World Gratitude Day

Tips for Living Gratefully

Published: Monday, September 21, 2015   /   Categories: Leadership

Today is World Gratitude Day.Created over 50 years ago, World Gratitude Day is an international holiday when people focus on what they are grateful for. It’s also a time to express gratitude to the people who have had a positive impact on your life.Gratitude is a subject that has been gaining traction for some time now. Science has shown that gratitude can improve your life immensely.One of the most important keys to gaining happiness is to have the proverbial “attitude of gratitude.” It will change your life. That’s what it did for me!

The Problem

Unfortunately, most people don’t make it a point to practice gratitude. It’s just something we do because it’s good manners. Because of this, we don’t get to experience the awesome benefits that gratitude brings.So, if gratitude is so wonderful, why don’t we take the time to express it? Why have we relegated the words “thank you” to something we do when someone opens a door for us?

Why People Don’t “Do” Gratitude

It’s because we have been programmed to focus on the negative. Every day, we go through our lives dwelling on the stressful things that make us unhappy. We’ve all been there, and it sucks.Because of this, we deal with unnecessary stress, frustration, and even depression. Sounds pretty gloomy, doesn’t it? Well, the good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way.

Forming The Gratitude Habit

The solution is to work on making gratitude a habit. Gratitude isn’t just something you do once. If you want to experience the true benefits of gratitude, you have to make it a habit. There’s several ways you can do this. Many people start out by writing in a gratitude journal on a regular basis. Gratitude journals are a great way to focus your mind on the positives in your life.However, you can experience the true power of gratitude when you take it a step further.You must also express gratitude on a regular basis.William Arthur Ward said:“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a gift and not giving it.”Each one of us has people who have made our lives better in some way. These could be mentors, friends, teachers, a spouse, or family members.When we take the time to tell those people how they have affected us, we are giving them a gift. One of the deepest desires we have is to feel like we are important and appreciated. We want to know that we matter to others.There’s no better way to show someone how much they matter than to express true, heartfelt gratitude. That’s why it’s a gift. It’s the gift of letting them see how important they are.  Also, expressing gratitude makes YOU happier. The rest of this post will give you 4 tips that will help you make gratitude a regular part of your life.

There Isn’t Just One Way To Do It

Expressing gratitude doesn’t have to be complicated. You don’t need to approach the other person with a tearful speech while being backed by a lush string orchestra. Unless, of course, you’re into that kind of thing.There are many ways to express gratitude. You can do it in the way you feel most comfortable. For example, I’m more comfortable expressing myself by writing, so I use email.Some may prefer to do it in person. Others might do it over the phone. You might also consider getting them a small gift with a handwritten note. It’s not important how you do it. What’s important is that you’re doing it at all.

Be Specific

When you’re expressing gratitude, it’s important that the other person knows exactly what they did that impacted you. This is why it’s important to be as specific as possible. Try not to describe your reasons for being grateful in generous terms.Many times, people feel like the efforts they are making aren’t making much of a difference. They may feel that others don’t appreciate the things they do.This is why it’s so important to be specific when you’re telling them why you’re grateful for them. Not only does it show them that you’re paying attention, it also encourages them to keep doing it.You also want to be specific when talking about how their actions helped you. They should know how they made you feel. This makes it real to them.

Don’t Expect Anything Back

This point is important. Sometimes people make the mistake of expressing gratitude and expecting the other person to reciprocate.In some cases, you may be disappointed.The other person may not respond in the way you want them to. I’m not saying they’ll get mad, but maybe they won’t give much of a response. That’s okay.Remember, gratitude is a gift. It’s freely given without expecting anything in return. Maybe they just don’t know what to say. Or maybe they’re not the expressive type.The point is to remember why you’re doing this. Expressing gratitude helps you, and that’s what you need to focus on. If it helps them too then that’s even better. But if not, that’s okay.

Do It Regularly

If gratitude is truly going to have an impact on your life, it needs to be consistent. It only really works when you make it into a habit.Practicing gratitude is like working out. You wouldn’t expect to become physically fit just by working out once every few weeks, right? In the same way, you shouldn’t expect gratitude to make a difference in your life unless you're practicing it  regularly.This doesn’t mean you need to do it every single day (unless you want to). It means you should do it at a consistent rate.For example, you may not want to write in your gratitude journal every single day. Instead, you can do it 3 times per week. Or two times per week.The same goes for expressing gratitude. Maybe you can make a point to show gratitude to at least 2 people per week.Consistency is key when it comes to gratitude.


The reason gratitude is so important to me is because it’s changed my life. From the day I first started keeping a gratitude journal, to the time when I did my 30-Day Gratitude Challenge.I write a lot about gratitude because I know that everyone deals with various struggles and problems. We go through stress, discouragement and other types of pain.Gratitude is one of the best ways to force yourself to focus on the things in your life that are going right. It allows you to adopt a better mindset. It’s been scientifically shown to make you healthier, stronger, and more productive.  The most important aspect of practicing gratitude is the effect you will have on others. When I did my 30-Day challenge, I discovered that people need to hear words of gratitude.Some of the people who received one of my emails told me that they were going through a hard time. The email made them feel much better. It showed them that what they did mattered.As I stated earlier, people need to feel like they are important. Gratitude shows them how important they are. That’s why it’s such a gift.I’d encourage every single person who reads this post to start your gratitude journey today. It doesn’t have to be perfect. You don’t have to do this every single day.Just do your best to practice gratitude consistently. It will change your life for the better. How will you incorporate gratitude into your life? Please share!

 Jeff Charles is the founder of Artisan Owl Media, an Austin-based content marketing and sales coaching company that specializes in helping entrepreneurs increase their influence and earn more clients. You can download his free eBook "Sales Techniques For The Non-Salesy Entrepreneur" for actionable tips that can help you convert more prospects into customers.


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