Show gratitude and unlock happiness. Discover the transformative power of appreciation. Embrace a gratitude mindset and spread joy by living in gratitude.

Why Living in Gratitude is Important and How to Practice it

Mar 7, 2024

By Will Moore

Gratitude is more than just saying thank you. It is a way of living that can make us healthier, happier, and more productive. Studies have shown that gratitude can boost our immune system, improve our sleep quality, and increase our optimism. It can also make us 50% more productive when we express it to our boss. And it can even make us happier than winning the lottery!

How can we practice gratitude in our daily lives? How can we develop a grateful mindset that can enhance our lives?

In this article, we will answer these questions and more. We will show you some ways to appreciate the good things we have in our lives, big or small, ordinary or extraordinary, given or earned. We will also give you some tips and examples of how to express gratitude in creative and meaningful ways. Let’s dive in!

What is Gratitude?

Gratitude means being thankful for what you have. It is a way of seeing the good in everything, no matter how much it costs or how hard it is to get.

Dr. Robert Emmons, a leading gratitude researcher, says that gratitude is a gift that we give and receive. He found that grateful people enjoy many psychological, physical, and interpersonal advantages. He calls this the “burstiness” of life, where we appreciate the highs and lows, the simple and complex, of our existence

Melody Beattie said it well: “Gratitude makes us happy with what we have. It helps us accept things as they are, find order in chaos, and see clearly in confusion. It helps us learn from our past, have peace for today, and hope for tomorrow.”

In a nutshell, when we are grateful, we stop worrying about what we don’t have and start enjoying what we do have. This makes us happier, stronger, and more kind.

Living in Gratitude: Gratitude in All Core Areas of Life

Gratitude can help us improve our mindset, career and finances, relationships, physical health, and emotional health. At Moore Momentum we believe that when we excel in core areas, we excel in life.

In this section, we will explore how gratitude can enhance each of these core areas of life.

Gratitude Fosters Growth Mindset

Gratitude fosters a growth mindset by shifting our focus from what we lack to what we have. When we are grateful, we acknowledge the gifts and opportunities that life offers us, instead of dwelling on the problems and challenges that we face. Gratitude can also help us cope with stress, adversity, and negative emotions, by reminding us of our strengths, resources, and support system.

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It helps us master the equation of life which says: Your beliefs+Your actions+Time= Person you became. Now imagine, if you have an abundance mindset that sees good in every bad situation, over time you become an entirely optimistic person. Hence, gratitude can cultivate happiness and success in the long run like a seed that grows into a beautiful flower over time.

Gratitude Helps You Manage Your Finances

If you've never felt the pull of retail therapy on a tough day, consider yourself fortunate. This habit, of spending on unnecessary items to feel better, saw a 14% increase among U.S. consumers in 2022, according to a survey. It often stems from a false sense of achievement or entitlement, which can harm your finances.

How can gratitude help? By appreciating what you already have, you're less likely to overspend on things you don't need. So, next time you're tempted to splurge during a rough patch, take a moment to count your blessings. It can boost your mood and save you money in the long run.

According to Steve Foran, founder of the program Gratitude at Work, gratitude can make your business more profitable, improve your effectiveness, and increase your employees’ engagement. However, he warns that gratitude should not be used as a manipulative tool to get more out of your workers. “You have to genuinely want the best for your people,” he says.

Gratitude is a powerful emotion that can help you appreciate what you have, rather than focus on what you lack.

Gratitude and Relationships

Gratitude can also enrich our relationships by fostering trust, intimacy, and happiness. When we are grateful, we are more likely to express our love, appreciation, and affection to our partners, family members, and friends. Gratitude can also help us resolve conflicts, forgive and heal from a toxic relationship, and appreciate the diversity and uniqueness of each person.

Don’t believe me? Well, let me tell you what happened to me at the gym. One of my favorite activities I like to do to stay active is basketball. I go to my local gym to play, and the same group of guys is there almost every time.

Now, I get along awesomely with these guys—all except one. For some reason, every time I go to the gym to play, this guy scowls at me as if I've killed his dog. At first, I turned inward, wondering what I'd done. But, one day, I went to play, and he looked like he had been having a tougher day than usual. Despite that, we were on the same team that day, and he pulled through to help us out. I wanted to try to bridge the disconnect between us by sharing my gratitude with him.

So, I went on and said, “Thanks for your help on the court today. You are truly the reason we did so well today.” And guess what? He smiled. The man who had seemed like he hated my guts for weeks smiled. All because I showed him that I was grateful for his help.

This is how living in gratitude can enhance your core values. By doing it daily, even in small doses, you'll be building up positive momentum that helps you grow. So, take a moment today to think about what you're grateful for and shout it from the rooftops!

It can also help you build deep connections and positive relationships with your colleagues, clients, and customers. In fact, gratitude has become a popular practice in many organizations, from new software companies to older institutions like Campbell Soup, whose former CEO wrote 30,000 thank-you notes to his employees.

Gratitude Keeps You Physically Healthy

Gratitude can also benefit our physical health by promoting healthy habits, preventing illness, and enhancing recovery. When we are grateful, we are more likely to take care of our body, by eating well, exercising regularly, sleeping enough, and avoiding harmful substances. We are also more likely to seek medical attention when needed, follow treatment recommendations, and adhere to medication. Gratitude can also boost our immune system, lower our blood pressure, reduce inflammation and pain, and improve our heart health. With gratitude we can also achieve our long-term sustainable health goals.

Gratitude and Emotional Health

Gratitude can also improve our emotional health by enhancing our happiness, optimism, and resilience. When we are grateful, we are more likely to experience positive emotions, such as joy, peace, love, hope, and awe. We are also more likely to cope with negative emotions, such as anger, sadness, fear, and guilt, by reframing them, learning from them, and letting them go. Gratitude can also help us bounce back from difficulties, challenges, and traumas, by finding meaning, purpose, and growth in them.

Here are some of the ways that gratitude can help our mental health:

  • Gratitude can help regulate our emotions. Studies have shown that living in gratitude can play a role in our ability to identify and manage our emotions, which is also known as emotional intelligence. Grateful people tend to be more aware of their feelings and how they affect their behavior. They also tend to use positive coping strategies, such as seeking social support, reframing problems, and finding meaning in difficult situations.

  • Gratitude can reduce depression and anxiety. Gratitude can counteract negative emotions, such as resentment, envy, and regret, that can contribute to depression and anxiety. By focusing on the good things in our lives, we can cultivate a more optimistic outlook, which can protect us from mental distress. Several studies have found that gratitude interventions, such as writing gratitude letters or keeping a gratitude journal, can significantly reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.

  • Gratitude can improve our sleep quality. Sleep is essential for our mental health, as it affects our mood, cognition, and memory. Poor sleep quality can increase the risk of developing mental disorders, such as depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. Gratitude can help us sleep better by reducing worry and rumination, which can keep us awake at night. Research has shown that expressing gratitude before bedtime can improve our sleep duration and quality.

  • Gratitude can boost our immunity. Our immune system is closely linked to our mental health, as it influences our response to stress, inflammation, and infection. A weakened immune system can make us more vulnerable to physical and mental illnesses, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and depression. Gratitude can strengthen our immunity by enhancing our psychological well-being, reducing stress hormones, and increasing our production of antibodies.

  • Gratitude can change our brains. Gratitude is not only a feeling but also a skill that we can practice and improve. When we practice gratitude, we activate and strengthen neural pathways in our brain that are involved in positive emotions, social bonding, and reward processing. Over time, this can lead to lasting changes in our brain structure and function, making us more grateful, happy, and resilient.

Express Gratitude: Importance of Gratitude Mindset

Living in gratitude is a powerful practice that holds immense importance in our lives. It goes beyond simply feeling grateful; it involves actively acknowledging and appreciating the blessings, kindness, and positive experiences we encounter. Here's why expressing gratitude and having a gratitude mindset is essential:

Cultivating Positivity: When we express gratitude, we shift our focus from what is lacking to what we have. It allows us to recognize the abundance and goodness in our lives, fostering a positive mindset and enhancing our overall well-being. By regularly expressing gratitude, we train our minds to notice and appreciate the positive aspects, even in challenging times.

Strengthening Relationships: Expressing gratitude towards others strengthens our relationships and deepens our connections. It fosters a sense of appreciation, validation, and warmth. When we show gratitude to others, we acknowledge their efforts, kindness, and support, which in turn cultivates a positive and supportive social environment.

Promoting Emotional Well-being: Living in gratitude has been linked to improved emotional well-being. It can reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress. By less negative emotions, focusing on the positive aspects of our lives and expressing gratitude, we enhance our overall happiness, contentment, and life satisfaction.

Why Anxiety and Gratitude cannot coexist?

The interesting thing is that anxiety and gratitude cannot coexist in our brains at the same time. This is because they activate different brain regions and neurotransmitters that are incompatible with each other. Gratitude activates the brain regions associated with positive emotions, such as joy, satisfaction, and love. It also reduces the activity of the amygdala, the part of the brain that processes fear, stress, and anxiety. Anxiety, on the other hand, activates the brain regions associated with negative emotions, such as fear, anger, and sadness. It also increases the activity of the amygdala, making us more alert.

This means that we have a choice: we can either feel anxious or grateful, but not both at the same time. By practicing gratitude, we can reduce our anxiety and increase our happiness

How to Practice Gratitude Every Day

Living in gratitude every day can have a positive impact on your mood, health, and happiness. Gratitude can help you start your day with a sense of appreciation, optimism, and joy. It can also help you cope with stress, challenges, and difficulties throughout the day.

There are many ways to practice gratitude every day depending on your preferences and lifestyle. Here are some of the most popular and effective methods:

  • Keep a gratitude journal. Write down three to five things you are grateful for every morning or every night. You can use a notebook, an app, or a website to record your gratitude. Try to be specific and include details that make you feel grateful. For example, instead of writing “I’m grateful for my family”, you can write “I’m grateful for the hug my daughter gave me this morning” or “I’m grateful for the phone call from my brother yesterday”.

  • Meditate on gratitude. Spend a few minutes every morning or during the day to meditate on gratitude. You can use a guided meditation, or simply focus on your breath and bring to mind the things or people you are grateful for. Feel the gratitude in your heart and body, and express it silently or aloud. Make it your morning routine.

  • Express gratitude to others Make it a habit to say thank you to the people who help you, support you, or make your life better. You can also send a thank-you note, a text message, an email, or a gift to someone who has done something nice for you. Showing your gratitude to others can make them feel appreciated and strengthen your relationship.

  • Notice the beauty of nature. Take a walk or look out the window and appreciate the beauty of nature. Notice the colors, shapes, sounds, smells, and textures of the natural world. Feel the gratitude for the sun, the sky, the earth, the water, the plants, and the animals. You can also take a photo or draw a picture of something that catches your eye.

  • Listen to a gratitude podcast. Many podcasts focus on gratitude and its benefits. You can listen to them in the morning or during the day, and learn from the stories, tips, and insights of the hosts and guests. You can also join the gratitude challenges or exercises that some podcasts offer.

  • Read or watch inspiring stories of gratitude. Many books, articles, videos, and documentaries feature inspiring stories of gratitude. You can read or watch them in the morning or during the day, and feel inspired by the examples of people who practice gratitude in different situations and circumstances. You can also share these stories with others and spread your gratitude.

  • Express gratitude in creative ways. There are many ways to express gratitude in creative and fun ways, such as writing a poem, a song, a story, or a letter of gratitude, making a gratitude collage, painting, or sculpture, or creating a gratitude jar, box, or board. You can do these activities in the morning or during the day, and gamfiy the process of expressing your gratitude in your way.

These are some of the ways to practice gratitude every day. You can choose one or more methods that suit you best or try something new every day. The important thing is to make gratitude a regular and consistent practice and to feel the gratitude in your heart and mind. By doing so, you can enjoy the benefits of gratitude and live a balanced life.

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Fun Gratitude Games for Cultivating Appreciation:

Gratitude games are interactive and fun ways to cultivate the habit of expressing gratitude. They can be enjoyed individually, with friends, or as a family, and they help create a positive and appreciative mindset. Here are three gratitude games to incorporate into your daily life:

  • Gratitude Jar: Set up a gratitude jar in a prominent place in your home. Encourage everyone to write down something they are grateful for each day on a small piece of paper and place it in the jar. Once a week, gather as a family or group and take turns reading the gratitude letter out loud. This fun gratitude game promotes reflection, and gratitude sharing, and serves as a visual reminder of all the things to be thankful for.

  • Gratitude Scavenger Hunt: Create a gratitude scavenger hunt where participants search for specific items or experiences that they are grateful for. Make a list of items or situations such as "something that makes you smile," "a favorite memory," or "a person who has positively impacted your life." Set a timer and challenge yourself or compete with others to find as many gratitude items as possible within the given time frame. This gratitude game encourages active observation and helps shift focus to the positive aspects of life.

  • Gratitude Alphabet: In this gratitude game, participants take turns going through the alphabet and naming something they are grateful for that starts with each letter. For example, "A is for apple pie that my grandma bakes," "B is for beautiful sunsets," and so on. This game stimulates creativity and expands awareness of the abundance of things to be grateful for. It can be played individually or as a group, allowing everyone to share their unique perspectives and cultivate a sense of appreciation.

These gratitude games offer a playful and engaging way to incorporate gratitude into your daily routine. By actively seeking out and expressing gratitude, you enhance your focus on the positive aspects of life and create a success habit of appreciation.

What obstacles get in the way of experiencing gratitude?

One of the main obstacles to experiencing gratitude is adaptation, which is the tendency to get used to the good things in our lives and take them for granted. Adaptation can reduce our satisfaction, excitement, and joy over time, and make us focus on what we lack or desire.

Another obstacle to gratitude is the presence of negative emotions, such as envy, greed, pride, and narcissism. These emotions can make us feel resentful, entitled, or superior to others, and prevent us from appreciating what we have and acknowledging the role of others in our lives.

A third obstacle to gratitude is the lack of time, attention, or intention. Sometimes we are too busy, distracted, or stressed to notice the positive aspects of our lives or to express our gratitude to ourselves or others. We may also have unrealistic expectations, or think that gratitude is too sentimental or trivial.

Fortunately, there are ways to overcome these obstacles and cultivate a more grateful mindset and attitude. Some of the strategies that experts and researchers suggest are:

  • Practicing gratitude regularly and consistently, by keeping a gratitude journal, meditating on gratitude, expressing gratitude to others, or engaging in creative gratitude activities.

  • Choosing experiences over material possessions, as experiences tend to be more resistant to adaptation, more meaningful, and more shareable.

  • Challenging negative thoughts and beliefs and replacing them with more realistic and positive ones.

  • Reading or listening to inspiring stories of gratitude or surrounding ourselves with grateful people.

  • Making gratitude a habit, a value, and a way of life.

By following these tips, you can overcome the obstacles to gratitude and enjoy its benefits for your well-being and happiness.

How to Show Gratitude to Others and Oneself

  • Personal Acknowledgment: Take a moment to personally thank someone, make eye contact, and express your appreciation sincerely. Whether it's for a small favor or a grand gesture, letting others know you see and value their efforts can make a significant difference.

  • Write Thank-You Notes: In an age of digital communication, a handwritten thank-you note can stand out. It shows you took the time to appreciate someone's action thoughtfully and leaves a lasting impression.

  • Give Compliments: Offering genuine compliments is a simple yet effective way to show gratitude. Acknowledge the qualities and achievements of others, making them feel valued and respected.

  • Listen Actively: Sometimes, showing gratitude means being there for someone, and offering your undivided attention. Listening actively without distractions demonstrates your appreciation for their presence and thoughts.

By integrating these practices into your daily life, you can enhance your ability to show gratitude and develop a more appreciative and contented outlook. Remember, gratitude is not just about saying 'thank you'—it's about feeling and expressing genuine appreciation for the people and comforts in your life, leading to a more rewarding and balanced existence. Last but not the least, understand the fact that anxiety and gratitude cannot coexist.

Discover How Grateful You Are and How to Improve Your Life with Gratitude!

Take the quick and easy Core Values Quiz to find out your gratitude score and get personalized feedback and tips. Then, write down the names of the people you are most grateful for and why. This will help you appreciate the positive relationships in your life and avoid the negative ones.

But don’t stop there - DOWNLOAD our gamified AI habit-tracking app🚀🚀🚀 and start practicing gratitude every day. You will set goals, track your progress, and earn rewards for being grateful. This is not just an app; it’s your guide to living a happier and healthier life with gratitude.


Will Moore is a gamification, habits and happiness expert.

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