Practice Gratitude

January 6, 2017
Practice Gratitude Dallas Lifestyle Blog Blogger Love You More Too

One of my goals for 2017 is to intentionally practice gratitude.  It’s easy for me to give thanks for the big, great things in my life (my family, friends, food, and home).  On the other hand, it can be difficult for me to be grateful for the trials and hard days.  One of my sweet blogger friends actually shared about this recently. This year, I want to focus on the little things that make each day better, even on the difficult days.

Why gratitude?

Gratitude is defined as

“the state of being grateful, or appreciative of the benefits received”. – Merriam-Webster Dictionary

When I was younger, I was always the optimistic, happy one of my friends.  Unfortunately with all of the busyness in life over the last year, I saw myself get a little more negative.  This impacted my attitude at work and in my relationships.  Rarely did I give myself the time and space to look for the good in each day.  This year, I want to change that.

The benefits of practicing gratitude include increased happiness, optimism, improved relationships, and positively impact everyone you come in contact with.  In addition to mental health benefits, multiple studies have shown overwhelming physical health benefits too.

How to practice gratitude

Here are some ways to practice gratitude:

  • Buy a gratitude journal like this one I have or a calendar and write 1-3 small things that made a positive impact in your day
  • Write a letter to someone you are grateful for and tell them what it is about them you are thankful for
  • Every Saturday, journal 5-10 things that brightened your week
  • Re-frame your thinking in a negative situation
  • Compliment someone daily
  • Do a random act of kindness each day
  • Go a week without gossiping/being negative
  • Make a list of things you are good at
  • Put down your phone and be in the moment (with friends, nature, your surroundings)
  • Give thanks in the hard times- this is what shapes your character and makes you stronger

In practice

Periodically I will share my weekly gratitude list here on the blog to hold myself accountable.

This week, I am grateful for:

Delicious hot chocolate to warm myself up in the cold weather

Cold weather and warm sweaters

Week days off from school

My students’ smiles and stories

Chuck’s ears (seriously, look at these floppy things)

What are you grateful for this week? What is your favorite way to practice gratitude?  Leave me a comment below!

PIN for later

You can grab your own grateful journal here:

  • Anita Mckaney January 6, 2017 at 6:59 am

    Gratitude has to be learned like an other habit. What a beautiful post! Thank you.

    • Jessica January 9, 2017 at 1:04 pm

      Thanks, Anita!

  • Divya @ Eat. Teach. Blog. January 6, 2017 at 7:20 am

    I bought a 5-year 1-sentence Happiness Journal. I pulled it out from my bookshelf and put it on my coffee table so I can make sure to write in it each night!

    • Jessica January 9, 2017 at 1:05 pm

      I have that one too! I love it!

  • Katie Kinsley January 6, 2017 at 7:39 am

    I’m going to practice gratitude with my blog. Since I just started, I’ve been more conscious of my thoughts as I’m writing out posts. My “theme” of 2017 is Love. Love is a way a gratitude.

    • Jessica January 9, 2017 at 1:05 pm

      What an awesome idea! That is fantastic. 🙂

  • Belle January 6, 2017 at 7:46 am

    These are great tips! It’s great to always be thankful even for the little things.

    Belle | One Awesome Momma

    • Jessica January 9, 2017 at 1:06 pm

      Yes! The little things really add up.

  • Penny Struebig January 6, 2017 at 8:31 am

    I am so grateful that the snow we had on Thursday didn’t impact my commute to work! I was dreading the drive in and it was actually better than normal. Very grateful!

    • Jessica January 9, 2017 at 1:06 pm

      I would be grateful for that too! We had a teenie bit of snow on Friday and it was magical.

  • Tianna Inman January 6, 2017 at 9:53 am

    I needed this today <3 Great advice!

    • Jessica January 9, 2017 at 1:21 pm

      Thank you, Tianna!

  • candy January 6, 2017 at 10:45 am

    I realize not everyday can be all sunshine and roses but there are ways to make the day improve. Most of the time I have to remember 10 good things that I am thankful for that day. Puts things back into focus. Love me a good cup of hot chocolate.

    • Jessica January 9, 2017 at 1:24 pm

      Absolutely. I am a big believer in finding sunshine in even the most difficult days for sure.

  • Jessy January 6, 2017 at 10:46 am

    Such a great reminder! There’s so much to be grateful for!

    xo, Jessy |

    • Jessica January 9, 2017 at 1:24 pm

      Absolutely! Big and small-it’s good to look at all of them.

  • alexandra January 6, 2017 at 11:38 am

    I love the idea of a gratitude journal! Thanks 🙂

    • Jessica January 9, 2017 at 1:29 pm

      It’s a really great way to reflect on the day!

  • Tammy January 6, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    Thank you for the great tips. I love the idea of keeping a gratitude journal. It really has the power to change your perspective!

    • Jessica January 9, 2017 at 1:29 pm

      It absolutely does!

  • Melissa Blake January 6, 2017 at 1:08 pm

    Oh, this is such a good thing to do!!!

    • Jessica January 9, 2017 at 1:29 pm

      Thanks, Melissa! It really is!

  • Kaitlyn January 6, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    Okay I used to do a gratitude journal and loved it. I need to get back into doing that because it really does work! I love how you can look back at what you were grateful for, especially when you are having a bad day. Great post!


    • Jessica January 9, 2017 at 1:30 pm

      It’s the perfect way to help a bad day and bad attitude. Any time I stop for a second and think about the good in my day, it always makes me feel better.

  • Kim January 6, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    I use to do the journal as well, but I need to get back to it. I am determined to make 2017 a great year! This week, I am so grateful for a smooth transition back into our routines!

    • Jessica January 9, 2017 at 1:31 pm

      I love that. You have such a great attitude!

  • Jocelyne January 6, 2017 at 3:07 pm

    I love journaling and I’ve been grateful for all the I love you’s I’ve been getting lately. Make me feel so special. It’s gonna be a great year of manifesting for sure. -Jocelyne from

    • Jessica January 9, 2017 at 1:32 pm

      Yes! What beautiful things to be grateful for!

  • Becki Svare January 6, 2017 at 4:32 pm

    I love this! I am not very good at journaling, but I’d really like to be good at this! Great article – thanks! Oh, and today I’m grateful for strawberries! I went strawberry picking with my 80-year old mom 🙂

    • Jessica January 9, 2017 at 2:05 pm

      That sounds so fun! I love strawberries too. 🙂

  • Rachel January 6, 2017 at 5:28 pm

    This is such a great idea and so simple to do. Thanks for sharing!

    • Jessica January 9, 2017 at 2:05 pm

      Of course, Rachel! I hope you enjoy!

  • Jessica Sheppard January 6, 2017 at 6:20 pm

    Love this post! Such a great reminder about gratitude! We need to be intentional to show and express our gratefulness. Thanks for the inspo! It’s important.

    • Jessica January 9, 2017 at 2:06 pm

      Thank you, Jessica! Glad you enjoyed it!

  • Amy January 6, 2017 at 6:55 pm

    This is perfect, Jessica! Gratitude is so important to practice and is overall so beneficial for your health 🙂 Love the idea of keeping a journal and spreading kindness. Great ideas for the new year!

    • Jessica January 9, 2017 at 2:07 pm

      Thanks, Amy! I am all about spreading kindness. 🙂

  • Kimberly @ Berly's Kitchen January 6, 2017 at 7:01 pm

    I love making a gratitude list, although I don’t usually stick with it. 🙁 It is a wonderful way to build a positive attitude and reflect on the good things in life. It’s nice to have on those really rough days.

    • Jessica January 9, 2017 at 2:08 pm

      It really is! I try to do it every day, but find its most important on the rough days.

  • Chelsea January 7, 2017 at 1:28 am

    Gratitude is so important in the realization that we are worthy. Whatever our dreams may be, being humble and realizing what we already have gives us perspective.

    • Jessica January 9, 2017 at 2:50 pm

      Absolutely! Humility is a huge part of gratitude for sure. 🙂

  • Rachel January 7, 2017 at 2:57 am

    A gratitude journal is a great idea. I feel so much happier when I can recognize the things I’m grateful for. Thanks for sharing.

    • Jessica January 9, 2017 at 2:52 pm

      Of course! I hope you have a fantastic week!

  • Meg January 7, 2017 at 9:29 am

    I love this! Keeping a gratitude is one of my resolutions of 2017! Gratitude helps us keep things in perspective and reflect on all the good things we have going for ourselves in a world that thrives on negativity.

    • Jessica January 9, 2017 at 2:52 pm

      I hope you are doing a great job with that resolution. I agree…we do thrive on negativity and it’s time to do something about it. Even if it’s small.

  • Ali Rost January 7, 2017 at 3:03 pm

    Gratitude .. and such a sweet puppy. 🙂 Your post made me smile a million times over. Have a great weekend!

    • Jessica January 9, 2017 at 2:53 pm

      Awh, thanks Ali! I am obsessed with that silly guy.

  • Sara January 7, 2017 at 4:04 pm

    I try and keep this perspective too, but I also need to be more deliberate about it. I have a space on my planner for it, so I just need to use it!

    • Jessica January 9, 2017 at 2:53 pm

      Yes! It makes such a difference when you discipline yourself to write it down.

  • Lindsay January 8, 2017 at 6:54 am

    Jessica, I love this!! Thank you for linking up with us, it’s a pleasure. 🙂 It’s for reasons you stated above, that’s why I too decided to reflect on the good and grateful things, because I felt like I was being too negative.

    I hope you’re having a lovely weekend my friend. Have a fabulous week. 🙂


    • Jessica January 9, 2017 at 2:54 pm

      Thanks so much, Lindsay! It was a pleasure and I enjoyed reading everyone’s happy list.

      Have a great week!

  • Rosemary January 9, 2017 at 8:04 am

    Love this gratitude post. This is something that I started doing a couple of year ago and I find it really helpful for keeping things in perspective. I’m actually due for a new journal!!

    • Jessica January 9, 2017 at 2:55 pm

      Thank you, Rosemary! I hope you find a journal you love that works for you!

  • Lauren @ Imperfect Adventures January 9, 2017 at 2:41 pm

    Such a great perspective for starting out the new year! I loved how you mentioned putting down the phone and being present. Pinning for later!

    • Jessica January 9, 2017 at 2:58 pm

      Thanks, Lauren! The phone is my biggest distraction- so being in the moment more often is something I want from 2017 for sure.