The Top 5 Ways to Show Gratitude

Being grateful is a vital aspect of creating a mindful, fulfilled life. When you’re grateful, it’s impossible to be negative, to dwell in the past, or to worry about the future. If you’re struggling to stay mindful, focusing on what you have to be grateful for can bring you back into the moment. In Gratitude, author Dani DiPirro talks about the benefits of gratitude and the best ways to show it.

Gratitude has many benefits, but it’s more than just thinking, ‘I’m thankful for…’ True gratitude involves taking action and putting those thankful thoughts into practice. Here are the five great ways to be grateful.

One excellent way to express gratitude is through giving — to yourself and to others. Give to yourself by being patient when you’re going through a difficult time, by caring for your body and your mind, and by making choices that will make you happier and more fulfilled.

Express your thankfulness for others by giving your time, patience, love, or kindness. You can also give others physical things, too — like donating goods you no longer use to those in need or supporting a friend’s charity

When it comes to giving, also consider the gifts you have to offer the world. Pursuing your passions and sharing your talents is a gift you give not only yourself, but also those who get to experience your work.

Listening is a small, but very important, act. As we’re all bombarded with so much noise and information, it’s sadly becoming rare to give someone your full attention. Just think of how many conversations you’ve had while looking at your phone!

Show gratitude for others by giving them 100% of your attention when they’re speaking. Put your phone down. Try your best not to allow your thoughts drift to what you want to say (or what plan to do after the conversation ends). This can be challenging, but the effort you put into listening with your full attention is a wonderful way to express gratitude.

Fully engaging with someone else, allowing him or her to speak openly and without interruption (or distraction), is basically the equivalent of saying, ‘Thank you for your presence. I value who you are and what you have to say’.

Appreciation is an essential element of gratefulness. The dictionary definition of appreciation is, ‘the recognition and enjoyment of the good qualities of someone or something’. One way to cultivate gratitude is to embrace this definition wholeheartedly.

Look around right now and take note of what good things are surrounding ¾ and within — you.

We’re often so busy and/or stressed that we fail to see how much beauty and goodness is surrounds us. From the smile on a loved one’s face to the sun streaming in through the window, there are countless moments of goodness on any given day, if only we open our eyes and minds to appreciate them.

Even when things aren’t going well, something good can be found if you look hard enough. Find these moments and sit with them, letting yourself bask in their glow and fully know that you’re lucky to experience them.



The word ‘appreciation’ also means, ‘a full understanding of a situation’. While you might not always understand everything you’re experiencing, you can show gratitude by striving to accept where you are and what’s happening around you.

In life, you’re bound to experience amazing, wonderful, heart-warming situations as well as unpleasant, horrible, and heartbreaking scenarios. Life has its ups and downs and the rollercoaster of it all can sometimes cast a shadow on gratitude. The struggle to be grateful (even during tough times) can be overcome if you choose acceptance over resistance.

Instead of wishing a situation could be different, try accepting it fully and without judgment. This act of acceptance is its own kind of gratitude, a way of saying, ‘Okay, I see that this situation is happening and I might not love it, but I’m here for it and I’m thankful for this experience’.

Likewise, during positive experiences, it’s important to accept them with an open, thankful heart, rather than thinking (as some of us tend to do) that the good time will be short-lived. Accepting the good and the bad, the light and the dark, is a remarkable way to be grateful for every experience.

Feeling gratitude is a wonderful thing, but speaking up about it can be even more amazing. Whenever you feel grateful for someone or something, express it verbally. Here are some ideas…

Tell someone at work you’re thankful for his or her help. Write your son an email when he goes out of his way to help you. Text your mother ‘thanks!’ after she says something that made you feel empowered. Send a handwritten note to a friend who helped you through a tough time. Say ‘thank you’ to your surgeon after he helped you to heal. The opportunities for expressing gratitude are endless!

If saying ‘thanks’ isn’t part of your daily routine, now is the time to incorporate it into your life. No matter how big or small the act, it’s important to express your gratitude ¾ in words ¾ to others. Not only does it make your gratitude known, but it also feels really good to put kind words out into the world.

Gratitude is a vital ¾ but sometimes vague ¾ concept. While it does include using the words ‘thank you’, it’s so much more than that. Gratitude is about giving, listening, appreciating, accepting, and speaking.

Gratitude is about finding the good in your life, recognizing how fortune you are to have it, and sharing that goodness with those around you. Gratitude about realizing that everything — even the bad times — is worthwhile, and it’s about being open to the idea of appreciating what’s happening to ¾ and within ¾ you.

About the Author: Dani DiPirro is founder of PositivelyPresent.com, designed to help others live positively – it now attracts more than 90,000 page views per month. Her work has been featured on sites such as The Happiness Project, Psychology Today and Forbes.

About the Author: Dani DiPirro is founder of PositivelyPresent.com, designed to help others live positively – it now attracts more than 90,000 page views per month. Her work has been featured on sites such as The Happiness Project, Psychology Today and Forbes.



Dani DiPirro
Available from May 2016
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Vicky Hartley is the Marketing Director and Head of Digital for Watkins Publishing Limited (including Duncan Baird Publishers)