Gratitude Exercises & Activities

2-10 people

Although it's commendable to express our appreciation and positive emotions to others, we often overlook the benefits that come with giving gratitude. Research shows that sharing gratitude can have a significant impact on our brain function, resilience, and overall mental health.

Workshop steps


Studies indicate that practicing gratitude can: 1. Assist in making friends: Expressing thanks to new acquaintances increases the chances of forming lasting relationships. 2. Boost physical health: Grateful individuals experience fewer aches, better overall health, exercise more regularly, and visit their doctor more often. 3. Enhance psychological well-being: Those who are grateful have higher happiness levels and reduced depression symptoms. 4. Increase empathy and decrease aggression: Grateful people are less likely to seek revenge and more likely to act with sensitivity and empathy. 5. Improve sleep quality: Regularly practicing gratitude can lead to longer and better sleep. 6. Strengthen self-esteem: Grateful individuals have higher self-esteem, partly due to their ability to appreciate others' achievements. 7. Build resilience and mental strength: Grateful people are better equipped to overcome trauma and bounce back from stressful situations.




Gratitude Jar Activity Boost your well-being and perspective with this easy yet powerful gratitude jar activity. All you need are a few items: a jar (or a box); a ribbon, stickers, glitter, or any other decorations you like; paper and a pen or pencil for writing gratitude notes; and, of course, gratitude! Step 1: Choose a jar or box. Step 2: Decorate the jar to your liking. Tie a ribbon around the neck, add stickers, use clear glue and glitter for sparkle, paint it, keep it simple, or use any other creative ideas to make it visually appealing. Step 3: This crucial step should be done daily. Reflect on at least three things you're grateful for each day. It could be as simple as a coffee from your favorite spot or as significant as the love from a partner or close friend. Write these down on small pieces of paper and fill the jar. As time passes, you'll have a jar filled with countless reasons to be grateful for your life and experiences. This activity also encourages the practice of expressing gratitude. Whenever you're feeling particularly low and need a quick mood boost, take a few notes from the jar to remind yourself of the good things and people in your life.


Gratitude Stone Activity You might find this exercise a bit odd, wondering how a stone can help you practice gratitude. The key is that the stone serves as a symbol, a tangible item to remind you of your blessings. Follow these simple steps: 1. Choose a stone or any small object that you like, whether it's attractive, smooth, textured, or from a special place. 2. Carry the stone with you in your pocket, place it on your desk, or wear it as a necklace or bracelet. 3. Whenever you see or touch the stone, pause and think of at least one thing you're grateful for, big or small. 4. At the end of the day, when you remove the stone, take a moment to recall the things you were grateful for throughout the day. 5. When you carry the stone again the next day, repeat the process, remembering what you were grateful for the previous day. This activity not only helps you remember your blessings but also creates mini-mindfulness moments in your day. It brings you into the present moment and shifts your focus to something positive. By doing this multiple times a day, you'll likely notice your days becoming more positive overall.


Gratitude Walk To perform this simple exercise, all you need is your sense of gratitude and the ability to walk or use a wheelchair. During tough times, clear your mind by going on a gratitude walk. Walking itself is therapeutic, providing health benefits such as reduced stress, improved heart health, better circulation, increased energy, and lower blood pressure. Combining walking with a grateful mindset can greatly enhance your mental and physical well-being (Rickman 2013). The aim of the gratitude walk is to observe and appreciate your surroundings. Absorb the beauty of nature, the colors of the trees, the sounds of the birds, and the scent of the plants. Pay attention to how your feet feel as they touch the ground. For even greater impact, enjoy a gratitude walk with a partner or friend, showing appreciation for the time spent together.


Gratitude Reflection Exercise Practicing gratitude reflection can improve mindfulness, learning, self-awareness, and overall well-being. Follow these simple steps to practice gratitude reflection: 1. Find a comfortable position and take a few deep breaths to relax and focus. Observe your surroundings and the sensations you experience. Tell yourself, "For this, I am grateful." 2. Think about the important people in your life, such as friends, family, and your partner. Tell yourself, "For this, I am grateful." 3. Focus on yourself and your unique qualities, such as your imagination, communication skills, ability to learn and adapt, and resilience. Tell yourself, "For this, I am grateful." 4. Acknowledge the precious gift of life, the prosperity of the current era, your health, cultural experiences, and access to spiritual teachings. Tell yourself, "For this, I am grateful."

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Anna Lundqvist
UX Designer and AI Ethics Strategist guiding innovative product development and educational workshops
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Eddy Salzmann
Design lead and team culture enthusiast driving products and design processes
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Ola Möller
Founder of MethodKit who has a passion for organisations and seeing the big picture
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