25 Ways to Express Gratitude

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  • Strategies to express your gratitude.
  • Expressing thanks regularly can help this mindset become a habit.

During the recent global pandemic and subsequent quarantine, I found myself feeling more gratitude for the smaller, truly important things in life. A gorgeous sunset, for example. A cup of hot, black coffee. Sandra Bullock’s Instagram feed. But I digress. Remembering to feel the gratitude is easy; the hard part is knowing how to express it.

In other words, once you feel the gratitude, what do you do to get your recognition of that gratitude out of your head and heart and out into the world? How can you make it a real, concrete aspect of your daily life?

Remembering to feel the gratitude is easy; the hard part is knowing how to express it. Click To Tweet

It’s not enough that it sits in the refrigerator of your brain like a six-month-old jar of salsa. You need to get it out of your thought process and give it some weight and gravity in the real world.

Expressing our thanks is a profound and sacred activity, because identifying and sharing what we’re thankful for (and not only when we’re in a Tryptophan coma in November) helps us realize that the number of blessings we have in this life is infinite (what I mean is, if you were to make a list of things you were grateful for, the list would never end). It also helps remind us to do it again and again and again until it becomes a habit, a practice, a ritual.

25 Ways to Express Gratitude

So here is a list of 25 ways you can express gratitude when you feel it. It’s not meant to be an exhaustive list, but rather a springboard to give you ideas of what shape your own expression might take.

  1. Use a gratitude jar
  2. Journal
  3. Pray
  4. Call a friend
  5. Tweet it out
  6. Post it on Facebook
  7. Post it on Instagram
  8. Write a poem about it
  9. Put it on the calendar
  10. Make a list of successes, blessings, and other good stuff
  11. Keep a gratitude folder in your email inbox and email yourself
  12. Write a “Thank you” card to The Universe
  13. Say “Thank you” out loud
  14. Thank someone for something they’ve done for you
  15. Say Grace before meals
  16. Say a gratitude affirmation
  17. Stop complaining for an hour (or a minute)
  18. Begin and/or end your day with a gratitude ritual
  19. Literally count your blessings
  20. Thank your pets
  21. Yell out loud that you’re grateful for YOURSELF (Don’t think I don’t know this one scares the Bejesus out of you!)
  22. Thank a favorite mentor, author, celebrity, or helper you admire
  23. Leave a bigger tip than usual
  24. Write a blog post
  25. Serve/Volunteer
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Put Ideas for Expressing Gratitude Into Practice

Grab a couple of these that speak to you and put them into practice. And then, when you feel the need, return to the list and try a few more.

Anne Lamott once said that “Help, Thanks, Wow” were three of the simplest prayers. I agree. But it’s recognizing, acknowledging, and expressing that second one—whether to a friend or loved one, God, The Universe, or The Great and All Powerful IS—that’s so easy to forget.

So: What will your new gratitude ritual look like? Feel free to drop a comment below or email me to let me know.

Oh, and while I’m thinking of it…thank you for all you do. I’m grateful for you. See what I did there?


Dan Tricarico has been a high school English teacher for nearly thirty years. He is also the author of The Zen Teacher: Creating Focus, Simplicity, and Tranquility in the Classroom (DBC, Inc. 2015) and Sanctuaries: Self-Care Secrets for Stressed Out Teachers (DBC, Inc. 2018). In his spare time, he enjoys writing, listening to music, reading mystery novels, watching movies, and staring out of windows. One of his first loves is writing poetry, and he has published many poems both in print and on-line.