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Practicing gratitude is an effective way to consciously think about what you’re thankful for. It can be a simple daily practice that helps boost your mood, improve sleep, and increase empathy. 

When struggling with your mental health, it can be increasingly difficult to focus on the positives in your life. Depression and anxiety can leave you feeling low, nervous, and unsure, according to Psych Central. Although it’s difficult to intentionally focus on what you’re grateful for when living with a mental health disorder, it can be an effective strategy to bring more joy into your life. 

There are several different ways to start practicing gratitude. One of the most basic ways to practice gratitude is by journaling for a few minutes every day, according to Psychology Today. A gratitude journal can be kept by your bedside or in the living room where you will be most likely to use it. The task can be simple and involves you writing down three to five things you’re grateful for. 

The list can include anything that brings you joy or leaves you feeling thankful at the end of the day. You may write about family members, friends, a cup of coffee, a nice walk, or fresh sheets on your bed. As the days and weeks go on, don’t worry if you repeat the things you’re grateful for. Simply focus on how the practice grounds you and helps shift your perspective over time. 

There are a variety of benefits that you may notice after practicing gratitude. According to Positive Psychology, it can create more social connections, reduce aggression, improve self-esteem, and more. If you are nervous that you won’t be able to remember or keep up with journaling daily, there are other ways to practice gratitude.

For some, a gratitude jar may be effective in helping you end the day on a positive note. To start, you cut paper into small pieces and write one thing you’re grateful for on each piece. Once you have around 20 pieces of paper with gratitude notes, you can put them in the jar and pull them out when you’re struggling. This strategy reminds you of what brings you joy even on the hardest days. 

There are also guided worksheets and prompts that can help you practice gratitude. Whether you use books, worksheets, or materials found online, you can follow prompts that may address a specific topic or sensation such as touch or smell, according to Positive Psychology. Some prompt examples might be why you are grateful for your support system or what makes you smile. 

The other great part of practicing gratitude is that it can be given to others. In addition to writing about yourself, you can write a gratitude letter to someone you care about. You can write a letter, email, or text message to this person describing how thankful you are for them. You can mention some of your favorite details from spending time together and talk about how happy you are to have them in your life, according to Psychology Today. This practice not only helps you recognize the strong connections in your life, but it could also brighten another person’s day. 

There isn’t a single way to practice gratitude. It’s a unique experience that requires commitment but can lead to improved mental health. Throughout the gratitude process, remind yourself that there are no expectations. It could be a fun activity that becomes part of your daily routine and leaves you feeling appreciative and fulfilled. 

Works Cited:

Davis, Tchiki. “Five Ways to Practice Gratitude.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 16 Nov. 2017,,of%20all%20the%20things%20you%20are%20grateful%20for.

Gillette, Hope. “How to Practice Gratitude When Depressed: 6 Tips.” Psych Central, 30 Nov. 2022, 

Mike Oppland, BA. “13 Most Popular Gratitude Exercises & Activities.” PositivePsychology.Com, 3 Oct. 2023,


  • Resumetive

    Thanks for the great article about being gratitude. It is cool how saying thanks for the good things can make us feel better.

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