10 Easy Ways To Practice Gratitude With Your Loved Ones

 / 

, ,
Gratitude Exercises

Gratitude isn’t just a one-day thing, it’s a game-changer for making every day a little brighter. Take a look at some of the ways to practice gratitude with your loved ones.

Embrace the holiday spirit and check out these fun gratitude exercises to truly savor and celebrate the things you’re thankful for in your life!

Thanksgiving: A day to be thankful

Thanksgiving is a holiday that reminds us to be grateful and thankful for what we have in our lives – our family, loved ones, career, health, passions and mental wellbeing. No wonder, most of us feel a sense of togetherness, closeness and warmth during this holiday as practicing gratitude can result in various positive feelings. 

Do you know about the history of thanksgiving? Thanksgiving was officially created as a holiday by the Congress in 1789 when the first National Thanksgiving Proclamation was issued by President George Washington. He made it a day of public thanksgiving under the new Constitution. And so the first official thanksgiving was held on Thursday, November 26, 1789.

Related: 25 Unique Thanksgiving Traditions To Try Out With Your Family & Friends

thanksgiving day
10 Easy Ways To Practice Gratitude With Your Loved Ones

Sadly, the original beauty and spirit of the holiday is slowly fading away due to the commercialization of the holiday, thanks to (pun intended) the shopping madness driven by the infamous Black Friday and the recent Cyber Monday.

And this is why it has become increasingly important that we hold on to the original tradition of practicing gratitude on this day to celebrate the authentic Thanksgiving spirit.

Thanksgiving is a day for spending with our family, to share our love and happiness with each other and be grateful for their presence. Gratitude practice ideas can not only strengthen our relationships, it can also make us happier and healthier. That’s the power of gratitude.

Studies show that gratitude exercises and activities can significantly help in improving mental health and reducing perceived stress and depression. In fact, according to the science of gratitude, there are many more benefits of gratitude such as –

  • Lower aggression and increased empathy 
  • Better physical and psychological well-being
  • Better sleep
  • Improved resilience
  • Higher self-esteem
  • Reduced depression
  • Better immune system
  • Longer life span

If you haven’t been practicing gratitude lately, then November is a good time to get started with some gratitude exercises for adults is used as positive psychology to improve your relationships and life. 

Related: 50+ Best Thanksgiving Quotes And Sayings To Show Your Gratitude

Expressing gratitude is important. But what is gratitude? It is the “appreciation of what is valuable and meaningful to oneself; it is a general state of thankfulness and/or appreciation,” explain researchers.

While practicing gratitude should be a year-long practice, Thanksgiving is the perfect time to take your gratitude efforts to the next level. It’s time we look beyond eating a scrumptious thanksgiving turkey & holiday pie and saying special grace before our meal.

This time we start some new traditions with our family to show our gratitude along with having a grand Thanksgiving feast.

But how to practice gratitude? Well, here are 10 simple yet beautiful gratitude exercises for adults and kids for a happy thanksgiving that will help you appreciate the beauty of life and be inspired by it with a thankful heart. 

5 Ways to practice gratitude this Thanksgiving day 2023

1. Keep a gratitude journal

Gratitude Journal
10 Easy Ways To Practice Gratitude With Your Loved Ones

Journaling is the simplest and easiest way of practicing gratitude towards the people, things, experiences and opportunities you value in your life. Simply write down about 3 to 5 things you are grateful for by reflecting on the past few days or weeks. However, you need to do this daily.

If you struggle about finding things to write about every single day, focus on the little things that make you happy. This will help you shift your focus from a  scarcity mindset to an abundance mindset. This exercise can also help you sleep better, stay healthier and happier. 

According to a 2020 study, gratitude journaling is “not novel; writing three instances of gratitude a few times per week can improve wellness.Journaling for even one day can help you build the right mindset to meet challenges in your daily life.

It can also result in better work-life balance and “significant benefits in happiness, depression, and emotional exhaustion (measure of burnout) for up to 1 year. Start today!,” suggest researchers. 

Related: How A Gratitude Journal Can Help You Fight Negative Thinking

2. Say grace before meals

Saying grace before a Thanksgiving dinner is an age-old tradition that most of us still practice. However, we can use this tradition to express our gratitude for our family by adding a fun little twist – simply ask each family member at the dinner table to share what they are thankful for in the past year.

 Ways To Practice Gratitude With Your Loved Ones
10 Easy Ways To Practice Gratitude With Your Loved Ones

Saying grace before a meal is a perfect opportunity for practicing gratitude by appreciating everyone who works hard to make our lives better – from our mother and spouse for cooking the Thanksgiving meal to the farmer and the clerk at our local grocery store who brought the food to us.

Saying grace allows us to be mindful and consider the contribution of everyone who we usually take for granted. 

3. Rampage of Appreciation

Suggested by New York Times bestselling author Abraham Hicks, this is one of the most popular ways of practicing gratitude that can be done by anyone. Start by observing your immediate environment and finding something that you find beautiful and pleasing.

Keep your attention focused on this object and appreciate how beautiful, fascinating and purposeful it is. Now the more you focus your attention on it and think about it, the more you will appreciate it and feel positive about it.

At this moment, become mindful of your thoughts and emotions and be grateful for the positive emotions you are feeling. When your positive feelings have become more intense than when you started, focus on something else in your environment that you find pleasing and beautiful.

Related: 3 Effects of Gratitude On The Brain and Body, According To Science

The concept of rampage of appreciation was introduced in the book ‘Ask And It Is Given’ by Abraham Hicks. This technique helps us focus on the energy of positive thoughts that we can use anywhere and anytime to boost our sense of fulfillment and happiness.

Based on the Law of Vibration, it helps us to tap into the energy and vibration of positive thoughts. You can do this exercise alone or with your family on thanksgiving or as a daily gratitude exercise.

ways to practice gratitude
10 Easy Ways To Practice Gratitude With Your Loved Ones

4. Start a service project with your family

One of the best ways of practicing gratitude is serving and giving to others. And what can be better to make your thanksgiving special than conducting a charity or volunteering event with every member of your family.

When we serve the needy, we will be more thankful for what we have in our life and experience more positive feelings. In fact, studies have found that those who volunteer regularly experience better mental and physical health and individual wellbeing

So make sure to plan for a service project with your family members that everyone feels passionate about. You can start by –

  • Cooking and serving food at your local soup kitchen
  • Sharing food, old clothes & blankets with homeless people
  • Visiting and doing something nice for senior citizens residing at your local retirement facility
  • Cleaning up garbage from a polluted area in your neighborhood or the beach
  • Volunteering to care for and playing with dogs and cats in your local animal shelter

Related: 10 Things You Should Be Grateful For When Going Through Tough Times This Thanksgiving

Not sure how this is going to make you and your family more grateful during thanksgiving? Let me explain. Once you have participated in an act of service, ask each member about how they feel about efforts and actions related to helping others.

Most of them will feel grateful for what they have in their own lives and for having the ability to help others. The ability to make someone else happy is a great power that we all feel intrinsically thankful for. 

According to a 2016 study, altruistic behavior can have an immediate internal reward for the altruistic performer. It can promote our well-being, quality of life and increase our “internal psychological potential to cope with the intense threat and pursue positive results.

Further studies show that people who volunteer frequently have more respect for themselves and others, experience more positive emotions and lower negative emotions and experience  higher levels of well-being. Now that’s definitely something to feel grateful for on this thanksgiving day.

5. Paint a gratitude rock

Practicing gratitude with a rock? Yup. Ask each member of your family to get outside and find a piece of rock or a stone – something small and smooth that can easily fit in the pocket or a purse.

The goal is to carry the rock with you at all times so the size needs to be small enough to be carried conveniently. Once all members have picked a rock according to their liking, gather your family together and ask them to paint their respective rocks and decorate it.

The objective of these painted gratitude rocks is that these will act as a reminder for you to be more grateful. Every time you see the rock, whether while putting it into your purse or taking it out of your pocket, pause for a moment and think of something that you are grateful for.

It can be something as small as the beautiful weather on that day or something major like your recent promotion at work.

Related: 5 Ways Gratitude Improves Our Mental Health

This is one of the simplest gratitude exercises for thanksgiving that you can do with your family. The rock serves as a physical reminder for what you have in your life. It allows you to be mindful in your daily life by making you pause and practice gratitude.

Repeat the process with your family every day to think of something you are grateful for yesterday.

benefits of gratitude
10 Easy Ways To Practice Gratitude With Your Loved Ones

5 More gratitude exercises for kids and adults for a Happy Thanksgiving

Here are some more  well-known gratitude exercises and activities that you can do with your whole family to improve your sense of thankfulness and gratefulness – 

6. Gratitude jar

Another great way for practicing gratitude is the gratitude jar. Decorate a gratitude jar and fill it with little notes of things you are grateful for. Over time you will have tons of things you are thankful for in your life.

7. Gratitude tree

Make a gratitude tree with your children by cutting out leaf shaped pieces from colorful papers and writing down things you are grateful for. Assemble all the pieces of paper leaves and glue them to a small branch or a twig to create your gratitude tree. You may also create a gratitude garden with multiple gratitude trees. You can do this with your children and with other adults.

Related: How To Make Entitled Kids Grateful: 7 Helpful Strategies

gratitude exercises
10 Easy Ways To Practice Gratitude With Your Loved Ones

8. Gratitude reflection

Among all popular ways of practicing gratitude, the gratitude reflection is my favorite. Take a few deep breaths to relax yourself and be mindful of your environment. Now think about the things you are thankful for – your loved ones, career opportunities, personal health etc. Reflect upon all the good things you have in life and thank the universe for the precious gift called life.

9. Gratitude letter

This is one of the most powerful ways of practicing gratitude. Simply write a letter, whether hand-written or an email, to someone you are really thankful for having in your life. Be detailed and personal about their most admired traits and send it to them. It doesn’t have to be long, it just needs to be from your heart.

10. Gratitude photo collage

It’s time to use your selfies to good use with one of the most fun gratitude exercises. Take a selfie with all your family members whom you love and are thankful for having in your life, including your family dog. Now create a collage with the photos and share with your loved ones on your social media profiles. You can even print a few copies and thank them in person.

Related: Thanksgiving And Developing An Attitude Of Gratitude In Hard Times

Celebrate what you are thankful for!

practice gratitude
10 Easy Ways To Practice Gratitude With Your Loved Ones

Thanksgiving is a time when we celebrate our gratefulness for the people and things that make our life meaningful and worth living. While some of us may not be as expressive as we might want to be around our family, we can still make an effort for practicing gratitude and show our loved ones how much they mean to us. 

These 10 ways to practice gratitude above can help you celebrate gratitude this thanksgiving with your family and friends and strengthen the bonds you share with your loved ones. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Related: 101 Things To Be Grateful For Today


Gratitude Exercises pin
10 Easy Ways To Practice Gratitude With Your Loved Ones
Gratitude Exercises expin
10 Easy Ways To Practice Gratitude With Your Loved Ones

— Share —

— About the Author —

Leave a Reply



Up Next

Are You The Scapegoat In A Narcissistic Family? 8 Scapegoat Roles

Scapegoat Of A Narcissistic Family? Types Of Scapegoats

Being the scapegoat of a narcissistic family is tough and confusing. You might feel like you are always the problem, no matter what you do. But did you know there are actually different types of family scapegoats? Yup, there are 8 distinct kinds, each with it’s own unique challenges.

But, who is a scapegoat really? When it comes a narcissistic family, there’s always that one person who is unfairly blamed and criticized for everything that goes wrong, even when it’s not their fault. They often bear the brunt of family abuse, feeling like they just can’t catch a break. That is who a scapegoat is.

Understanding the different types of narcissistic family scapegoats can help you make sense of your experiences and see that you are not alone. Whether you are the “truth-teller” who always speaks up or the “rebel” who refuses to conform, knowing your role and where



Up Next

Why Do I Hate My Father? 8 Effective Ways to Mend Your Relationship

Why Do I Hate My Father? Tips to Reconnect with Your Dad

“Why do I hate my father?” – if you have ever asked yourself this question, then trust me, you are not alone. Not having a good relationship with your father is one of the most painful things to experience in life.

Father-child relationships can be really complicated in many cases, and it’s normal to feel a mix of emotions. Whether it’s due to past hurts, misunderstandings, or present conflicts, your strained relationship with him can be really challenging and hard to navigate.

But there’s always light at the end of the tunnel, and I have some good news for you: it is possible to improve your bonding with your dad. Today, we are going to talk about some of the best ways to strengthen your bond with your father, and turn things around for the better.

So, ready to know how you and your father can reconne



Up Next

6 Alarming Signs Of Emotional Blackmail From Family (And How To Respond To Them)

Emotional Blackmail From Family: Warning Signs and How To Handle It

Emotional blackmail is a dysfunctional form of manipulation that aims to get a victim to behave a certain way by employing tactics of shame, guilt, or threats. It’s essential to be able to recognize the behaviors associated with emotional blackmail, especially when it comes to your family, so you can protect yourself from being mistreated.

If you suspect that you are a victim of emotional blackmail from family members, keep reading to identify the signs and ways to handle it. But first, let’s see how emotional blackmailing works.

How does emotional blackmailing work?

The term “emotional blackmail” was coined by Susan Forward, Ph.D., in her book Emotional Blackmail: When the People in Your Life Use Fear, Obligation, and Gu



Up Next

11 Hidden Signs Of A Jealous Mother In Law You Can’t Overlook

Jealous Mother In Law Signs To Recognize

A jealous mother in law can turn even the best relationships into a circus. Her little digs and comparisons are enough to make you feel like you’re walking on eggshells. But if you want to handle her, the first step is to understand why she’s acting that way.

Ever felt like your MIL is always trying to get her son’s attention whenever you’re around? Or noticed that she has a talent for undermining your choices and decisions? These subtle traits can be so hard to ignore, but understanding them can be the first step

Most mother-in-laws tend to act a certain way. If you recognize the signs, you can sail through this crazy situation with grace and keep the peace.



Up Next

5 Types Of Moms Who Raise Happy, Healthy Kids — According To A Therapist

Different Types Of Moms That Raise Healthy Kids

Wondering what kind of mom helps raise healthy kids? A therapist shares insights on 5 different types of moms who create a nurturing environment for their children.

These women aren’t overindulgent, uninvolved, or authoritarian — but they are not perfect, either. So how do they do it?

I cringe at the word “amazing” when used to describe moms. When I hear it, I think of the women who feel intimidated and inadequate just hearing this overused term. I certainly do. 

Let’s face it, motherhood is not for the weak and squeamish, and even on our best days as mothers we can fail one moment and succeed brilliantly the next.



Up Next

Consequences Of Emotionally Immature Parents: 7 Behaviors That Breed Self-Hate In Children

Toxic Things Emotionally Immature Parents Do To Their Kid

What happens when grown-ups who are expected to direct children through life, have difficulty with their own feelings? Children don’t hate their parents—they start hating themselves. That’s why we will learn about emotionally immature parents and the toxic things parents say.

This is crucial for healing and building healthier family relationships. So let’s explore it.

“Emotionally Immature Parents”: What Does It Mean?



Up Next

Are Narcissists Born Or Made? Let’s Settle The Debate Once And For All

Are Narcissists Born Or Made? Important Things To Know

Are narcissists born or made? Delve into the age-old debate as we explore whether nature or nurture shapes this complex personality trait. Uncover the secrets behind pathological narcissism!

Narcissists can be hard to empathize with, but research on inherited narcissism shows they didn’t choose to be that way; they bear scars from childhood.

Traditionally, childrearing, particularly by the mother, was considered the cause of narcissism. In recent years, more research and twin studies have also looked at genetic factors.