Four Inspiring Ways To Practice Gratitude Outside of a Journal

Feb 15, 2017

At the end of the day, the one thing we all really want is to be happy, right? But many people struggle to find happiness in their current circumstances, or even if your life seems great on paper, you can't find the joy in every day.

One of the many things I've learned over the past few years is that gratitude helps to create happiness. No, happy people aren't grateful, it's that grateful people are happy.

So it's that simple, right? Be grateful and you'll be happy? If it were that easy we'd have a world of happy people. We can all decide we want to practice gratitude, but it's hard to keep up with if you don't come up with ways that work for you. I mean, just look at my gratitude project that only lasted a few days. Why? Because I kept forgetting to log in to my blog and write things down every day. I had to go out of my way to make it happen and, well, it just didn't happen.

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The key is to work gratitude into your regular life. To help you find a way that works for YOU, here are four inspiring ways to practice gratitude outside of keeping a gratitude journal.

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4 Inspiring Ways To Practice Gratitude Outside of a Journal

1. Follow a threshold ritual.

A threshold ritual is something you do everytime you're going in or out of a location. For example, every time you're fumbling for your keys to unlock your home, remember how grateful you are to have this home and what you love about it. As you're putting away your car keys to go into work, think about how grateful you are for that job, or for one of your coworkers, etc. Use those moments as a cue to be thankful.

2. Make it a family event.

If you eat dinner most evenings with your family or significant other, make it a practice to share one thing that you're grateful for during or before your meal. If you don't live with anyone else, find a friend who also wants to work on gratitude and set a time two or three times a week that you text or call one another and share what you're grateful for. Make a schedule and stick to it and soon you'll find you look forward to those couple of minutes.

3. Utilize technology.

We all look out our phones and computers way too much, so why don't we use them to make our lives a little happier too? Set your screensaver or phone lock screen to an image or quote that reminds you to be grateful. Be sure to change it up every couple of months or you'll become desensitized and not even notice it after a while. Another way to use technology is to change some of your passwords to things like "gratitude" or "I love XYZ" or whatever you're grateful for.

4. Create a gratitude jar.

This one can be fun if you're like me and like to get random pretty mason jars from Home Goods. Pick a jar that you like and that makes you happy. Throughout the week, whenever you think of something that makes you grateful or something good happens, write it down and stick it in that jar when you get home or get to work (wherever you want to keep it!). Then when you're having a rough day or moment, open out the jar and start reading your notes. You'll calm down and feel better quickly.

Still love journaling?

Try something like the Five Minute Journal (or create your own!) that you enjoy writing in and do so either every day or just a few times a week. I actually heard Gretchen Rubin, from the Happiness Project, say that research shows writing in a gratitude journal twice a week is optimal.  Even try setting your phone alarm for a certain time each day or on certain days to remind you to sit down and write in your journal.

The key is to find something that works well for YOU and that you'll actually keep doing.

Now tell me,

How do you practice gratitude? Do you think you could benefit from adding one of these rituals into your life? What are you grateful for today?