With Thanksgiving fast approaching, many people are starting to think about the things they’re thankful for. But sometimes—especially when things get stressful and you’re dealing with a major life change—it can be hard to get into the right frame of mind or even remember the things you’re grateful for. But practicing gratitude doesn’t have to be a difficult, time-consuming thing—you can totally challenge yourself to be more grateful and more mindful with minimal effort (and maximum good feelings).
Here are a few ways you can practice gratitude every day—and not just through the holiday season.
Reach Out to a Loved One
We all lead busy lives, and when things get tough at work or in our everyday routines, it can be easy to let talking to your friends and family fall by the wayside, and that can make you feel alone and disconnected. An easy way to both lift your spirits and be more mindful of your relationships is to reach out to someone everyday—be it a text to your long-distance best friend or a phone call to your mom, let your loved ones know you’re thankful for them.
Have a Compliment Challenge
An easy, personal challenge you can take on to be a little more positive and a little more grateful every day? Tell yourself you’ll give at least one compliment per day. It can be to a stranger or to someone you know, but challenging yourself to give compliments will force you to think more about the things you appreciate, it’ll make someone else smile, and it might even help you be kinder to yourself.
Keep a Gratitude Journal
Every night before you go to sleep, take out your journal and write down 3 things that happened that day that you’re grateful for. It’ll push you to think about the happy parts of your day even if it was a rough one, and the best part? You’ll have those memories written down to look back on when you’re having a hard time staying positive or thinking of good things in your life.
Chase Negative Thoughts with Positivity
Every time you think something negative or feel like you want to complain about something, remind yourself of something positive that makes you happy. That little bit of joy can go a long way—rather than focus on the things that upset or frustrate you, you’ll end on a more optimistic note, thinking about something that you’re thankful for instead.
Say “Thank You”
You probably (hopefully) already make it a point to thank people you encounter throughout your day—the barista, the bus driver, anyone who holds a door for you, etc.—but this goes a little beyond that. Look for more reasons to say thank you for the things that make you happy in your life and at home. It doesn’t have to be to other people, either—thank the things you own (even if it feels a little silly) for the purpose they serve and the joy they bring you, and most importantly, thank yourself for doing your best every day.