10 Easy Ways to Cultivate Gratitude

by | Jun 13, 2016 | Uncategorized

OK, so you’ve probably guessed by now that I’m a bit of a fan of gratitude.  A gratitude practice seriously takes very little time and it’s impact is HUGE!  As a busy mama of two, both of these components are very important to me.

Gratitude researchers Emmons and McCullough (2003) found that a simple gratitude practice resulted in increased happiness, optimism and satisfaction with life, and decreased negative affect and physical illness.  They also found that people with a regular gratitude practice slept more and had a better quality of sleep each night.  How cool is that?!

Many gratitude researchers ask their participants to keep a short gratitude diary each day, simply noting down what they’re grateful for.

But this isn’t the only way to cultivate gratitude.

I regularly take gratitude photographs for Capturing Gratitude and share them on Instagram and Facebook, and I weave gratitude gently into my day in other ways as well.

Today I thought I’d share with you 10 other ways to cultivate gratitude:

  1. On waking in the morning, say thank you for another day of simply being alive (put a note next to your bed if you need a reminder).
  2. Each night before you sleep, list 10 things you’re grateful for from the day (count them off on your fingers).
  3. Before each meal, say a quiet thank you to everyone who contributed to the food on your table (this might include the cook, the store, the farmers, mother earth etc).
  4. If you have children, create a bed time rhythm that includes taking it turns to finish the sentence ‘I’m grateful for ……’.
  5. Write down something you’re grateful for each day and put it in a gratitude jar (and pull one out whenever you’re feeling down).
  6. Look for the silver lining. If you’re going through a challenging time, find one thing about the situation to be grateful for.
  7. Remember that there are millions of people around the world who do not have access to clean drinking water.  Drink a glass and be grateful.
  8. Write down 100 things you’re grateful for (go, I dare you!).
  9. Dedicate a bench in your back yard or community as a Gratitude Bench, and go and sit there regularly and contemplate all that you’re grateful for.
  10. Create a Gratitude Tree by writing down what you’re grateful for on a small piece of cardboard and hang it in a designated tree.  Invite your friends and community to do the same.

Do any of these resonate for you?  Pick one and try it out.  I highly recommend doing your own experiment to see the effect a simple gratitude practice has on your life.

And if you’d like to try the option of a gratitude bench or tree and you’re near Byron Bay (Australia), The Farm and I are hosting a picnic at midday on Sunday 19th June at the Gratitude Bench, and we’re creating a Gratitude Tree for our community.  All are welcome!  BYO picnic (or get something at the cafe).  Details and RSVP is here.

Hope to see you there and do leave a comment below and let me know which gratitude practice you’re going to test drive in your life.

With gratitude,


  1. Donna

    I love the idea of the gratitude jar, I am going to have one for my family. I will encourage my three children and partner to begin to use it as a way to expand our family love and respect For each other. Thanks Lauren

    • Dr Lauren Tober

      How wonderful! What a delightful gift to share with your family 🙂

  2. Cheryl

    Thank you Lauren for your wonderful love and advice that you share. This list shows us many lovely ways to remember to be grateful. I wish I could come to the picnic this weekend but sadly I can’t… One day I will come to the farm to sit on the lovely Gratitude Chair!! Much love xx

    • Dr Lauren Tober

      My pleasure Cheryl! Thanks for stopping by and for your kind words!

  3. Maria

    Thanks Tober, all these 10 point are spot on. but i personally like yoga in morning for inner peace. thanks for make my day.

    • Dr Lauren Tober

      Thanks Maria! I like my morning yoga practice for inner peace too! In fact, you could say I’m grateful for it 😉

  4. Patrick

    I thought I didn’t have anything to be grateful about… That was until I started listing all the little things that I have to be grateful about.

    Thanks for sharing this. It is the reawakening I needed so badly.

    • Dr Lauren Tober

      Thanks for sharing this Patrick. Sometimes we just don’t know how wonderful life is until we take a moment to connect in with it. Gratitude to you xx

  5. Bunion

    The idea of hunging a small piece of cardboard on a gratitude tree is awesome!!. Great read.

  6. Zach Davis

    This post is on point and I got it at the right time, I especially love the idea of the gratitude jar, I am going to have one for my family

    Thanks for sharing this. I needed so badly.


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