Gratitude Types of Gratitude Attitude of Gratitude Notice Feel Think Do Science of Gratitude Illusions of Gratitude The Gist Gratitude Practice & Exercises Gratitude Resources

Cultivating Gratitude

The active and intentional practice of gratitude benefits relationships, mental health, and physical health, as well as contributes to our experience of joy and satisfaction. While gratitude can be a behavior, feeling, or moral virtue, it is also an attitude that can be cultivated and developed.

The attitude of gratitude is made up of what we NOTICE around us to be thankful for, what we THINK about the gifts in our life, how we FEEL about the gifts in our life, and what we DO to express gratitude, all of which are skills that can be developed.

How to Navigate this Page

Throughout the gratitude pages, you’ll find exercises, practice suggestions, and printables sprinkled throughout the content. On this page, we’ve compiled all of those exercises for you to engage with in order to develop your gratitude skills. The page is broken into a few main sections:

  1. Gratitude Overall — take the gratitude quiz to determine your strengths and growth zones within gratitude and review the general exercises that were explained on the content pages.
  2. Templates and Printables — here, find sheets to print for your fridge or around the house as well as templates and tips for gratitude journaling.
  3. In-Depth Exercises — here, find longer exercises that go deeper than the quick general practices.
  4. Infographics — a collection of the handy graphics shown throughout the pages.

The following sections of the website are interwoven and complimentary to Gratitude. Certain sections of the site are referenced throughout the gratitude section, so you can explore more as you go, or you can use the list below as a reference for further exploration.

Gratitude Overall

Are You a Grateful Person?

You may be surprised by the results. Take our quiz to see where you stand.

A More Detailed Option:

Measure all your factors of well-being with the Assessment Center.
Become a member and you can measure and track your Gratitude in more detail, along with 50 other factors, as well as access premium exercises and content.

Sometimes to get to feeling gratitude regularly, you need to fake it until you feel it.
A quick exercise you can do to help you fake it until you feel it is to write down some quotes you like and put them on sticky notes around your home. When you see the note, it can be a cue for you to take a minute to notice how you are feeling and think of something to be grateful for.

The purpose of this exercise is to take time to appreciate the little things in life like a nicely prepared meal by replacing your regular meal with a cold can of beans. This exercise can help with mindfulness and noticing what we take for granted on a daily basis.

When we encounter a situation or have negative thoughts, instead of just turning things positive, we can practice shifting our thinking to still acknowledging the negative while looking for the positive.

When expressing gratitude, we can thank specific people, or we can hold a grateful mindset. In this exercise, explore these two paths of gratitude as you consider who you would thank for a certain situation as well as what your attitude of gratitude would look like without someone specific to thank.

Pretend you’ve just been awarded “World’s Best _______” (you fill in the blank!)
Write a 1-minute award speech that thanks at least 3 people. Have fun with it! For added connection, send or read your award speech to the people you have thanked — they will appreciate it and it will foster a connection between you.

Throughout the day, whenever you notice something to be grateful for, write it down. Take 10 seconds in the moment to recognize the thing and then return to your day.
Have the list somewhere you can keep it handy —on your phone, on a sticky note at your desk, taped to the fridge—whatever works for you.

Create a habit of noticing and recording what you notice throughout the day.
Did you know there are TONS of gratitude apps that make it simple to record gratitude daily — and they’ll even remind you to commit to your practice at the same time each day?

Create a habit of noticing and recording what you notice throughout the day.
Did you know there are TONS of gratitude apps that make it simple to record gratitude daily — and they’ll even remind you to commit to your practice at the same time each day?

Practice Giving & Receiving

By practicing Tonglen, you process the emotion, allow it to pass through you, and offer good intentions out. Then, once in a new mind space, you can look to what compassionate actions you can offer out into the world to help. Try this process with the provided examples — ranging from Level 1 – “easy” situations to Level 3 – extreme situations.

Set out on a walk with the intention of taking it all in. Use all of your senses to absorb the walk.

After the walk, debrief using these prompts:

  • After my walk, I feel…
  • One surprising thing I noticed was…
  • If I hadn’t been paying attention, I may have missed…
  • I feel grateful for…

Music is a researched tool for bringing up feelings and aiding in savoring. In this exercise, put on some headphones and find a song that feels good.

Allow yourself to be fully immersed in the music and savor the feelings that come up as you listen.

Partnered gratitude rituals can strengthen relationships and help us feel more connected to our partner. Look at some gratitude exercises with your partner and decide on a ritual that would feel good for both of you.

In conjunction with the Workplace Gratitude Menu, here find resources and ideas for bringing a culture of gratitude to your workplace.

Starting a gratitude journal is one of the most common suggestions to developing a habit of gratitude. While this is an effective method, it may not work for everyone. Explore some alternatives here.

Tips and Printables

Stop. Look. Go.

One way to cultivate the habit of savoring is to create stop signs to serve as cues to take a minute to express gratitude and savor the moment.

Some examples:

  • A sticky note on a light switch so everytime you flip the switch you remember how lucky you are to have access to electricity and to take a moment to savor the feeling of being able to light up a room.
  • A special key chain on your car keys that reminds you of a loved one, to remind you to be thankful for loved ones during the busy times in your life.
  • A smiley face sticker on your bathroom mirror — so while you are brushing your teeth at night you can think about one thing that brought you joy that day and savor that joy.
  • Tape a grateful quote to your dishwasher so whenever you are doing the dishes or unloading the dishwasher you think about things you are grateful for rather than focusing on the chore.

Print out this schedule and put it on your fridge as a reminder to practice gratitude throughout the day.

Ready to make the change to a grateful culture at your workplace?

Check out this “menu” to bring to your team and inspire change.

  1. Have a positive experience.
  2. Enrich it.
  3. Absorb it.
  4. Link positive and negative material.

Journal Tips

Be intentional, be specific, be positive, be personal, and don’t overdo it.

Print these tips out and put them in your journal for a reminder.

Print these, cut them out, fill them out, and put them in your jar to get a good start on your gratitude jar.

Journal Prompts and Templates

Notice, Think, Feel, Do Daily Template

Based on the NTFD model, take time in each writing section to specify about the things you noticed, why you think that gift exists, how you feel about the gift, and what you did to express gratitude.

30 Journal Prompts

30 unique prompts that go beyond ‘what are you grateful for today’ to act as inspiration if you can’t think of what to write about.

Three Things Template

Each day, list 3 good things that happened and how you feel about each thing.

Counting Blessings and Burdens

This exercise follows a popular gratitude study of writing a list of gratitudes and writing a list of burdens and then reflecting after 10 days.

Gallery of Gratitude

A fun worksheet to try by yourself or with kids that involves drawing pictures of prompts to create a gallery of gratitude.

Simple Journal Template

A straightforward place to write ‘today I am grateful for…’ for people who would like more than a blank sheet and less than an entire gratitude journal.

Weekly Journal

A straightforward and simple template to get a week’s worth of gratitude on a single page.

Gratitude List for Kids

A fun list of prompts to get kids thinking about small and large things they may be grateful for.

Naikan Reflection

A week’s worth of Naikan (what did I give, what did I receive, and what challenges did I cause?) Along with some reflection questions for the end of the week.

In-Depth Exercises

The mental subtraction exercise can be useful in identifying all the small steps that are needed to reach big goals. In celebrating small steps along the way, we are encouraged to keep going. This exercise also reminds us what gifts and opportunities we may take for granted, and the realization of how easy it would be to miss goals can make the goal feel even more rewarding.

Just like the majority of an iceberg can’t be seen above water, most of the things we can be grateful for can go unnoticed. Try this exercise to practice noticing more ordinary moments.

Think of a gift you have received recently and ponder the following questions/prompts:

  • Why does this gift exist in your life?
  • Who gave you this gift?
  • What was the occasion/reason for them giving the gift?
  • What is special about this specific gift that led to them getting it for you?
  • Why is this gift important to you?
  • What was the giver feeling and needing when they gave the gift?

Each day for one week, think about the last 24 hours and write down your answer to the 3 fundamental Naikan questions with your last day in mind:

  • What have I received?
  • What have I given?
  • What troubles and difficulties have I caused?

At the end of the week, use the reflection questions provided to ponder how you would like the future to look.

Use this script to guide yourself or another person through the giving and taking meditation.

As humans, one of our greatest strengths can also be a bane: Adaptivity.

With shocking frequency and speed, we attune to our circumstances and forget about that deep sense of gratitude and pleasure we once felt for our favorite daily things.

This exercise is simple: on one sheet of paper, make a list of some of your favorite, simple, pleasurable experiences that happen to you regularly. Aim for things that happen once daily to once weekly..

The HEAL approach is a four step process for cultivating positivity described by Dr. Rick Hanson in his book, “Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence.”

HEAL is an acronym for:
Have a positive experience.
Enrich it.
Absorb it.
Link positive and negative elements.
Attached you’ll find our summary of the process and an exercise to put it to practice for yourself.


Click on any of the below infographics to see the full-sized version.

How to Practice Gratitude

Notice, Think, Feel, Do

Notice, Think, Feel, Do Model

Gratitude As…

Levels of Thank You

Thank You Sincerity

Sea of Gratitude

Gratitude Types of Gratitude Attitude of Gratitude Notice Feel Think Do Science of Gratitude Illusions of Gratitude The Gist Gratitude Practice & Exercises Gratitude Resources