Gratitude Exercises for a Happy Life
INSIDE: Gratitude exercises are mindful ways to help us train our minds to see the blessings and light around us. They are simple, available to anyone, and can be done anywhere. Discover what they are and how you can easily implement them into your daily routine...
The power of thought is greater than we realize. According to Harvard Health Publishing, expressing gratitude can have a positive impact on overall happiness and satisfaction in life.
Our minds are geared in incredible ways, and what we consciously focus on expands and multiplies in our reality. That's why, just like we take care of our physical well-being, we need to take good care of our thoughts.
Gratitude exercises are one of the best ways to reframe our approach to life and change our vibration. Let's look at some that you can try today.
12 Gratitude Exercises for a Happy Life
Practicing gratitude techniques is a powerful way to bring the focus onto the positive, light, and beautiful things we have. Gratitude helps expand our positive energy, raises our vibration, and helps us create a healthy mindset that liberates and nourishes us.
Here are 12 simple, yet incredibly powerful techniques you can try to help you cultivate gratitude...
Coffee/Tea Gratitude Ritual
Morning coffee or a warm cup of tea not only warms the soul and prepares us for the new day. It can also be a powerful tool for practicing gratitude every day. These moments of “pause” can be used to practice mindfulness and help us feel more present.
Sip your favorite drink, and make yourself comfortable. Detach from electronics or distractions as much as you can, and focus on your beverage.
With every sip, think about all the little things that make you happy, starting from the very cup you are holding and the present moment you have to enjoy it. Focus on the feeling the beverage gives you.
Indulge in the positivity of the moment and reflect on how much you appreciate your me-time.
Discuss What You’re Grateful for at Dinner
When a busy day is over, dinner can be a great opportunity to take a step back for a moment and say thank you to the Universe for all the big and small blessings we are gifted with.
To practice these gratitude exercises, start with your meal and the flavor of your food. Take a moment to appreciate the people who helped you find your groceries or the woman who gave you the recipe.
Be grateful for your efforts and time to make your meal. Be grateful to your favorite local restaurant chef for making a delicious dessert.
In the end, say a little thanks for the food you have available on your table every day, for the spices, and for the taste, knowing that your basic needs are met.
You can say a little prayer before every meal. It will raise your vibration and shift the focus onto all the little things you are blessed with.
Find the Positive in Bad Situations
When life gives you lemons, you can always make a tasty lemonade or even a lemon cake. While we can’t control the outcomes of certain situations, we can always choose how to react and what to focus on.
With a little self-discipline and a conscious decision to shift the focus, we can find hidden blessings in events that don’t seem so light and bright. Every tough situations are a test of strength and a possibility to become a better version of ourselves, and that is a true blessing.
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- What is the beneficial lesson learned?
- What is one positive thing about the situation?
- What did this situation save you from?
- How did this situation help you grow?
Answering these questions will help bring light to positivity in your life.
Charge a Clear Quartz Crystal With Gratitude
Clear Quartz isn’t only used to cleanse our spaces of negativity. It is also known for its ability to absorb any positive energy it comes in contact with and multiply it. As such, it can be powerful vibrational assistance for gratitude exercises, and for this purpose, you can use it in various ways.
Sit comfortably and hold your piece of Clear Quartz. Close your eyes, calm your mind, meditate on it, and feel it in your hand. Start visualizing your blessings and see them piling up in your hand as you hold the crystal.
Another way to use it in your practice is to make it your journaling crystal. Write down everything you are thankful for in your journal and let the feeling of gratitude flood you.
You can hold your piece of Clear Quartz in your hand, or place it near the journal to have it in your sights as you're writing. It will help amplify the positive feeling and keep it "stored" in the crystal for future use.
Take a Gratitude Walk or Hike
A walk in nature can be incredibly grounding and is one of the most potent gratitude exercises. Breathe in the air and focus on the stimuli coming to you from the environment. Reflect on how you feel.
Focus on the opportunity to enjoy the fresh air another day. Pay attention to moments of peace reached through the connection with nature. Enjoy the warm sun rays or your cozy jacket.
All of these things are little blessings that can help us feel more present and experience the joy of the moment, especially when we consciously focus on how blissful they make us feel.
Keep a Gratitude Journal
Practicing gratitude can easily be made a habit, and journaling can help you with that. Start every day by writing down or sketching the things that bring you light and joy. All you need to do is to focus on counting little blessings that warm your soul every day.
Here are some journal gratitude prompts to help you get started:
- Who are the people who make your life easier?
- Who makes you laugh and supports you the most?
- What brings you joy and fulfillment?
- What about your home makes you happy?
- What is the piece of clothing that makes you feel happy and safe?
Alternatively, you can do a nighttime ritual, writing down all the things you are grateful for and have experienced during the day. It will put your mind at ease, and help you bring the focus back to positivity before bed.
Create a Gratitude Tree With Your Kids
Children are particularly in tune with the beauty around them. They are fascinated by the little things, curious about life, and are way more connected to the goodness around them than we are. Because of that, we can learn so much from them, and gratitude is certainly one of them.
A gratitude tree is a great way to bond with our children and reconnect with the child within. To make one and engage in creative gratitude exercises such as this one, you will need the helping hand of your little assistant for every following step.
Find a beautiful pot and a bigger branch that can serve as a tree. Cut colorful leaves and brainstorm together what it is that you can be thankful for. Your child will likely come up with amazing ideas that will make you stop and appreciate them, such as...
- The moment you have together to make the tree
- Laughter and giggling
- Your family pet
- New rain boots
- The Sun
- Fishing weekends with grandpa
- Chocolate or ice cream
The list is endless. Take a moment to write all of their incredible ideas on leaves and glue them onto the tree. These will serve as a powerful reminder of all the blessings and joy you have in life, bringing positive energy for both you and your little one.
Mail Thank You Letters
Thank you letters are not only meaningful ways of telling someone how much we appreciate them but they can also be incredible gratitude exercises. Mailing them is a thoughtful way of expressing how thankful we are for having people in our lives with all of their unique qualities.
For us, writing them is a way of reminding ourselves that we are loved, cared for, and that we are blessed to have loving connections in our lives.
Think about all the things that make someone special and what makes you so happy to have them in your life. Then, write it all down. Let them know how they make you feel.
No matter if it’s our faithful customers, our partners, colleagues, friends, or family, words of affirmation can light up someone’s day. This gesture of kindness can help you remember all the little acts of appreciation you have received and remind you that you are ever supported on your journey.
Take Gratitude Breaks
Every time life gets overwhelming, take a moment to step back and count your blessings. Relax and take a deep breath. Make sure you are comfortable. Think about the things that make your life easier, things that bring you that expansive, happy feeling, people who love you, or places that make you feel especially serene.
You can schedule gratitude breaks or take them when you need them. You can also choose a specific place, such as a meditation corner at home, or your local park. The best thing about this technique is that you can practice this every day, even in the office or during a lunch break.
Show Your Loved Ones How Much They Mean to You
It is not uncommon to take the people who love us for granted. Sometimes we get so accustomed to them being there for us, that we forget to express appreciation and remind them how much we care in return.
That's why gratitude exercises can be as simple as expressing our love and devotion. Choose a person you’d like to express your gratitude to. Think about their best qualities and what makes them so special.
Appreciation can be expressed through action, gift-giving, words, or a simple touch.
- Make a cake for your family.
- Mow the lawn and help your father.
- Take your grandma out for a walk.
- Hug someone you care for.
Whatever expression of kindness you opt for, focus on the positive energy and the beauty of the relationship you share. It will fill your heart with lightness and help you truly cherish the moments you spend with loved ones.
Volunteer or Give Back
How much can we give to a cause or to those who can’t do anything for us speaks volumes about our ability to give and receive love. Volunteering and giving back to others selflessly is gratitude exercise that gives us a unique opportunity to open our heartspace.
Reflect on the possibilities, time, and skills that you have. Take a moment to think about the things you have. Think about how you can use your resources to make a positive change. What are you thankful for that you can share with others?
Try expressing gratitude in the following ways:
- For having the time and resources to help those who need it the most.
- For the opportunity to make this world a better place.
- For the goodness in this world.
- For the opportunity to connect with people via acts of kindness.
- For the ability to empathize and spread love.
Every time we give to others, we are sending a message to the universe that we are thankful for the good things sent our way, which shows that we are ready to make more good things with the resources we have.
Practice Gratitude Meditation
Get comfortable in your favorite meditation position and make sure there are no sensory distractions around you.
Start from your body and your physical surroundings. Visualize your body as vital, light, and strong. Slowly scan your body through visualization from toes to temple, and as you go, feel the energy of gratitude for your physical vessel - for your feet that took you places, for your back that carries weight, etc.
Then visualize the space you live in - the living room where you can rest, the kitchen where you prepare delicious meals, and the warmth of the pillow you sleep on. In the end, expand your gratitude vibration to people, virtues, and spiritual blessings.
You can create your own gratitude meditation practice or follow a guided one. Here are some you might resonate with.
Gratitude is the ultimate expression of love. When we are thankful for the experience, people and things we have, we allow for more of such things to come our way. It is a grateful heart that can truly shine and thrive, and it is a grateful mind that can create miracles.
* Crystals and stones should not be used as a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Please read our full disclosure notice here.