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How to Practice Gratitude

Deepa Kartha
Gratitude, essentially, means acknowledging and being thankful for all the blessings (big or small) in one's life. Research has proved that practicing gratitude on a daily basis can have a positive impact on one's physical health and emotional well-being.

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“The more grateful I am, the more beauty I see.” - Mary Davis

Why Practice Gratitude

Humans have the tendency to focus on the negative, which makes life stressful. Gratitude, on the other hand, aids to shift our focus from the negative to the positive.

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Practicing gratitude helps us to take positive things even from negative incidents or situations of life. It has the ability to decrease stress, boost optimism and even change the patterns of your brain.

Ways to Practice Gratitude

Simply saying thank you is not enough. It is important to make gratitude a part of one's daily life. Practicing gratitude helps us to inculcate it in our behaviour, making it second nature.

Keep a Gratitude Journal

This is the most common as well as the most effective way of practicing gratitude. Writing down the things that you are grateful about every day can help you to stay away from stressful situations and be happier about life in general.
You can write about bigger things like getting promoted, having a new job or passing an exam, or every-day things like getting a good night's sleep, having food on the table, being part of a loving family or having a trusted friend. When it comes to gratitude, nothing is small.

Write a Gratitude Letter

If you have ever been touched by the kindness and good deeds of another human being: a parent, sibling, partner, relative or friend, write a letter to him or her expressing your gratitude.

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The happiness you would feel after writing a gratitude letter is unmatched. Expressing your gratitude through telephone or directly is also a good idea.

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Practice Mindfulness

Most times, our mind is not connected with our physical body. It is the habit of our monkey brain to think about negative issues while doing our everyday tasks. This kind of thinking can help no one. Hence, instead of thinking about the past or worrying about the future, focus on the right now.

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If meditation does not come easily to you, combine meditation with gratitude. Pick 4-5 things that you are thankful for and focus on these with your eyes closed. It is easy to be distracted by wandering thoughts. When this happens, bring back your focus to the gratitude statements.

Appreciate or Compliment Someone

Never stay away from complementing or appreciating someone's efforts or hard work. This could include appreciating or expressing gratitude to our loved ones when they do something for you, things that we usually take for granted.


There is no better way of offering gratitude to the universe than by giving back. Volunteer your time to causes or issues you believe in. Studies have proved that the more you give, the more you feel good, and the more you would have something to be thankful for.


If you are impressed by an organization that is working for the betterment of a particular group of the community, show your appreciating and gratitude not only with words of encouragement but also monetarily. Even a strong contribution is a good way of expressing gratitude

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“Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.” - Zig Ziglar