Community//

How to be grateful

There is good reason to believe that people who cultivate gratitude are often happier than those who do not.

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.

Grateful people appreciate what they have rather than obsess over what they lack. They express their appreciation to other people and generally receive more gratitude in return. These people see each day as a new opportunity to be happy rather than another difficult challenge. While some people may naturally show greater gratitude, do not assume that you cannot cultivate a more appreciative outlook on your own life. It may not be easy, but you will be grateful that you put in the effort.

Be grateful in the moment.

The person holding the door for you, and the customer service employee who helped you figure out why your cell phone was not working and the locksmith Toronto who always there to help you. Saying these words “Thank you” out loud can help strengthen the feeling of gratitude in your life.

Take a minute to say thank you for your life.

Sometimes a good way to find your way again and feel better is to take a break. You should identify the things for which you feel grateful. Sometimes that break time is a good reason to be grateful.

Whether at work, school, or elsewhere, take a walk around your building or go outside for fifteen minutes to get some fresh air. Take this time to reflect on how grateful you are for the opportunity to take a break, stretch your legs, and feel the sun.

Take a moment to notice the little things that you are grateful for, like your morning cup of coffee or your pillow that you sleep on at night.

Tell someone you appreciate them.

You may be busier with your life and forget to tell people that you care about them or that you have noticed what they do and that it means a lot to you. Expressing your appreciation to someone else will cultivate an atmosphere of gratitude that can gradually spread. For example:

Let us say your spouse packs you lunch to go. If so, say or text her something like, “Honey, I know that making lunch doesn’t mean a lot to you, but I really appreciate that you always try to make my mornings a little less hectic.”

Talk about gratitude with your family.

Set aside time, like dinner, to talk about the things you were thankful for that day. Give each member of your family a chance to talk about what made them feel gratitude during the day.

Send thank you notes.

It is amazing what sending a small thank you note can do. Such a note shows that you acknowledge that someone has given you something (their time, effort, or a gift) that they should not have and that you appreciate what they did. You do not need to write a long novel thanking him, but just a couple of lines that let him know what he and his gift, time, effort, among others, meant to you.

It is also good to send (or receive) text messages, emails, voicemails, among others, that express gratitude. However, there is something particularly special about writing a thank you note by hand.

You thank you note can be as simple as a poster with a short message, or you can write it in a notebook with a picture of a flower or a heart.

Give back as part of giving thanks.

Being grateful is not only about telling people that you are, but also about giving back to your friends and your community. This does not mean giving back something so that everything is even, and no one “owes” anything to anyone. Give back just because it is the right thing to do and because it feels good to do it.

If you know the person, help them directly. For example, you can take your grandmother to her medical appointment or help a friend move into their new home.

If you do not know the person, keep up the good work. For example, you could return the favor of your college advisor by helping others.

Focus on the intention behind the kindness someone shows you.

When someone does something nice for you (for example, they give you a gift, bring you a hot meal, or offer to read and edit your thesis), focus on how they tried to bring something good to your life. Someone gave up their precious time, money, among others, just to do something nice for you.

    Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

    You might also like...

    By shutter_o/Shutterstock
    Wisdom//

    Gratitude Is a Skill For Happier Living

    by Thomas Oppong
    5 Ways to cultivate an attitude of gratitude by Mark Pettit of Lucemi Consulting
    Community//

    5 Ways to Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude

    by Mark Pettit
    6 steps to start developing a gratitude mindset by Mark Pettit
    Community//

    6 Ways to Start Developing a Gratitude Mindset

    by Mark Pettit

    Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

    Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

    Thrive Global
    People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

    - MARCUS AURELIUS

    We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.