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10 Ways to Practice Gratitude

Posted by Alexandra Van Rijn on

The times I’ve been the worst have been when everything was whirling around me and it felt like there was just too much noise in the world. Something that’s really helped me center myself has been the practice of gratitude. Take the time to sit down, reflect, and maybe even do something nice for someone. When you look at the bigger picture, there are so many wonderful things and people that compose our lives, and it’s important to remember that. 

Here are 10 ways to practice gratitude for yourself and those around you:

o Send a thank you note to someone who helped you this year
2016 is coming to a close and it’s been a tough year in many ways. But so far you’ve survived every single day and perhaps there’s been some special people who have helped you. Show them your gratitude with a simple note.

o Donate some used clothing to a clothing bank
As the weather gets colder, every morning becomes a reminder of how lucky we are to have warm clothes to bundle in. Donate some clothing and give a cozy winter to someone in need.

o Write a list of things you’re thankful for throughout the day
Bring a journal with you and write down everything you’re thankful for throughout the day. You’ll be amazed how all the little things add up to just so much goodness.

o Bake a treat for your best friend
Baking in it of itself is pretty therapeutic and I’m sure your friend will be so happy. Show up at the door of that person who has been with you through so much, and say thank you for everything

o Buy coffee for the person behind you
Pay forward gratitude by buying the drink of the person behind you in line. Everyone is going through something, and you’ll be surprised how one small action can set off a chain reaction of kindness.

o Take a day in silence and just journal
There is so much noise in the world. Simplify all the buzz and find out what really matters in life by staying silent for a day and journaling or drawing your thoughts.

o Hold the door for a stranger
Gratitude doesn’t have to be a grand gesture, really it’s a collection of all the little things. Holding the door is a sign of respect, decency, and simply a reminder we are willing to take a pause for someone else.

o Bring a meal to someone in need
If you’re a college student, maybe you’ve got an extra meal swipe that could mean a whole lot to someone else. Or you could even volunteer at a local soup kitchen.

o Call a family member you haven’t spoken to in a while
We all know family is the most important thing in the world, but sometimes things get busy and we forget to appreciate them. I promise you will make their day with a simple call.

o Give your room a well deserved cleaning and sleep early
Finally, practice gratitude towards yourself. Clean your desk, make your bed, and tuck yourself in knowing there is peace in the space around you and inner peace as well.


Take on our 10 Days of Gratitude challenge by pasting this printable (found below) into your calendar or on your desk - 10 days, 10 tasks, and an infinite amount of gratefulness. Be kind to yourself and others, the world needs it – always, but now more than ever.


Written by NYU Campus Rep, Mary Gao 
Edited by Executive Assistant, Addie Van Rijn 


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