I’m sure we’ve all heard about the importance of practicing gratitude. You might’ve read it online somewhere, heard it in a podcast, or been lectured by a family member on how it will change your life.

Practicing gratitude is simply the act of taking the time to reflect on the things you are thankful for. Doing this ensures you’ll have a more positive mindset, exert more kindness, and feel more alive. All pretty enticing outcomes, right?

Gratitude doesn’t have to come after just monumental moments in life. It can be expressed after even the smallest of deeds. Practicing gratitude when something small happens, like getting a coffee for free when you weren’t expecting it, can make you feel more grounded and thankful in all aspects of life. If how to go about practicing gratitude is still a little unclear, here are some simple ways you can lead yourself to a more positive and grateful life:

Start with a journal

Writing down the things you are grateful for ensures they will be with you forever. So even on a day when you can’t think of a single thing to be happy about, you can crack open your journal and find lists of things you were grateful for before and be grateful for them today.

Tell people that you appreciate them

Practicing gratitude can be as simple as telling your best friend how much you love and appreciate them. Not only will that put you in a better mindset after seeing your words brighten up their face, but it will also make them feel that much happier, too. And there’s no feeling like knowing you helped improve someone else’s mood.

Appreciate small things

Appreciate beautiful weather on a winter day. Acknowledge the person who held the elevator door open for you. Appreciate your friend who asked how you were doing after a long weekend. An essential step in learning how to practice gratitude is understanding that appreciation shouldn’t be saved for just monumental moments. Every time you feel grateful or appreciative, even over the smallest of actions, jot it down in your journal.

Look at obstacles more positively

Learning to be positive about obstacles in life is, without a doubt, one of the most challenging things ever. And being surrounded by someone who is just so positive about everything can be really annoying and difficult to deal with. You don’t have to be ecstatic over setbacks- you can have your time to soak in the annoyance of it. But once that time passes, get the negativity out of your mind and remind yourself that everything will be okay.

Do things you love

Spending your free time being productive by doing things you love will lead to much more happiness than spending your time scrolling through social media, forcing negative thoughts and comparisons on yourself. When you do the things that you love, with the people that you like, it’s hard not to feel grateful.

Try complaining less

We all know someone who is that person who complains all the time. And we all know how utterly exhausting it is to be around someone who complains all the time. And sometimes, we can be that person without even realizing it. Try to wake up in the morning with the mindset that you’re not going to complain so much today and instead exert positive energy out about any annoyances that might come your way.

Help people around you

The feeling of helping someone, even with something so small as carrying in groceries, can feel so rewarding. And you can guarantee that person will feel grateful that you helped them and in turn that should help you feel grateful. Helping people around you is the easiest way to ground yourself and put things in perspective.

Use your words

Sometimes we express our gratitude in a journal that only we see. But sometimes we need to express our gratitude with spoken words that other people will hear. Tell the person that held the elevator door for you thank you and how much you appreciate it. Expressing gratitude with words is a good way for it to stick in our minds.