How to Practice Gratitude and Change Your Life

It sounds too simple, right?! Learn how to practice gratitude and change your life. Well, this simple practice can be transformational, and it really is easy. So, let’s give it a try – we will share some tips for how to practice gratitude in your daily life and why you absolutely should!

What is a gratitude practice?

A gratitude practice is really just being intentional and consistent about noting what you are grateful for. It can be very informal. For example, at night before you go to bed you could think to yourself about what you are grateful for from the day. Your gratitude practice can also be more formal. Write down each day what you are grateful for and/or tell someone else about it. The part that really makes it a practice is that you do it at the same time, and you do it every day. It is a ritual for you.

How do Justin and I practice?

Both Justin and I practice daily. We write down what we are grateful for in our journals. At the end of the week, we ask each other what our favorite thing from the week was. It’s always something I’ve written down in my journal at some point during the week.

Vertical image of woman sitting on couch cross legged journaling.

So, how can gratitude change your life?

I get it…you might be skeptical. How could the simple act of writing down what you are grateful for each day really change your life that much?! From my own experience, I will share just a few of the ways my gratitude practice has changed my life.

  • Calms anxiety – whenever I get anxious, I turn my focus to what I’m grateful for. Try it. It’s really hard to be anxious and grateful at the same time. Gratitude wins, and anxiety fades. This has been extremely helpful during my pregnancy, especially during the first trimester when I was so nervous and worried we could miscarry again. Having a steady gratitude practice helps me focus on the positive, rather than the what-ifs, maybes and worries.
  • Brings me to the present – thinking about what I’m grateful for shifts me right to now. Whatever is happening right now that is beautiful and worth pausing on for a moment. It’s easy to get lost, focusing on re-hashing the past or worrying about the future, but really right now, this moment at our feet, is the only one that we have. My gratitude practice helps me be more present, and that is always welcomed.
  • Changes focus to what you have – this kind of goes along with being more present, but with a little different twist. Sometimes when we are so goal-oriented and always striving and reaching to be better, it’s get easy to forget to be grateful for what we have and what we’ve already achieved. Justin and I get caught in this trap at times. Have you ever noticed how always thinking about what you want gets very unsettling? You feel like you are lacking, but really your life could be very full. You’ve just wandered and are focusing on the wrong things. A gratitude practice helps you focus on what you have, and you start to realize just how full and amazing your life is.
  • Initiates a ripple effect – starting small, finding gratitude for the simplest things leads to more gratitude. You start to see things you are grateful for everywhere. And as you carry this attitude and practice forward, you begin to attract more good stuff. Something as simple as writing down what you are grateful for each day, shifts the way you look at life. This creates space for more and more of the good stuff.
Horizontal image of woman sitting on couch cross legged journaling about gratitude.

Some tips for how to practice gratitude

  1. Decide right now – choose to start your own gratitude practice. Find an empty journal or get a new one you’re excited about.
  2. Set a time – choose the time of day you will consistently write down what you are grateful for. We find it works best as part of your morning or nighttime routine. Basically, right when you get up or right before you go to sleep.
  3. Just 3-5 things a day – find the simplest of things you are grateful for and write them down. This can be waking up next to your partner, going for a walk, a sunny morning, a coffee date to catch up with a friend, etc.
  4. Share the love – this is like extra credit! Share with your partner or a friend what you are grateful for, like Justin and I do on our Friday date nights. Even more amazing would be to tell the people you jot down in your journal that you’re grateful for them. You’ll make their day!

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Time to start your own gratitude practice!

So, what are you grateful for TODAY!? Comment below and tell us what you are grateful for. Then, if you enjoyed this post and found it helpful make sure to share! Let’s live better together! Tag us in your gratitude posts on Instagram @realsimplegood and #TheRSGLife. We can’t wait to hear about what you’re grateful for!


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2 thoughts on “How to Practice Gratitude and Change Your Life

  • Keeping a gratitude journal can help you go forward in every experience in life, even when times are difficult. I found even more powerful than just keeping a journal, is to write a personalized letter and hand deliver it to the person. Let them read it. That changes lives for them and yourself
    Tonight I went to a grief class and one of the papers she sent home with us was one paper to add to a gratitude list to help those who have lost loved ones get through the Holiday Season.

    • Wow Carol! This is such a great testimony about gratitude journaling and beyond. Love the idea of writing a letter to someone and giving it to them! Thanks so much for taking the time to share and be here. We really appreciate it! <3

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