3 Ways to Practice True Gratitude

Every year at the beginning of the holiday season, we sit around the dinner table, turkey-filled plate in hand and ask each other the same old question: what are you thankful for? Every time that question is asked, it occurs to me the difference between being grateful and practicing gratitude. To practice gratitude is to notice something good and fully and genuinely appreciate it. There are many ways that we can practice true gratitude that are beneficial to ourselves and the people around us. Read on to discover a few of those ways!

  1. 1. Meditate

    For many people, one of the most effective ways to practice gratitude is to choose one thing that they are grateful for every day and meditate on it. Whether it be a good meal, time spent with a loved one or even just a really good hair day, sitting and focusing for a few minutes on how lucky you are to have had that experience does not only increase feelings of gratitude, but also happiness and awareness. Meditation does not have to be scary, and you don't necessarily have to sit in a dark room. Meditation can be as simple as writing your gratitude thoughts in a journal every morning or waking up with a few deep breaths and your favorite reflective podcast.

  2. 2. Volunteer

    One of the most effective ways to increase feelings of gratitude is to expose yourself to those less fortunate than you. By helping others, you are forced to focus on the positive qualities of your own life, while making a difference in the lives of others. Especially around the holidays, there are so many places you can volunteer your time, whether it's a food pantry, animal shelter or childcare facility. Not to mention that seeing the gratitude from those you are helping will show you how you can be thankful for the smallest things.

  3. 3. Random Act of Kindness

    Another way to practice gratitude is to do one random act of kindness per day. Whether it be holding open the door for someone, paying for a stranger's coffee or complimenting someone on their shoes, random acts of kindness are amazing ways to remind yourself of the good in the world, all while reminding another person too. Plus, kindness spreads like wildfire, so you never know when you will receive a RAOK yourself!

By practicing a little bit of gratitude every day, you can truly change your life and the lives of people around you. I'd like to say how grateful I am that you took the time to read this article, and I hope you have a grateful and delicious Thanksgiving!