Three Easy Ways to Practice Gratitude

Ever wonder why some people are generally happy? The answer may lay in one-word, gratitude. People with an “attitude of gratitude” seem to be upbeat, positive and energized. Here are just a few benefits of being grateful:

  1. Improves our physical and psychological health
  2. Increases our energy, quality of sleep and mental strength
  3. Reduces negative emotions such as envy, hatred, and anger
  4. Increases positive emotions such as love and empathy
  5. Helps people recover from substance misuse
  6. Reduces depression and improves self-esteem
  7. Keeps suicidal thoughts and attempts at bay

3 Game Changers

1. Catch Others
Catch someone around you doing something right and tell them about it. As learned from Ken Blanchard, this shifts your thinking to one of appreciation and will do wonders for relationships whether at work or at home. Imagine if you came home from work and noticed what your family members did right and you told them about it. Would they be surprised? More importantly; how would they feel? It is easy for us to notice what’s wrong. But noticing the good…well, that’s a game changer. By making this a habit you will begin to notice more of the goodness around you. You will see more positive and less negative and begin to see what is right in your world rather than what is wrong. Develop the habit of catching one or more people in your life doing something good daily and tell them about it.

2. Thank You Notes
Next time you are at a retail or grocery store pick up a packet of thank you cards. Commit to taking a moment, one day each week, and reflect on three people in your life you are grateful for. Write them each a thank note letting them know why you appreciate them in your life. Imagine going to the mailbox and getting such a note. It is a game changer for all involved.

3. Catch Yourself
When you find yourself in a state of worry, fear, self-doubt or self-criticism shift your thinking to things you are grateful for. It is a game changer for you!


Author Larry Tracey, is Executive Director of which focuses on Success, Skill and Leadership development in youth and Program Director of the Way Out West Coalition, which is focused on creating a safe and unified, drug-free community. Email to request additional information or visit and

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