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Ten Easy Ways to Show Gratitude

With Thanksgiving and other holidays coming up, you’re going to hear the word “gratitude” a lot. Don’t let it become another to-do item on your list! Studies have shown that incorporating gratitude into your daily life is good for your health. Better yet, it’s easy.

Here are ten simple ways you can show gratitude daily:

1. Say “thank you”
Sending someone a handwritten note is definitely special, and a heartfelt text or email showing your appreciation for a specific act will brighten someone’s day.

2. Give someone a hug
Of course, only when appropriate, but showing a loved one this simple physical kindness reminds them you are grateful for their existence.

3. Clean up after yourself
At home or in the office kitchen, this small act shows that you respect other people’s space and are appreciative of their own efforts to keep communal areas clean.

4. Take a 24-hour complaint break
You’ll probably be surprised how often you lean on complaints when things don’t go your way. Ban complaints for 24 hours and try to find the good in any situation.

5. Do someone a favor
Pay for the coffee of the person behind you in line. Do that chore you know your partner hates without being asked. You’ll feel great.

6. Give public acknowledgement
Yes, thank you notes are great, but if you can find a way to show your appreciation for a coworker or friend in public it’s even better. A simple toast at dinner, or a thank you in a meeting goes a long way.

7. Keep a gratitude journal or jar
Jot down things your grateful for as often as you can. Daily, weekly, even monthly. It’s amazing to watch them pile up. Get your family in on the action and write them down on colorful slips of paper you keep in a jar. Revisiting them on Thanksgiving or New Year’s Day is a fun and meaningful family activity.

8. Practice a gratitude ritual
Don’t let the name of this one scare you. All it means is to think a little “thank you” when you wake up, before you even get out of bed. It can be as simple or complex as you want to make it.

9. Turn your gratitude into a decoration
Perfect for the holidays! We love this gratitude tree idea that gets Thanksgiving guests in on the action. They write their thoughts on colorful paper leaves and tie it to the branches. Voila — lovely décor for the day and way more fun than going around the table.

10. Volunteer
Nothing shows gratitude for what you have more than sharing it with others in your community. Not sure how to get started? Ask friends and neighbors or try a site like Volunteer Match.

Once you start incorporating gratitude into your day you’ll find it gets easier and easier. You’ll start feeling more content, and as a bonus, you’ll probably also find that others will start sharing their gratitude with you. It’s a win-win.

We’d love to hear how you’re practicing gratitude.