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Thank You for Reading This

Gratitude has improved my life, how about you?

Kayla Douglas
May 23 · 3 min read

Sunshine warms my skin and I turn my face upwards to take in the blue sky, white fluffy clouds, and the tops of the palm trees swaying just slightly in the breeze. Its incredibly hot today, and I am so grateful for this warmth and sunshine. I take a moment just to feel gratitude for this amazing weather wash over my entire body before I flip open my umbrella to protect my skin from the sun’s rays.

Gratitude is such a powerful feeling. For the rest of the day, any time I catch myself feeling less than amazing, I can replay that moment in my mind and that feeling of gratitude will come washing over me, causing me to smile, sit up straighter, and believe it or not, feel a bit more alert.

The more I practice gratitude, the more naturally it comes to me and the more small things I feel grateful for.

If you have never practiced gratitude before, you may find it useful to write down a few things you feel grateful for in a notebook just before you go to bed at night. The words you write down are not as important as how you feel remembering those things that make you grateful. Just take a few minutes to replay the scenarios in your head and enjoy the memory with true gratitude.

You can also read this article about how Melanie Rockett’s gratitude practice changed her life:

Or this one by Melody Wilding that offers a different approach to gratitude that might work for you if you don’t like my methods:

Whether or not you have been practicing gratitude in the past, here is my list of creative ways to incorporate gratitude into your life.

Use a gratitude app

Download one that reminds you to take a moment. Even if you don’t want to write it down anymore, its a trigger to remember. You can also set an alarm in your phone like in this touching story by Talia Cirangle here:

Write thank you notes.

Not for gifts or attendance at your wedding, write thank you notes to people just for being there for you. Send a thank you email to a coworker or to a company that you have worked with. Surprise someone with your gratitude.

Curate your social media

Only follow posts that are positive and uplifting. That way when you are scrolling your feed you are reminded to be grateful and positive. Avoid getting sucked into the negative complaining.

Savor the small stuff

Enjoy things like the design in your coffee foam or the smile from the barista.

Say “thank you” more

Even when it's not the easiest thing to do. Replace “I’m sorry” with “thank you,” Instead of I’m sorry for being late, say Thank you for your patience.

Read inspiring stories

Enjoy the positive vibes and notice the way gratitude is a thread woven through many of them

Go through your photos

Pick one and write about why you are grateful for that moment. (This idea came from my gratitude app and I really find it useful).

Make a collage

Gather photos of the things you are most often grateful for. Save a collage of them as your desktop background or place it somewhere you see it frequently.

Make time to help others

Serving others is a unique way to practice gratitude by recognizing that we are in a position where we are able to do something for someone else.

Thank yourself

Don’t forget to be grateful for yourself! If that is hard for you Sinem Günel made a handy guide.

There is a lot of research about why gratitude is so beneficial for our health. I’m very grateful that Will Krieger wrote this useful article about it:

Sometimes it’s easier to hold back expressions of gratitude, but challenge yourself to recognize what you appreciate and voice it. Leave a comment below with your experiences practicing gratitude!

The Ascent

A community of storytellers documenting the journey to happiness & fulfillment.

Kayla Douglas

Written by

Life Coach, author, lifelong learner, travel enthusiast, narcolepsy advocate, living in Myanmar, she/her

The Ascent

A community of storytellers documenting the journey to happiness & fulfillment.

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