Step 1: Learn About It

Step 2: Put it into Practice

You may be thankful for your spouse, but simply writing “I’m grateful for my spouse.” every week won’t be as helpful. Instead, be as specific as possible.

For example, you could write, “I’m grateful for my spouse because my wife surprised me with concert tickets when she knew I was having a rough week.”

The next time you find yourself saying, “I have to…” change your language to “I get to.” For example, your child just made the travel soccer team and your first reaction is “I have to drive to practice three times a week. I don’t have time for that.” You can shift your thinking from “I have to…” to “I get to see my child doing something that she loves.”

If you’re a reluctant writer, keeping a photo or video gratitude journal might be a good alternative. You can take photos of everyday moments that make you feel grateful. Store those images on your phone and you can review them during stressful times.

During family meals or other together time, you can ask everyone in the family to state something that they are thankful for. Ask your family members follow-up question as to why they are grateful for those things. For example, if your child is grateful for the family dog, it might be helpful to ask what about the dog makes you grateful.

Write a letter, email, or text of thanks to someone you are grateful to have in your life. Be detailed and let them know how they personally have affected your life for the better. Do it unexpectedly.

Pick a rock. Make sure to pick one you like, whether you like it because it’s pretty or because you picked it up from a special place. Put the rock somewhere you will see it throughout your day. Whenever you see it, pause to think about at least one thing you are grateful for.

Pick a rock. Make sure to pick one you like, whether you like it because it’s pretty or because you picked it up from a special place. Put the rock somewhere you will see it throughout your day. Whenever you see it, pause to think about at least one thing you are grateful for.

Step 3: W(RAP) it up

W(RAP) It Up: Create a plan to move forward.

You’ve learned how incorporate a gratitude practice into your life, which is important for resilience. Click on the link below, print it out and think about: what should you stop doing, continue doing, and start doing.

Step 4: Explore Further

To learn more, explore our recommended resources.

books

  • A Simple Act of Gratitude: How Learning to Say Thank You Changed My Life by John Kralik
  • Thanks! How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier by Robert Emmons

articles

online videos