September 21, 2013

7 Ways To Train Your Mind To Be More Grateful

Today is World Gratitude Day. 

I read an article that talked about a photographer's new book.  Hailey Bartholomew said she was in the middle of depression & a nun suggested she "needed more time in reflection and gratitude" and she advised her to take time each day for thinking what she could be grateful for. 

I don't know what I love more, the fact that she went to a nun for counseling or the counsel that the nun gave her. 

The photographer went on to take one picture each day for something she was grateful for & made a book about it called 365 Gratefuls: Celebrating Treasures, Big and Small.   She said that this project of hers changed her life.  She said, "I really started to feel different—like life was good and my head space was more positive than it had ever been."

You can read that article here or find her book here.  I know I'm putting it on my list of books to read! 

Recently, a friend of mine posted a question on Facebook.  She asked all of us,
"What do you love about yourself?" 

As a teenager, I was a positive & confident girl.  I realized that day though, as I stared at that question, that I had changed.  A complete 180. 

I could think of a million things I love about my mom.  My husband.  My children.  Heck, even my neighbor!  But myself?  Well... it took me longer than I'd like to admit to think of something that I liked about myself. 

I was so surprised!  In that moment I knew I needed to change.  I had become a Negative Nelly.  I needed to be more grateful for myself!  Even though I wouldn't classify my negativity as a depression yet, I could relate to Hailey & her story. 

I know it's easy, especially as moms, to get stuck in a rut.  Or a funk. Or just not quite feel like yourself. 

So today, I decided I want to help! 

I have a list of 7 great options to help get yourself out of that funk & in a more grateful state of mind.  And guess what! These ideas are all EASY, because I know how busy your life is right now! 

Is your family stuck in a rut, too?  These are all things that can be tweaked to do with your whole family, too!

Happy Rambles
Happy Rambles is a website that will send you an email (daily, weekly, whatever you set it to) where you just simply reply with what you are grateful for that day.  I love the simplicity of this idea.  It takes a new & modern spin on the gratitude journal.  You can always view previous "entries" and print them off to make them into a tangible gratitude journal. 

Gratitude Jar
Write as many things as you can think of that you are grateful for on strips of paper.  Fill a mason jar with the strips.  When you are having a bad day pull one of the strips to help you remember what you're grateful for.  Having an extra bad day?  Pull one, two, three, or even all of the strips of paper & read them! 

Billion Clicks
Billion Clicks was started by a mom just like you.  She heard a statistic that said that we think over 300 negative thoughts a day.  She wanted to know if that was true, so she bought a clicker & started counting.  She realized she thought far too many negative thoughts than she wanted so she decided to reverse her experiment.  She started clicking for every positive thought & she trained her mind to be more positive & grateful.  She became more confident & motivated than she had ever felt before.  I love her story & you can watch her video here.

The Gratitude Project
The Gratitude Project is a great project!  Basically all you do is post a photo on Instagram of something you're grateful for using #thegratitudeproject.  Although you can do it as often or as little as you like, I see it as a new spin on the 365 project.  I've already started participating... you can check out my post here

Send a Thank You Card
I love writing thank you cards.  Writing them helps me to be more positive & grateful, and whoever receives them get the warm fuzzies... win, win!  Once in a while when I am having a particularly hard day, I'll pull out my thank you card stash & write a note to the first person I can think of.  It really helps me to put my mind in a better spot.

Besides, according to this video, scientists have scientifically proven that one of the greatest overall contributing factors to your life is how much gratitude you show. 

Don't believe me?  Watch this video!  I promise you won't regret it! 

Display Gratitude Art In Your Home
Your home should be your sanctuary.  If you have little reminders in your home of things you are grateful for, chances are you'll be happier.  I thought of 2 ways you can display gratitude art in your home. 

If you are good with Photoshop or PicMonkey, make some art using words of things you are grateful for.  If you're not as familiar with those two, use Wordle, it will automatically format it for you!  The kitchen is the place in my home that I need the most attitude change, so I decided to make some word art of my favorite things I love about my kitchen so I can keep as positive as possible. 

Wordle: Kitchen

Another way you can display gratitude art in your home is to create a gratitude wall.  Use photographs of the things you are the most grateful for & fill that wall up! 

Can you think of any other ways to display things you are grateful for in your home? 

Serve Someone
You know me... I'm all for service!  Service can be simple.  It can be something that only takes you 15 minutes or less and it can be something you can do with the whole family (including the babies!).  If you need service ideas, you can find some here.

Hailey Bartholomew ended her interview by saying,

"Whatever you love to do, base the [gratitude] project around that. Whether it’s taking photos or making lists or painting, choose something that comes natural to you so it won’t be hard to keep it up over an extended time. Don’t give up! I seriously got more out of my project the longer I did it! And your project with others will help you find connections and others’ inspiration."

What are some things that have helped you to get in that grateful state of mind?  Tell me below!

*This post may contain affiliate links.  I will get a small percentage of anything purchased through the link.  You will, in no way be paying more for clicking on that link.  In fact, I love to find the best deals possible for you! 


  1. I love the idea of that Gratitude Jar. I think I might start that today!

  2. Great ideas, thanks for sharing! Happy Graytitude Day :)

  3. Sending a thank you card is right up my alley. I have often wished that everyone would ditch the email option when sending a card. It's simply not the same as getting something handwritten!


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