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A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

7 Daily Habits of Naturally Grateful People

An attitude of gratitude is your ticket to a bigger, better, healthier, more connected life. We asked naturally grateful people about the habits that help them feel grateful and contented all year long.

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They pay attention

Naturally grateful people fight off discontent by paying closer attention to the good things in their life. They maintain a grateful attitude by consciously noticing the positive, over the negative, on a regular basis. “A lot of times I just look around at what I’ve already been given,” says Sarah S. “There are still trials in life that try to downplay what I already have, but all it takes is a few minutes of prayer and thanks for the things I have to make me see it through thankful eyes.”

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iStock/Xavier Arnau

They do more than just count their blessings

For grateful people, simply noticing the good in their life isn’t enough. Using photography, they capture the special moments, so they can look back on them if they’re struggling to stay positive. “Photo means light and graph has to do with writing,” says Chandler Jo S., a mom of three. “It’s my way of capturing and noting moments I am grateful for and it keeps my heart engaged in the beauty of this crazy season with my children.”

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They spread the love

Naturally grateful people want the friends and loved ones around them to benefit from their positive outlook on life, so they find ways to draw the people they love into their special moments, which actually increases their joy. “I try to always see the magic and beauty in daily life,” says April G. “When possible, I try to post it on social media to help others share in the moment and see how awesome the world around us can be.”

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They keep a journal

Journaling has long been a way to document the ups and downs of daily life. Those who easily see the bright side of things aren’t unaware of the difficulties they face, but they give greater weight to the good by journaling through their gratitude every single day. “I keep a journal of five things I’m grateful for each day,” says Kelly B., mom of one.

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They see the good in others

Even though it can be easy to focus on the faults of the people we live with or work with, naturally thankful people choose to see the good in those around them. “I try to smile at every person I encounter,” says Angela G. “I also try to identify a good quality in every person I know. Even if I don’t particularly care for that person, I will try to find at least one strength that they have.” These quotes about gratitude will give you all the feels.

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They slow down

“We’re often so busy that we miss what’s really amazing all around us,” says April G. “Recognizing it takes real practice, but it’s worth the effort.” By slowing down and being mindful, naturally grateful people are able to notice and appreciate the good in their world.

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They teach the habit to their kids

Parents who are naturally grateful teach their children to see the world in the same positive light. Adopting practices of gratitude in their homes is one way to cultivate thankfulness for the gifts we have. “I ask the kids at dinner, ‘What was the best part of your day?'” says Jessie N., mom of three. “If I ask, ‘How was your day?’ the answer is always ‘fine.’ This usually requires a more in-depth answer and causes them to focus on the good things.” As a bonus, fostering an attitude of gratitude can improve your life in surprising ways.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest