Gratitude Mindful Living Personal development Wednesday Wisdom

5 easy gratitude exercises guaranteed to make you happier

5 easy gratitude exercises guaranteed to make you happier

It is G for Gratitude and I’ve got five fun gratitude exercises for you today that fit in perfectly with my Wednesday Wisdom series.

Without going into the health benefits of practicing gratitude, I am going to get right down to the exercises.

But do feel free to browse these posts if you would like to dig deeper:

What is gratitude? How to practice gratitude? With 100 gratitude journal prompts

A step by step guide to starting a gratitude journal

Gratitude Meditation

10 Ways to express gratitude

Now, on to the . . .

5 easy gratitude exercises guaranteed to make you happier

5 easy gratitude exercises to make you happier

Make an A to Z Gratitude list

I love lists. And this one has a tiny challenge built into it, which makes it fun. So, sit down. Close your eyes. Take a deep breath. Think about all the things you are grateful for. Then take a sheet of paper and a pencil and list them—here’s the twist—beginning with A and working your way through the alphabet to Z. Feel free to be silly—embrace the exercise and enjoy the laughter that is inevitable. If you can do this with a child, even better.

I’d love it if you shared your list on social media and tagged me. I am @vidyasury on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook

Make a Gratitude Jar

This is perhaps my all-time favorite. An amazingly easy gratitude exercise that has more benefits and joy than you would expect. Just looking at it can be a mood-changer.

What you need

  • a jar/box/container
  • maybe some stickers, glitter—be creative and make it as pretty as you want
  • paper and a pen or pencil for writing your gratitude notes. I vote for colored paper!
  • … and gratitude!

Decorate your jar/box and place it where you can see it every day.

Here’s the important part: you can do this at the beginning of your day or at the end of your day. Think of at least three things you are grateful for. Can be anything: your morning coffee, breakfast, that cute bird you saw at your window, your family, your friend, a special gesture – whatever you feel grateful for. Note the day’s three on a slip of colored paper and drop it into the jar.

You’ll see the jar filling up . . . and if there’s a day you’re feeling rather low, just pick out a handful of notes from the jar and read them. It is a great reminder of the good things in your life. For me, just the sight of my jar is enough to pick me up.

Easy, no? Especially fun to do with kids.

Carry a Gratitude Pebble

What? Carry a pebble? But wait. The pebble is just a gentle nudge to remind you of what you have that you are grateful for.

What do you need?

A pebble, of course.

Pick one that you like. I have a handful of pebbles picked from a special place, some with interesting textures.

Can’t find a pebble? No problem. Pick an object that is easy to carry around. Yeah, flexible like that.

You can carry your pebble or object with you, place it on your desk where you can see it or even wear it as an accessory.

Every time you see it or touch it, pause for a moment and think of at least one thing you are grateful for.

  • Is it the sunshine today?
  • Is it your work?
  • Is it your child’s/partner’s hug?

Anything that brings you joy.

And at the end of the day, reflect on all the things you were grateful for. Feel like putting it on that paper and dropping it into your Gratitude Jar? Go for it.

This is a great mindfulness exercise as well as it makes you focus on the present moment and triggers positive thinking. Doing it many times a day—you do the math!

Easy gratitude exercise with a pebble

Walk the Gratitude Walk

Another super-easy gratitude exercise, the gratitude walk is fun. All you need is intention and a pair of feet. You got both, right?

This may feel a little odd initially, but you’ll be surprised how many things you can find to be grateful for! The gratitude walk is a quick way to find the things you are grateful for in your life.

Especially suitable for when you’re going through a tough time, the gratitude walk can cleanse your soul and mind.

We know that walking itself is a therapeutic activity and comes with a long list of health benefits. Increased endorphins that decrease stress, better heart health, better blood circulation, and so on. Combine it with a grateful state of mind and you can assure yourself of a positive outlook.

The goal of this gratitude exercise is to consciously observe the things you see around you when you walk. Take it all in. Be aware of your surroundings. The colors, the sounds, the smells. How do your feet feel when you step? Express your gratitude for all that you are feeling and experiencing right now. This activity is even better with a friend or partner.

Things I usually notice on a gratitude walk are nature, the breeze, the houses in our area, the street vendor, the soothing sounds of life—and as I focus on each thing, I discover things I may have walked past. Such a wonderful feeling to live in the present moment.

Work the gratitude worksheet

This easy gratitude exercise is quick because there are prompts for you to respond to. Feel free to print them out and complete the sentences. If they make you delve deeper into everything you are grateful for, great.

Here are the prompts:

  • “I am grateful for my family because…”
  • “Something good happened this week and that is…”
  • “I am grateful for my friendship with… because…”
  • “I am grateful for who I am because…”
  • “Something silly that I am grateful for…”
  • “Something else I am grateful for…”

That’s it.

Oh, I have a post about another easy gratitude exercise:

The Gratitude Visit exercise – try it if you feel like.

Did you enjoy these easy gratitude exercises?

Which one would you try first? 

Easy Gratitude Exercises to feel happier

Wednesday Wisdom is a series with short bursts of easy-to-consume wisdom in the form of inspiring stories, verse, quotes, anecdotes, reflections, easy meditation, thought-provoking questions and humor.

4 Comments

  • Reply
    Birgit
    April 9, 2020 at 7:24 pm

    These are excellent and I will go to Facebook and post my A to Z list of gratitude

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      April 9, 2020 at 9:34 pm

      Thank you, Birgit. Please do tag me. I want to see it!

  • Reply
    G Angela
    April 10, 2020 at 9:38 am

    Brilliant Vidya I was smiling as I read this post: I am familiar with the things you mentioned except for gratitude walk, sounds interesting and agree with benefits of walking adding gratitude will create wonders. I never tried gratitude pebble… I keep gratitude list and keep posting on the monthly blog post. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    Jobin reddy
    April 29, 2020 at 3:22 pm

    Hey Vidya, This post is very unique and amazing! I loved it so much. It’s absolutely true that by expressing gratitude we can feel better towards our lives. I liked this gratitude walk idea. From now, I will also do a gratitude walk for my mental and physical health both and will definitely share your article with my near ones. My friends will surely be happy after reading your article and can benefit from this. Keep sharing great articles like this.

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