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5 Unique Ways to Practice Gratitude

5 Unique Ways to Practice Gratitude
Every day our lives are filled with little moments that we may be subconsciously thankful for, but that we very rarely fully acknowledge. When you take the time to acknowledge these little things by practicing gratitude, you’ll feel more at peace and you’ll feel more joy. Only 33% of Americans in a recent survey were able to say that they are happy in their day-to-day lives. Something as simple as practicing gratitude can have a big impact on your overall happiness and you can do it in several different unique ways.

1. Start an appreciation calendar.
Gratitude journals have long been a trusty tool for those who aim to practice gratitude, but you can take your practice a step farther with an appreciate calendar. This can take the form of a traditional hanging calendar or a planner, but just be sure that you have enough room on each day to write five things for which you are grateful. A calendar is a great format for appreciation because you can see every little thing that brings you gratefulness during an entire month.

2. Write a handwritten letter.
Write a letter by hand to someone who you have never properly thanked. Throughout your life, you have met many people in many places, and every one of them has likely had an impact on you. Take the time to write a true, heartfelt letter to one of these people. Let them know how your life has been changed because of their presence in it and express true thankfulness.

3. Turn gossiping sessions into gratefulness sessions.
When you get together with friends it can be easy into falling into a litany of complaints about your boss, bad drivers, awkward dates, and so much more. Instead of starting out your get-togethers with the things that have been bothering you, make an effort to instead share the highlights of your week. This gives you the opportunities to voice gratefulness and celebrate the good things together.

4. Think of everything as a gift.
One great way to transform the small and seemingly mundane parts of life into opportunities for gratitude is to frame everything as a gift. Rather than thinking of your morning cup of coffee as just a cup of coffee, think of it as a gift of coffee. When you share a laugh with a coworker in the break room, think of that interaction as the gift of laughter. Once you change your language surrounding the smaller parts of your day, the gratitude and joy will follow.

5. Thank those in the service industry.
The service industry makes the world go round, but those in it often do not receive true thanks. The next time you interact with a barista, banker, or grocer, take a moment to ask their name and then sincerely thank them for the coffee they serve you or the produce they bag for you. Your life would be very different without them in it, and they deserve to hear your thanks.

Gratitude can be incorporated into every day of our lives in ways you would never have thought of before. By making efforts to practice gratitude in these small ways, you’ll start to feel more joy spread through every facet of your day.
Written by Matt O’Grady
Matt O’Grady studied Psychology in college at Hofstra University and has worked in marketing for the last 25 years. Starting off at the book publishing company Harcourt, Inc., Matt then moved into magazine publishing, launching his own magazine and custom publishing company. Now, in addition to Matt O'Grady Coaching, he owns and operates the Digital Marketing Company HarmoniaMedia.com. Matt is the author of Living Gratitude: A Simple Path to Happiness, which has received rave reviews from its readers. Matt also has his own Matt O'Grady Coaching Podcast, 7 years running with over half a million downloads, where he teaches his audience about meditation, self awareness, how to be happier, more successful, appreciative of the present moment, and deeply grateful. 
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