14 Quick & Easy Daily Gratitude Rituals to Counteract Stress

woman listening to a gratitude mediation with headphones

We live such stressful lives. And that stress eats away at our physical, mental and spiritual health. We want to cultivate gratitude to balance out those stressful moments, but who has time for that? You do with these 14 quick & easy gratitude ritual ideas!

Gratitude Ritual Ideas to try today

Here are some daily gratitude rituals we can add in just a few minutes here and there throughout our day to keep our serenity levels where we need them to be.

1. Gratitude Meditation

Take a few minutes in your day after a stressful part in your schedule to calm & breathe with a meditation. There are guided gratitude meditations available online that can help direct your focus, like this one on growing gratitude by the National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability (NCHPAD).

2. Gratitude Journal

Cute young woman sitting outside in a park bench and thinking while writing in a gratitude journal

Every morning or evening, jot down three to five things you are thankful for. They can be big or small. The important part of the exercise is to remember why you’re grateful so you feel the emotion of gratitude as you write.

Over time, this trains the brain to focus on positive aspects of life.

(See our gratitude journals.)

3. Gratitude Walk

woman on gratitude walk in forest noticing bark on the tree

Take a gratitude walk, preferably in nature, but you can go around the block, or even just walk through each room of your house. Intentionally observe the things around you for which you feel thankful.

The rhythmic nature of walking is meditative and can be a help to get in touch with your feelings of gratitude.

Using a camera lens to narrow your focus can also help you hone in on what you see, so you can notice the details that you may have missed in a glance.

4. gratitude Jar

gratitude jar with slips of paper and a pen

Keep a jar and slips of paper somewhere accessible to encourage you to use it easily. Whenever you feel grateful for something, write it down and drop it in the jar. If you need a boost, reach in and pull out a slip to remind yourself of something you were grateful for earlier. It’s win/win.

5. Daily Affirmations

gratitude affirmation on napkin

Every morning include gratitude affirmations in your routine to set a positive tone for the day. Choose a gratitude statement for each day and scribble it in your journal or planner.

Post your affirmation on the bathroom mirror, fridge, inside of your front door, as the wallpaper on your phone, tablet or computer – anywhere you’ll be gazing throughout the day.

Whenever you see your affirmation, pause for a moment to feel thankful.

6. Gratitude Reminders

gratitude saying in frame on desk

Plan reminders for yourself throughout the day to pause to be grateful. It can be art in your home or workspace where you’ll see it. Set a reminder with Alexa or on your phone or computer to tell you to be thankful or say a gratitude prompt every few hours.

7. Gratitude Letters

senior couple happy reading gratitude letter

Once a week write a letter or send an email to express gratitude to someone for something, big or small. Be specific about what you’re thankful for, don’t just say “for being great parents”. Write a memory or a benefit that you are truly thankful for. Spread the joy!

8. Mealtime Gratitude

saying grace at table at dinner time

Before eating take a moment to express gratitude for the food and for all the hands that contributed to bringing it to your table. Say grace, thanking God for His provision, or take turns around the table to say one thing you’re grateful for after you’ve eaten. (So the food doesn’t get cold!) Or – do both!

9. Pause for thankfulness

woman pausing at doorway to be grateful

In the hustle and bustle of life we are always in a hurry so we forget to take a moment to just breathe and be grateful. Train yourself to take that pause during transitions.

  • getting in your car, remember something from where you were that you’re grateful for
  • before getting out of your car, think of something you’re thankful for about where you’re going
  • when you leave your house or go into your backyard pause to be appreciative
  • when it’s dusk and you’re preparing for the evening’s plans, pause

10. Share with Someone You Love

husband and wife showing gratitude

At the same time every day so it becomes a habit, tell someone else exactly what you appreciate about them. This activity strengthens significant relationships!

11. Bedtime Gratitude Ritual

woman in bed thinking of something she is grateful for before she falls asleep

As your head hits the pillow, relax and think about the best part of your day. Ask yourself why it was “the best”, and take a moment to feel truly grateful for your day, and your life. Practice some deep breathing meditation* and happily fall asleep.

12. Shopping Gratitude

woman buying shoes

It’s exhilarating shopping, finding exactly what you want, discovering deals. When you get home with your parcels, the adrenaline slows. This is a great time to pause to be grateful.

As you empty the shopping bags & put the items away, take a moment to be truly grateful for each one & all the people involved in making it and getting it to your store.

13. Body Gratitude

woman in shower grateful for her body

We tend to focus more on what we don’t like about our bodies, and take our body’s amazing abilities for granted. Instead of worry about what will happen today (or what did happen if you shower in the evening), take shower time to change your perspective.

What do you like about your body? What physical feats were you able to do today that others may not do? Express thanks for all parts of your body as you wash them. (Will you be humming “head and shoulders, knees and toes”?)

14. When Everyone Arrives Home

kids home from school what are they grateful for

When everyone arrives home for the evening, make that a teachable moment that connects the family and prepares them for the transition to family time.

Ask the kids what was the best part of their day. Even if they say recess every day, ask them why. Teach them how to be grateful for whatever it is that they choose.

Make sure that parents share their best part too, and discuss their gratefulness to instill the habit in the children as they grow up.

If you incorporate all 14 ideas, gold star for you! If you add one here and another there, you’ll make practicing gratitude a part of your happy lifestyle and that’s golden.

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