Uplift Your Mood With These 6 Gratitude-Building Strategies

Most of us are constantly under pressure and on the go with our fast-paced lifestyles. It’s only natural for us to occasionally feel worn out or even a bit down from time to time.

The good news is that something as simple as refocusing your attention from your challenges to acknowledging the things that you are grateful for in your life can instantly boost your mood.

Studies show that practicing gratitude on a regular basis can raise your mood and also boost your self-esteem, will power, long term health, and even your level of success in life!

Beat the blues with these practices to help you develop your sense of gratitude:

  1. Keep a list of the things you’re grateful for. The next time that you feel angry, frustrated, or a bit depressed, make a list and literally count your blessings. Making a list helps you to stop obsessing over the current situation.
  • Don’t stop at just one list. Consider keeping a journal to record the things and events in your life for which you are grateful. Over time, you create a tangible record of all of the positive aspects of your life.
  1. Start the day on a positive note. Set the tone and focus for the rest of your day by taking a few moments each morning to review the positive things in your life.
  • Self-questions can be a great way to focus on the positive aspects of your life. Good questions to ask include: “What’s something good that is happening right now,” “What opportunities await me today,” or “Whose love am I grateful for?”
  1. Be alert to the goodness all around you. It’s hard to have a positive attitude if you focus on only the negative things happening around you. Make a point to consciously seek the good in everything, especially in small, simple things such as a child’s innocent laughter or the beauty found in nature.
  2. Perform random acts of kindness. You can increase your own gratitude by being someone else’s reason for thankfulness. Practice random acts of kindness by unexpectedly helping others.
  • What may seem like a small act to you can be a very large act of generosity to someone who is in need. Look for opportunities each day to help someone else. The other person will be thankful for your generosity and you’ll be grateful for the boost in your self-esteem and mood.
  1. A picture is worth a thousand words. Why not document the things that you’re grateful for by recording them with a photo? You can even spread the good thoughts around by sharing your gratitude pictures on your social media accounts.
  1. Save notes of gratitude, instead of loose change, in a jar. Too busy to make gratitude lists or keep a gratitude journal? Try writing short notes about gratitude to yourself and keeping them in a jar!
  • Whenever you need an encouraging word, remove one of the notes and read it to instantly perk up your mood!
  • As the end of the year draws to a close, look back over your gratitude notes to be reminded of all of the good things that happened to you throughout the year.

There are difficult times in everyone’s life, but practicing gratitude on a regular basis gives you the power and inspiration to remain positive as you overcome challenges.

Sign up for your Daily Gratitude Burst email (Free!) in the upper-right corner of this page!


  1. DrRenee Cohn Jones on September 10, 2021 at 11:12 am

    I was so excited when I learned a few years ago that you (Paul!) had created this website!

    Gratitude has always been a part of my life and I love finding like-minded people. In my family, when my kids were little, I would ask them each night for 3 things they were grateful for. As they got older we collected our gratitudes in a jar and read all of them on New Year’s Eve so we could get ready to experience positive things in the coming year (so I loved reading about that above!!).

    In my business, I spend the entire month of November brainstorming ideas to share with the parents I work with on how they can bring ‘gratitude’ into their families. I have shared your website a few times -looking foward to sharing this blog post this coming November!

    Thank you for bringing gratitude to and sprinkling joy into the world. We need more people like you!

    • Paul on September 10, 2021 at 11:13 am

      Oh my gosh, Dr. Renee! The please is all mine! I love the idea of collecting them and then reading them on NYE! I am going to start to do something like that too!

  2. Benecia Ponder on September 10, 2021 at 11:15 am

    Beautiful post! Gratitude is something I intentionally incorporate into my day. I haven’t used a gratitude journal in a while, but I love the idea of a gratitude jar. ?

    • Paul on September 10, 2021 at 11:21 am

      Thank you, Benecia! Gratitude Jars are so fun! Give it a try and let me how it turns out!

  3. Cindy Carothers on September 10, 2021 at 11:23 am

    These are great ideas to have when I need a pick me up adjustment in my outlook.
    And a companion to this is sending those notes of gratitude to others. Your note may be just what they need to pull out of a folder on a ‘bad’ day.

    • Paul on September 10, 2021 at 11:33 am

      I love it, Cindy! Yes!! Send out notes of gratitude to others – especially when you/I am in a not-so-good mood! That will be a sure way for me to lift my spirits!

  4. Rozlyn Warren on September 10, 2021 at 11:29 am

    Paul, thank you for the great reminders! I keep a gratitude art/junk journal…I get uplifted by playing with art which always lifts my spirits and have a lovely place to capture the positive evidence that I am loved, safe and totally supported!

    Here’s to looking for the silver linings in life!

    • Paul on September 10, 2021 at 11:33 am

      Thank YOU, Rozlyn! I love your outlook!

  5. Tishia Lee on September 10, 2021 at 1:05 pm

    Love this post, Paul. I used to do #4 often but it’s been a long time since I’ve done a RAK… hmm, guess when I head out to the store today I’ll look for an opportunity to do one!

    I also used to do #6. I had a glass jar sitting on my desk where I would jot down things I was thankful for and nice things others said (or gifted me or did for me) and put them in the jar. Then when I was feeling down, I would mix the notes in the jar up and pull one or a few. Worked wonders for helping me change my attitude in the moment. Hmmm… I guess it’s time to start this practice up again, too!

    And #5 isn’t something I’ve done. Well, at least not intentionally. I often take pics of things I’m grateful for but I’m not intentionally taking the pic as a way to document that it’s something I’m grateful for. So I am borrowing this idea and going to come up with a creative way to keep all those images in one place 🙂

    • Paul on September 11, 2021 at 8:36 pm

      Thanks, Tishia! Glad to see that you have some experience with some of these. WHy not give it a shot and try them again ;-)?

  6. Melissa Brown, MD on September 10, 2021 at 2:42 pm

    Love this, Paul. It’s often been said that gratitude increases a person’s vibrational energy to a level closer to that of enlightenment. There are even plenty of scientific studies showing the measurable physical and mental health benefits of practicing gratitude.

    Clearly, this is one of the best habits to incorporate into your lifestyle on a daily basis. Now in order to make sure we stay healthy, in addition to exercise, meditation, and eating healthy choices, we will also tick off whether we’ve practiced our gratitude for the day.

  7. Karen Sammer on September 10, 2021 at 4:12 pm

    Paul…I’m grateful for the friendship I have with you. I journal every night before bed and end the journal entry with 5 things I’m grateful for from that day. I do that because otherwise I might fall into the rut of using the same list over and over. In each journal entry I also write 5 affirmations which, when they manifest, give me even more reason for gratitude. It’s a great way to end the day on a high note. Whatever you are thinking about as you drift off is what your sub-conscious stews in all night. Make sure it’s something good. I always try to do that.

    • Paul on September 10, 2021 at 9:19 pm

      Thank you, my friend! There are not many people that I can call up at 11 o’clock at night – a true friend, indeed!

  8. Jennifer Burke on September 10, 2021 at 4:51 pm

    Thanks to you Paul I know what to do with the jar on my office bookshelf that has all the glittery, colorful, shiny stuff from over-buying at Michaels and has sat half-empty for years. It needs gratitude notes! How nice would it be to pull one out weeks or months later and feel the warm-fuzzies again.
    I can’t seem to stick with a gratitude journal habit daily as I feel I’d mention the same things all the time. So I also love the idea of taking pictures to put in a digital gratitude album. I will start with the amazing view I’m fortunate to have right now as the sunlight glints off the water behind my house while birds wing over head or come to visit.

    • Paul on September 10, 2021 at 9:17 pm

      I am here to help, Jennifer 😉 What is better than warm-fuzzies for a second time?

  9. Diane Hogan on September 10, 2021 at 7:47 pm

    Signed up for your daily gratitude email. Looking forward to your uplifting thoughts for the day. Glad to have learned of your website. Best, Diane Hogan, Shaman Spirit Mentor (DianeHogan.com)

    • Paul on September 10, 2021 at 9:13 pm

      Thanks, Diane! Welcome!

  10. Teresa Miller on September 10, 2021 at 11:27 pm

    I’ve done gratitude journaling and gratitude lists, but I’ve never had a gratitude jar. Now I MUST have one! And I think they would make an amazing gift to give to someone as well.

    The power of gratitude is immense, and it’s such a simple practice to activate.

    Just saying a little thank you to the Universe/Source/Creator on a daily basis for the things we often take for granted can lift our spirits. And saying a thank you to other people on a regular basis can lift our spirits AND theirs.

    If people would become quicker with their gratitude than they are with criticism, everyone would have more reasons to smile.

    • Paul on September 11, 2021 at 8:42 pm

      I agree with “If people would become quicker with their gratitude than they are with criticism, everyone would have more reasons to smile.” Wow! What a place this would be! Thanks, Teresa.

  11. Amanda on September 11, 2021 at 5:52 am

    Thanks Paul for the great inspiration. I love the idea of sharing gratitude photos on social media. I also like the idea of writing down what we are grateful for. I’m glad to have found the site. Thanks.

    • Paul on September 11, 2021 at 8:43 pm

      I am glad you found it too, Amanda! I am going to follow you on social media to see what you will be posting!

  12. Kelly Crompton on September 11, 2021 at 4:50 pm

    When I moved to my new apartment in a different part of the state, I had to leave all my clients behind (I’m a dog sitter and walker, so we couldn’t exactly move to remote work!)

    One client, in particular, left me such a sweet note that I of course kept and taped to the wall in my new apartment office.

    I have been saving these types of notes all along – when clients or previous students from my other life would give me notes or cards that just lifted me up. It makes me feel good when I need that little reminder that I DO have a positive effect on other people’s lives, even if it is just in my small corner of the world.

    I’m grateful for so many things, big and small, but I am not someone who will keep to writing in a journal or any of that. I will, however, look at pictures that bring up memories of time spent with family and friends, or all the dogs I get to play with on a daily basis, and I will read notes that were given to me.

    So I decided many months back that I want an “Ego Wall,” but that never quite seemed to be the correct name for it. You have given me the much more fitting term – my “Gratitude Wall.” Right now it’s just a few notes, cards, or pictures taped or pinned to a cork board, but I’m going to make it pretty. It deserves that. What I am grateful for most certainly deserves to be treated as the lovely pieces of my life that they are.

    Great writing, Paul – thank you for this!

    • Paul on September 11, 2021 at 8:56 pm

      I love the idea of a Gratitude Wall – it is always visible! What a great idea, Kelly!

  13. Dr Lisa Burnside on September 11, 2021 at 4:55 pm

    We need more of these types of websites. Gratitude starts and ends my day. It can certainly improve a mood.

    • Paul on September 11, 2021 at 8:45 pm

      Thanks, Dr. Lisa. At least there is one site like this 😉

  14. Cynthia Beckles on September 11, 2021 at 6:01 pm

    Paul this is such a comprehensive post on gratitude. I love the idea of the gratitude jar, pictures and notes. I collect thank you notes, but rarely read them. I did today. I found them to be uplifting, and a wonderful way to end the week.

    This post has so many great ideas. Thank you for writing it. It is a timeless post that I will turn to time and time again. It is a gift that will keep on giving. We may have challenging days, but it is gratitude that keeps me going. Thank you so much for his post!

    • Paul on September 11, 2021 at 8:26 pm

      Thank you, Cynthia! Which idea will you implement?

  15. Karin Crompton on September 12, 2021 at 9:28 pm

    I love this, Paul! I’m one of those people who’s never taken to consistent journaling, but the idea of a gratitude jar sounds fabulous. I’ve heard of people who will take the slips of paper out at the end of the year or some other time (birthday, maybe?) and have these great reminders about the positives in the year that’s passed.

    And the photos – that’s great! I’m brainstorming how to get my 11-year-old into that one, as he doesn’t always want to discuss things he’s grateful for and he’s not one to write down a list. Maybe he can put his little Polaroid camera to use!

    Thank you!

    • Paul on September 13, 2021 at 11:33 am

      I love the idea of inspiring someone to start at a young age. Just find out what he likes to do, and let him go for it! If it means using his camera, that is great! If it is cutting out pictures in a magazine, perfect! Good luck! I hope it works out.

  16. Mary Elizabeth O'Toole on September 12, 2021 at 11:13 pm

    I love your suggestions and am so delighted to have learned about your blog this weekend.

    Related to your keeping a gratitude jar, my husband and I have a fishbowl where we drop our gratitude during our week. We make a point of doing at least one on Sundays when we sit for our weekly check-in. We sometimes take them out as reminders when we need a pick-up but our tradition is that on New Year’s Day we read each of them out loud and stick them in our calendar for the ending year. This is our fourth year and it has become one of our favourite holiday rituals.

    Thanks for all the great ideas!

    • Paul on September 13, 2021 at 11:22 am

      It is a great holiday ritual, Mary Elizabeth! I love it!

  17. Erica on September 12, 2021 at 11:33 pm

    Thanks for sharing these ideas, Paul. I incorporate a version of all of these in my life with the exception of the notes. I absolutely love that idea. I am definitely going to add a gratitude box next to my prayer box and add notes as I have thought is gratitude and retrieve one (or more) when I need a pick me up. Thanks for that idea.

    • Paul on September 13, 2021 at 11:23 am

      You don’t have to have a formal process (even though you do, Erica) – just do what works for you! Thanks for stopping by!

  18. Kim on September 12, 2021 at 11:48 pm

    Paul, great idea for a blog. I have often tried the journaling but always found that I would be repeating myself for the things to which I was grateful. I then moved to a digital journal. I do remember the most rewarding part of keeping a journal, was the fact that I could reflect on all the awesome things that I was grateful for.

    After reading this post. My action item take-away is to wake every morning on a positive note.

    • Paul on September 13, 2021 at 11:31 am

      That’s great, Kim! There is nothing wrong with repeating yourself. And it is great that you are doing other things as well!

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