Posted September 18, 2015

In Honor of World Gratitude Day: It’s Good to Be Thankful

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 — a guest post from Kimpton’s Director of Social Media, Whitney Smith

It’s easy to get tangled up in stress. Work, self-doubt and obligations can lead to unhappy thoughts that chip away at your wellbeing. As someone who works in the always exciting but often stressful field of Social Media (the internet never sleeps!), stress can sometimes derail an otherwise lovely day. A few years ago, I got to thinking: How can one consciously recover from anxiety-inducing situations and get back on track with happiness? I decided to do a little research into how to be happier day to day. What I found was something so simple and powerful, it made me wish I had this wake-up call sooner: the practice of gratitude. World Gratitude Day is September 21, so what better time to reflect on being thankful?


The benefits of practicing gratitude are abundant. Those who regularly practice it report experiencing more positive emotions, feeling more alive, sleeping better and even having stronger immune systems. And practicing gratitude doesn’t have to be reserved for special occasions. Certainly, you’d be thankful if you won a big prize in a raffle, but you can also be thankful for the soothing sound of rain.

Here are a few of my favorite ways to practice gratitude:

• Start a daily gratitude practice. Record at least one thing you’re grateful for every day. I like the Gratitude! app on iPhone and Android (I call it gratitude-to-go), but you can use a journal or even a Word doc. No matter the medium, the key to a rewarding practice is to be specific. If you’re thankful for your home, what is it that makes you feel thankful for it in this moment? Is it the way your family always seems to have the best conversations in the kitchen? Is it the new mattress you saved up for and purchased outright? The more specific, the more fulfilling the practice, and the more joy reflecting on your past entries will bring you.

• Write a thank-you letter. Happy people feel gratitude often, but the act of expressing that gratitude to another person takes it to a whole new level. Have you ever wished someone knew how thankful you are that they’re in your life? Tell them! Send a text, write an email, or really go for it and put pen to paper. The act of expressing gratitude for another not only makes that person feel great, but it’ll make you feel great, too (talk about a win-win!). Just try it and see.

• Turn gripes to gratitude: When your head is spinning around something negative (hey, it happens to all of us), try to identify a positive trait about that thing. Example: say you’re fuming over an impossibly long queue at the DMV (hey, that happens to all of us, too). Challenge yourself to feel grateful that you even have a car. Be thankful that, in this moment, you have time to just flip through a magazine. Appreciate the DMV employee who still manages to smile at you despite the uber tense environment. Because that, my friends, is pretty remarkable.

There you have it: three ways showing gratitude that can start to change your outlook. So the next time you feel your thoughts slipping into a place of negativity, take a deep breath and tap into your never-ending supply of gratitude. In fact, we think we’ll do that right now.


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One Comment

  1. Alison Hillman says:

    Such great reminders, Whitney! It’s so easy to get caught in the hustle of our daily lives, but practicing gratitude helps us stay present and thoughtful in our actions and focus on the positive forces in our lives.

    With that said, thank YOU for the friendly reminders. It helped me to re-focus my afternoon. 🙂