every morning has definitely helped me and so has my yoga practice. Im looking int o journalling swell as another way to help

  13. I think this is a great idea and will definitely try to make this a habit. I keep a notepad right in front of me to jot things down throughout the day, but why not start a separate page to write down what I’m thankful for. If I started right now, I would be thankful for the warm sunlight shining through my window on this very chilly day.

  14. Thank you for sharing- I especially love the practical applications and the list templates to help motivate you to start!

  15. I love all these practices! I really need to start incorporating more mindfulness in my life so I will definitely be using this guide. THank you for sharing it with us!

  16. I love these ideas! I’ve been wanting to start a daily gratitude practice but I just feel overwhelmed with it and always want to give up if I miss a day. I like the idea of starting with 3-4 days a week and slowly adding on more days once I get into the routine. I really think I’m going to try that out!

  17. This is a wonderful post. Too often we focus on the negative and what we don’t have. We should take time to reflect on how we are fortunate and be thankful. Sure would start the days off well.

  18. What a beautiful post! It is so easy to focus on the negative, if we channeled as much time on a practice of gratitude I am sure it would come back 10 fold! Thank you for sharing!

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