Gratitude in Action: 21 Ways to Give Thanks

Gratitude is an active process of acknowledging goodness and recognizing its source. While gratitude is pleasant, it is not easy, we have to work at it.

The following are easy ways to focus on being grateful:

  1. Start a gratitude journal. List three things you’re grateful for each day. You can start your day with the list or end your day.
  2. Give a thank you note to someone who doesn’t expect it.
  3. Give a bouquet of flowers or small gift to someone you appreciate.
  4. Set a grateful example. Say “thank you” often and easily.
  5. Help someone – physically, financially or by just being there. When you invest in someone else’s life, you more often than not become more grateful for your own life and the blessings you have.
  6. Bring dinner to someone who nurtures others.
  7. Make collages of the people, places and opportunities for which you’re most grateful. Laminate your creations to use as a placemats.
  8. Take a walk in nature and be thankful for God’s creation.
  9. Go online to merchants who make or sell objects you love and leave a positive review. The merchant (and the next shopper) will appreciate it.
  • Plan a date night with your significant other, friend or child. Tune in to what makes you smile, laugh and delight in your time together.
  • Decorate your home for the season (even if it’s just you), celebrate the beauty of changing seasons.
  • Bake “thank you” bread using a monkey bread recipe. As each friend or family member pulls off each piece, have them share something for which they are grateful.
  • Remember bad times, like frustrations, failures and losses, and consider how things have improved. Focus on resiliency and renewal and how God brought you through it.
  • Inspire others. Use social media to describe one unexpected blessing you’ve received.
  • Post thankful expressions in visible locations at home and at work.
  • Perform a random act of coffee kindness. In line at the coffee counter or drive-thru, pay for the drink of the patron behind you. Your generosity will brighten their day and their mood.
  • Speak up publicly (at work or at church) to highlight others’ help and support. Your recognition might be just what someone needs today.
  • Be quick to compliment others. What you put out; you get back.
  • Appreciate your pets. Focus on times you’ve shared. Be grateful for your pet’s unconditional love.
  • Practice random thankfulness. Pick simple cues—like common words—or set an alarm. Use them to trigger thankful thoughts.
  • Volunteer your time and talents to serve others.
  • Read bible verses about Thanksgiving and celebrate God’s miraculous blessings in your life.