The Magic of Daily Gratitude Rituals

Jun 23, 2022 2 Min Read
practicing gratitude rituals
Source:Illustration by storyset on
Get Your Day Started with Gratitude

I woke up before the alarm went off. I had so much on my plate that I didn't sleep well, and I was more than a little anxious (if there was only a book for that!). That morning, it was all I could do to drag myself out of bed and crawl to the shower. Still, my rituals kicked in.

Every morning I text 21 people in my church congregation and executives I coach with a positive message. They expect something uplifting to their day, and I didn't want to disappoint them. An expectation of positivity got me in motion. As I thought about these amazing friends and how grateful I am to have them in my life, my attitude started to change. The positive message worked its magic on me too.

It's a simple ritual, but it made all the difference, and I was off and running. Gratitude started to make my day not just bearable but wonderful.

Around the world, we are meeting as businesspeople in live sessions again. With that comes a much different daily routine. We may be commuting to work, flying to meet with a customer we haven't seen in ages, or even going to the movies again. For me, it means traveling all over the world—airports, taxis, Ubers, Lyfts, and shuttles. My daily schedule is upside down from the calm days of COVID seclusion. Thus, it has become more important than ever for me to stick to my daily gratitude rituals. They keep me centered. They give me a reason to get out of bed and move even when I haven't slept well just to feel overwhelmed by the many things I have today and the rest of the week. They get me in motion.

Related: From Anxiety to Confidence

You may have those rituals that get you moving, and I would love for you to share them with me. Here are a few of mine:

1)   A daily walk. I have an Apple watch, and I get at least 30 minutes of exercise every day. I also shoot for 10,000 steps (about 4 miles). Just getting out of the house and breathing settles my mind. I may listen to an audiobook or sometimes let the quiet in. Rain or shine, I head out.

2)   Writing in my gratitude journal. I write in my journal in the morning as I think about the day before, the wonderful people I met and worked with, the sunny weather, and seeing the grandkids. There is always something to be grateful for every day.

3)   Meditation and prayer. It is so wonderful to take 10 minutes with the Calm app to breathe deeply and sit. Then I kneel in prayer and give thanks for my many blessings. It keeps me humble and grateful and is a beautiful way to start the day.

4)   I send a positive text to a few dear friends and people I coach. Just a short message that lets them know I am thinking about them and grateful for our friendship.

5)   I do my best to lift up a stranger every day. It might be the Uber driver, a waitress at a restaurant, or a flight attendant. I give them a small gratitude stone to thank them for their care and service. It's a simple random act of kindness that keeps me aware of the good things and people surrounding me. It helps keep me in a mindset of gratitude.


Infographic by Leaderonomics: How to Practice Gratitude Daily

It is easy to go down the newsfeed rabbit hole first thing in the morning or worry about the mountain of work waiting for us. That can make it hard to even get out of bed. We need to change that dynamic and start our days in a way that makes starting our day exciting and full of gratitude.

Read More: Positive Thinking and How to Practice it

What are your gratitude rituals? What do you do to get in motion when the last thing you want to do is get out of bed?

This article was also published on Chester Elton's LinkedIn.

Show gratitude to your employees by using technology like Happily (or Budaya for those from Indonesia). This app is an amazing engagement app built for organisations to drive engagement amongst employees. It has amazing analytics and also provides activities for employees to be fully immersed in the organisation's culture and values. To find out more, click here or email

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Chester Elton is the Author of "Anxiety at Work" & "Leading with Gratitude", an Executive Coach, Keynote Speaker, and Founder of the #findyourgratitude Community. He has spent two decades helping clients engage their employees in organizational strategy, vision and values. In his inspiring and always entertaining talks, Elton provides real solutions for leaders looking to build culture, manage change and drive innovation. His work is supported by research with more than a million working adults across the globe, revealing the proven secrets behind high performance cultures and teams. Elton is co-founder of The Culture Works, a global training company, and author of multiple award winning, #1 New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestsellers, All In, The Carrot Principle and The Best Team Wins. His books have been translated into 30 languages and have sold more than 1.5 million copies.

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