How to Put Gratitude into Practice

Ilia Jones  |  Posted: Monday, November 25th, 2019

November is the month of gratitude.  We give thanks around a table full of food, surrounded by family or friends. It’s a time to take notice of the wonderful things and people in your life, and just be grateful. Gratitude has become something of a buzzword these days, but there is power in actually putting gratitude into practice.  Here are a few ways to show your gratitude this holiday season and beyond. 

Commit to a Positive Mindset 

Have you ever encountered a situation that is blatantly stressful or negative?  Most of us have, and oftentimes this leads to a heightened sense of stress or negativity.  Committing to a positive mindset doesn’t mean avoiding negative situations or pretending everything’s okay, it means understanding that you have power over your mindset and your reactions.  Put the situation into perspective and make an intentional decision to focus on the positive until you can get to a solution to the issue.  

A common occurrence during this time of year is family disagreements. If you’re surrounded by family but a situation arises where you find yourself confronted with stress or negativity, consider your situation. You’re surrounded by those you love, and you likely have the luxury of stepping away from the situation. Focus on the positive aspects of your current state.  If you’re in a stressful situation, it’s likely temporary, and you have the power to commit to a positive mindset. 

Practice Consideration 

Being a considerate person ties directly to the practice of gratitude.  The quality of consideration means showing careful thought or being careful not to hurt others.  The people in your life are there for a reason, and they likely enrich your life in a positive way.  Showing them consideration shows that you’re grateful for them.  

A simple way to show consideration is to be thoughtful of your words. Often when we become close to someone we feel comfortable speaking without a filter. This shift to consider your words carefully can instantly show those you care about that you’re grateful that they are in your life. 

Keep a Gratitude Journal 

There are known social, physical and psychological health benefits to the practice of gratitude. One way to develop a gratitude practice and receive those benefits is to start a gratitude journal. This is the simple act of writing down or typing out the things that you’re grateful for at this very moment.  Start small and try not to overwhelm yourself. You could even start by stating the things you’re grateful for out loud each day. This is referred to as affirmations, and it has been thought to shift a person’s perspective making for a more positive, and productive day. Whether you write it down, keep it in your phone, or say it aloud, take a moment each day to “journal” on what you’re grateful for. 

All of these gratitude practices can be applied to both your personal and professional lives. Just think of how much more smooth your workday could be if you simply chose to look on the positive side when things didn’t go as expected or when you were faced with a challenge.  Similarly, when you feel that you’ve been let down in your personal life, consider the other’s perspective to gain a fuller view of the situation. What are you grateful for? Have you shown that gratitude to that person or thing? Start today and discover the power of gratitude.