There are so many wonderful ways to practice gratitude. And learning how to be grateful can have such a dramatic impact on your days and life as a whole. But if you’re struggling to be grateful, then learning how to practice gratitude with different gratitude ideas and tips can really help.
As Christians especially, God’s Word tells us to be grateful. So it’s an important spiritual discipline you need to practice as a Christian mom. But it can be all too easy to get into a mode of bitterness and discontentment, even as a Christian.
If you find yourself having a hard time with implementing more gratitude into your life, then these gratitude ideas can give you a framework that you can start following to help you get better with it.
So let’s talk about how to be grateful and all the different ways to practice gratitude every day.
Start your day by thanking God
Let’s start to be grateful at the very beginning of your day. When you first wake up get into the habit of thinking of 1-3 things that you can outwardly thank God for. He is who we should be most grateful to. And it’s easy to find just a few things that you’re grateful for each morning.
I’ll make it even easier for you by giving you some gratitude ideas for the morning.
Thank God for…
- Giving you another day
- Your Bible that you get to read from each day
- For Jesus saving you from your sins
- The weather outside
- A good night’s sleep
- Your safe home to sleep in
- Something fun you get to do today
- The job you and/or your husband have that helps you pay the bills
- Your family and the love you have between each other
- Your coffee! (or tea) 🙂
These are just ten things that (most) people can say that they are blessed with. And they are most definitely things to be grateful for. So get into the habit of thanking God for at least 1-3 of them each morning when you first wake up.
Here are some great signs you could hang up by your bed to remind you to thank God in the morning:
Liberally give out compliments and thank yous
One of the many ways to practice gratitude is to be quick to show your appreciation towards others and what they do for you. Whether it’s something small or large, being quick to thank others can have a big impact on your heart. And it can really mean a lot to others too.
If you want to be grateful then you’ll need to learn to recognize the things to be grateful for. Sometimes it can be easy to overlook the things that others do for you. But being grateful for them and their contributions is so important to learning how to be grateful.
Another thing that goes along with being thankful to others is giving frequent (yet not inappropriately so) compliments. You don’t want to make people uncomfortable. But giving them little compliments on something they did or something you can tell they worked hard on can mean so much to them and warm your heart up to be more grateful.
Again, I want to stress not to be too forward and to learn to recognize when a compliment might be ill-received. But try to keep your compliments innocent and kind. Just work hard to recognize other people for what they do. Perhaps it’s a compliment about a job well done at work, or a shy co-worker or friend who is wearing a lovely dress. Whatever the case may be, taking the time to notice these things can help to soften your heart and show more love towards others.
Here are some lovely thank you cards you can give to those you are grateful for:
And if you want to take your thank you one step further, here are some thank you gifts you can give them:
Start a gratitude journal
I probably could’ve started this article on how to practice gratitude with this. But that’s the obvious place to start, isn’t it. 😉 However, I can’t deny the power of writing in a gratitude journal on a regular basis as one of the essential ways to practice gratitude. It really is.
Not everyone is a writer, but there a lot of different types of gratitude journals that are good for anyone. There a the free-form style ones of course, but there are also those that have a framework in a worksheet kind of style for you to follow. So whatever level of writing you’re comfortable with, there is something out there to help you to start and maintain a gratitude journal.
There are even gratitude journals that contain gratitude ideas and prompts to get you going. But one of my favorite methods for keeping a gratitude journal is to simply think of a certain amount of things you’re grateful for each day. It’s simple and gives you a guideline to follow.
No matter how you decide to do it, writing in a gratitude journal will greatly help you as you learn how to be grateful in your life.
Here are some great gratitude journal options you can try:
Smile more often (even when you don’t want to)
Our brains are marvelous creations. God created them to be capable of being trained and shaped by our own actions and attitudes. This can, of course, affect us negatively because it means that we can easily form bad habits and connections in our brain. But it also can be used to benefit us too.
You may have heard the saying, “fake it ’til you make it”. And it’s used in a lot of different contexts — from being more confident to being more happy. And in this case to being more grateful! There’s actually some science to this too. Because when you train your brain to do things that connect with being confident, happy, or grateful, etc. you are actually teaching yourself to be more of these very things.
The Bible says that we are to bring every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). And this is an example of God instructing us to do this very thing. So take your negative attitude captive and choose to smile instead! In the long run it will help you to be more happy and grateful, even if you’re not feeling it at first.
Here are some fun little things that can help you remember to smile throughout the day:
Spend time volunteering for those in need
Nothing can make you feel more grateful than when you see first hand those without the things that you take for granted everyday. Do you remember that list of gratitude ideas that we started our day thanking God for? Well, it’s important to remember that not everyone has those things.
Taking time to volunteer and help others in need can give them the assistance they need. It can help you to practice the compassion that Christ shows to others (and us). And it can help you to be more grateful for the things that God has provided you with — from the small to the large.
So find a way that you (and even your family as a group) can spend some time volunteering for those that are less fortunate. You’ll find that helping others is a wonderful way to learn how to practice gratitude.
Start a gratitude jar
As with a gratitude journal, a gratitude jar is a great activity for the whole family to learn how to be grateful. Because you can discipline yourself as a family to add at least one thing every day that you’re grateful for.
There are a lot of great ways to make a gratitude jar, and you can really allow yourself to get creative with it. I even have a gratitude jar printable pack that can help you to create your own beautiful gratitude jar. You can click here to learn more about it.
Of all the ways to practice gratitude, this is one of my favorites. Because it’s fun for the whole family, it’s easy to keep up on, and at the end of the year you can have a jar emptying party with the family where you open it up and read all the wonderful ways that God has blessed you during the previous year.
If you want to practice gratitude using a gratitude jar, be sure to check out my post about how to make a gratitude jar for your family, and pick up your gratitude jar printables pack.
Pray and thank God for things throughout the day
The Bible tells us to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). And praying with a thankful heart throughout the day is one of the many ways to practice gratitude. Consistently coming to God in thankful prayer throughout the day is a great way to learn how to be grateful.
If you’re not sure about what kinds of things you can thank God for throughout the day, just remember that you can pick things as simple as the gratitude ideas I gave you for the morning. They don’t have to be things that are too complicated. But it’s good to recognize even the little things as small blessings.
So try to get into the habit of praying throughout the day. And as you do, make many of those prayers prayers of thanksgiving. As you continuously do this, you’ll find yourself to be more grateful and content with all that God has blessed you with.
Here are some helpful prayer reminder and tracker apps to help you remember to pray during the day:
Spend more intentional time with your family
Life can get really busy and distracting. Even if you’re a stay-at-home-mom you can often find yourself going days without actually getting down on the floor and playing with your kids. There’s always something that needs to be done or screens that can be so distracting!
But in order to be grateful it’s important to take time to enjoy the most special things that God has blessed you with. And truly the most special is your family. When you get to the final days of your (hopefully) long life you won’t find yourself looking back on your life and wishing that you had worked longer hours or kept the house cleaner. No, more than likely, if anything, one of your regrets could turn into not having spent enough time with your family. Because they are a precious blessing from the Lord.
So take time to enjoy the family that God has blessed you with. Doing so will help you to be more grateful for them and your life in general.
Here are some books and printables that can give you lots of ideas for fun family activities:
Intentionally flip-flop your thought process
Remember when we talked about how smiling more frequently throughout the day can help to change your mindset by training your mind? Well, this one goes right along with that as well. Because it takes some intentional brain-training, but it can really make a big difference in helping you to be grateful if you stick with it.
Basically what you do is if you catch yourself thinking negatively or in a way that is discontent, then you immediately think of the opposite. So let’s say you find yourself wanting something you really don’t need. Instead of dwelling on that thought, you would think about something you already have that you’re grateful for. Or let’s say that you find yourself thinking negatively towards someone, then you would find one positive thing about them to think about instead.
As you do this, even if it doesn’t feel natural at first, you will train your brain to push out the ungrateful thoughts and replace them with ones of gratitude. It will take a lot of time, discipline, and hard work on your part. But you will get there and this will help you to learn how to practice gratitude.
Practice (at least) one random act of kindness every day
Random acts of kindness are a great way to practice gratitude. Because even though you are giving to others, you will find yourself so grateful afterwards. There’s something about doing something kind for others that really brings joy to your heart and gratitude to your mind.
You don’t have to do anything too crazy. Perhaps you don’t even get out of the house all the much with the kids. Well, no matter what your days look like there are opportunities to practice gratitude by doing random acts of kindness for others — even if it’s just for other people in your family.
You can even take this one step further and journal about how it made you feel to do these random acts of kindness for others each day. Then you’ll be able to look back on the progress you’ve made towards learning how to be grateful by practicing simple acts of kindness towards others.
Here are some helpful tools to help you practice more random acts of kindness:
Fast from a daily comfort for a day
The Bible instructs us as Christians to regularly fast. But did you know that you can also fast from other distractions and even from things that you love too? Doing so can really help you to draw closer to God throughout the day. And it has the added bonus of helping you to come to appreciate all the blessings that you have.
By fasting from something that you typically take for granted, you will see first hand what it’s like to not have it. And the next day you will be so much more grateful for it!
What you choose to fast from is a personal choice. It can (and should) be something you come to God in prayer about as well. He will reveal any areas of discontentment in your life and things you might be taking for granted. Once you know what you need to fast from, make a plan to take an entire day away from it to help you to practice being more grateful for it.
End your day by thanking God
We started this post on how to practice gratitude by thanking God in the morning. And how do you think we should end our day filled with gratitude? That’s right! By thanking God once again.
By the end of your day there are more than likely many things that you can find to be thankful for throughout the day.
Thank God for things like…
- The sunshine in the sky
- Having a good day at work
- The kids behaving as you ran errands
- Your warm dry car as you drove where you needed to be
- The delicious lunch you had
- A book you’re currently reading that brings you joy
- The laughter and smiles you saw on your children today
- The special time you had with your husband after the kids went to bed
- For God keeping you and your family safe all day long
- Talking to a friend you hadn’t spoken to in a while
These are just a few of the blessings that accumulate throughout the day — sometimes completely unnoticed. How much happier of a person would you be if you took the time to notice at least 5 things like this at the end of every day? Not to mention much more grateful!
As you think if your 5 different things to be grateful for, consider writing them down in your gratitude journal, putting them into your gratitude jar, or even just hanging them up on a certain wall in your home. Ending your day this way is one of the best ways to practice gratitude.
Learning how to practice gratitude starts with intentionally choosing to be grateful
We’ve talked about a lot of different tips, tricks, and ways to practice gratitude. And I’m sure there are many other ways to learn how to be grateful. But these are just a few that can have such a big impact on the level of gratitude in your heart.
No matter what method or methods that you choose to incorporate into your life to practice gratitude more, it takes an intentional choice. You need to choose to be grateful before you will begin to feel grateful. It’s all about changing your mindset and bringing every thought captive to the obedience and joy of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5).
So choose to be grateful today. You won’t regret it. You’ll only grow in the love and joy of Jesus by disciplining yourself to be more grateful for the blessings that God has given you.
Grab your printable gratitude jar kit to start practicing gratitude today!
A great place to start learning how to practice gratitude is by starting a gratitude jar. And my printable gratitude jar kit can help. Click here to learn more about it.
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