5 Simple Exercises to Start Cultivating an Attitude of Gratitude Today

gratitude Jan 03, 2022

 By Dr Tshidi Gardiner, BSc BVSc Pg Cert Surg MRCVS PN1

Welcome to my first of five blogs on cultivating an Attitude of Gratitude

In recent years, positive psychology research has proven that the habit of gratitude is strongly associated with the emotions that can help you enjoy more significant health and happiness. It has also been shown that gratitude plays an essential role in nurturing relationships and can even inspire you to take better care of yourself. 

When you start to become used to performing at a high level, you begin to overlook the small things in life that make it worth living. You end up failing to appreciate the blessings in your life, and you forget to soak up the precious moments with those you love. Practising gratitude can not only help you feel more grounded and peaceful, but it can also improve your ability to share your love with others. Here are some simple gratitude exercises that show you how developing an attitude of gratitude can improve your mental health and make you happier in your life.


Exercise #1 – Identify Three Things You Appreciate

Take a moment to identify three things in your life that you appreciate and feel grateful for. These things can be based on the present moment, in the past, or in the future. While no category or thing is too big or small, it is essential that you are specific in your gratitude. 

When you incorporate gratitude into your daily life, you will have a more positive outlook, and you will be more appreciative of everyday things. You will be less likely to take things for granted and will be more inclined to be moved by the little things. With gratitude, your moods won't be affected by disappointment, and you'll be better able to see the bright side of life rather than focusing on what you lack. Eventually, this is a path to increased happiness.


Exercise #2 – Identify Three Things You Take for Granted

We all take things for granted in our lives. Take some time to reflect on these things and discover which of these things you value the most. This can be anything. You may take for granted that you are in good physical health, or that you have a good paying job. 

Those who practice daily gratitude tend to be less materialistic and more hopeful in life. They are also more likely to have greater resilience and less likely to feel like they’re a victim when things don’t happen to go their way. Being able to cope better with tragedies and crisis, can help to improve your quality and experiences you have in life. This will generate a greater life satisfaction.


Exercise #3 – Identify Three Things you Appreciate About Yourself

With our constant need to compare ourselves to others, this one can be a challenge. Take some time to think about the things that you appreciate about yourself. It could involve your personality, your daily actions, your qualities, or anything else that is directly related to yourself. 

Research has proven that when you live with gratitude, you are less likely to suffer from anxiety and depression. With daily gratitude, people tend to be more optimistic and enjoy an increase in energy. Gratitude also has a positive effect on cardiovascular health and immune health and has been shown to effectively lower blood pressure, increase pain tolerance, and have a positive impact on pregnancy. 


Exercise #4 – Identify Three Things You Feel Grateful For Right Now

To cultivate gratitude, it is essential to be in the here-and-now. Take the time to think about what you can appreciate about your current situation. Think about the time you're taking for your health, think about the environment, think about anything that relates to the present moment. 

Those who experience heartfelt gratitude in their lives have higher levels of happiness and far greater self-esteem and confidence. Being grateful focuses your attention on happier, more positive thoughts which can help you to feel better about yourself and help you to banish negative self-talk.


Exercise #5 – Identify Three People Who are Significant in Your Life

Think about all the people you’ve had in your life. These can be coaches, teachers, mentors, family members, friends. Call those people to mind and take the time to think about how they made a difference in your life. 

Those with a grateful disposition have been shown to be more likely to achieve their goals faster. Those who hold managerial positions report that showing genuine appreciation and thanking their colleagues improve productivity and motivates.

Bonus Exercise – Create Thank You Notes

Create thank you notes for those three individuals that made an impact on our lives. You don't have to send them, just the act of writing down your gratitude will be beneficial. Being grateful isn't always easy, but without it, life can be incredibly lonely, depressing, and impoverished. Showing gratitude can enrich your life and energize, elevate, inspire and transform your life.

Practising these five exercises regularly will help you to cultivate gratitude and lead you to a healthier and happier life. 

Remember, you don't need any specialised equipment to practice gratitude. All you need to do is use your head and your heart. If you want to achieve more in life, there are so many ways.

A method I believe can bring you emotional success is this: Gratitude. I’ve written a report called: “Greatness Through Gratitude - 5 Steps To Practising Gratitude For a Life of Greatness and Happiness”.  Click on the link below to download your copy right away.


It won’t cost you a thing. Ok, maybe 5 minutes of your precious time but if you’re ready to reach the next level by working on this one habit, then make sure you get this. 

My name is Tshidi. I am a Life Coach who specialises in Mindset Mentorship & Holistic Wellness Coaching. I hope you find this series of blogs helpful. If you are finding yourself struggling with stress, burnout, how to implement self-care practices and create more time to love yourself. I can help hold you accountable and guide you through this process. Remember, you are not the only one struggling to find time for yourself, so don’t feel like you need to walk this path alone. I’m here for you! 

Please don't forget to download your copy of the Greatness Through Gratitude: 5 Steps to Practising Gratitude for a life of Greatness and Happiness.

Much Love & Appreciation


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