What Is Self-Gratitude and How Can You Practice It?

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The art of practicing gratitude has long been known to improve a person’s mental, physical, and emotional health. By focusing on the good instead of the bad, we begin noticing the good things that happen to us, and we see the world in a different light. The practice is even linked to better blood pressure, lower stress, and improved self-esteem.

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Practicing self-gratitude is just as important as practicing regular gratitude, and the benefits are just as plentiful. In addition to lowered stress and improved self-esteem, you’ll probably notice yourself smiling more, feeling better about the day, and enjoying who you are as a person. Ready to get into it? Keep reading for all you need to know about practicing self-gratitude.

Definition of Self-Gratitude

Self-gratitude is a thankfulness practice where you affirm things about yourself that you appreciate. This can include things like your personality traits, your abilities, your skills and talents, your knowledge, your style, your choices, and your physical self. 

Why Practicing Self-Gratitude Is Important

There’s a lot of negativity in the world today. If we’re not careful, the negative can become the predominant voice we listen to. Instead of recognizing what is true and appreciating ourselves, the negative voices will tell us to turn a critical eye on ourselves and point out every flaw, everything we don’t like, and all the things we should be doing better.

Negative self-talk will kill your self-esteem, limit your dreams and ambitions, and place restrictions on yourself. On the other hand, self-gratitude can spur you on to accomplish your dreams, take up new challenges, and smash records by setting new ones.

When you acknowledge the things you appreciate about yourself, you’ll start to see yourself in a new light. Your self-esteem can dramatically improve, you’ll start to see yourself as valuable and needed, and you’ll find that the more you show gratitude to yourself, the more you’ll appreciate who you are.

Ways to Add Self-Gratitude to Your Daily Life

Want to start being more grateful for the wonderful person you are? Here are several ways to start practicing self-gratitude.

Use daily affirmations

Daily affirmations are true statements about yourself that can make you feel better about yourself. They focus on the good about you as an individual, what you bring to the world, and why the world would be a little less if you weren’t in it.

There are many ways to incorporate daily affirmations into your life. Here are several.

  • Print them out: Handwrite or print out affirmations on notecards and place them in areas where you’re sure to see them. Put them on your bathroom mirror, your refrigerator, and in your car, and use them as a bookmark in the book you’re reading. Put them everywhere you go so you’ll see these affirmations each day.
  • Read them aloud: You might find it helpful to look at yourself in the mirror and read the affirmation about yourself. Tell yourself what is true and shut out the voices that make you think otherwise.
  • Write them down: Consider keeping an affirmations notebook by your bed and writing one down each day or night. The act of writing and reading what you’ve written will help you focus on what is true about yourself.

Start journaling

Using a gratitude journal is an excellent way to incorporate the practice of self-gratitude. Carve out some time in your day where you can focus on journaling rather than your to-do list. Write a few lines each day highlighting things you’re thankful for about yourself. Here are some prompts to help you get started.

I learn the best when I…. I love this about myself because it allows me to…

I love that I am skilled in… because…

I love how I look. My favorite part of my body is…

I am the only one I know who can…

I think I am special because…

Use prompts like these and others that come with a journal you purchase to inspire you and lead you to discover all the ways you are wonderful. 

Compliment yourself

Think back to the last time someone paid you a compliment. How did you feel? It probably made you feel amazing. Well, you don’t have to wait until someone notices you. Stop the negative self-talk and choose one thing to compliment yourself on every day before work.

You could give yourself a compliment for:

  • The way you look
  • Your smile
  • Your hairstyle
  • Getting the kids out the door on time
  • Getting lunches prepped the night before
  • Being on top of laundry and household chores
  • Doing life when you don’t want to
  • Challenging yourself to try something new

The list goes on and on. Look for ways to pay yourself a compliment each day, then follow through and give yourself that compliment. You might be surprised by how it makes you feel.

Be specific

Self-gratitude works best when you are specific about the things you’re thankful for. Swap out broad, generic statements for the exact qualities you see. Here are several examples.

  • Rather than saying, “I’m thankful for the way I look today,” say, “I love the way I chose my white jeans to pair with this maroon top. I am a really good stylist.”
  • Rather than saying, “I like my hairstyle,” say, “I love the way the front of my hair frames my face and makes my smile stand out. I love my smile.”
  • Rather than saying, “I’m grateful I got the kids to school,” say, “I’m grateful that I planned ahead and prepped lunches last night so I could get the kids to school on time today. I’m a really good planner.” 

The more specific you can be, the better you’ll get at learning how to appreciate the things that make you unique, special, and wonderful.

Take notice of your qualities

Everyone has qualities that make them unique. Noticing these things can be a good practice in self-gratitude. For example, are you an especially kind person? Perhaps you are more compassionate than most. Do you notice what needs to be done around the office and do it without anyone asking? 

Notice the qualities that make you, you, and you’ll soon realize that you are someone to value, cherish, and appreciate. As with the former tip, be specific. Don’t just say, “I’m a nice person.” Instead, point out the specific reason why you thought that. Say, “I was kind to my coworker when I held the door open for her this morning,” or “I was kind to the person behind me in the drive-thru when I paid it forward and bought their coffee.”

Write down compliments you receive

Oftentimes, when we receive compliments, we say thank you and move on with our day. Rather than acknowledging them then forgetting about them, pause for a minute to genuinely thank the person who complimented you. Then, when you have a minute, write it down.

The act of writing down what was said can help you remember the feeling that came with receiving the compliment. Later on, when you read back through the compliments you’ve received, you might be surprised by how many things you have to be grateful for and how many people have pointed out something good about you.

Notice something new

It’s easy to take the good things in our lives, including ourselves, for granted. Try finding one new thing to notice about yourself each day. This can be anything from the way you look to the way you solve a problem at work. There’s no limit to the things you might notice about yourself when you start looking.

Take this one step further and write down what you noticed. After a few weeks, you’ll have a lengthy list of some of the many things that make you “you.”

Examples of Self-Gratitude Quotes and Affirmations

One way to begin practicing the art of self-gratitude is by reading quotes and affirmations about yourself. Here are several to get you started.

“I am thankful for the way I can see solutions to everyday problems.”

Recognizing your strengths is a great way to acknowledge how amazing you are. Are you a problem solver? Big-picture person? Detail-oriented? Discover where your strength lies and celebrate it!

“I am grateful that I am strong and resilient. I know I’ll be able to make it through.”

If you’re going through difficult times, acknowledge how strong you are. You might not feel very strong, but if you continue to get out of bed in the morning and manage to cope with the daily stresses and responsibilities of life, you’re much stronger than you think.

“I am thankful for my positive outlook and the way I can accept both good and hard times as being valuable.”

Are you a glass-half-full person? Do you see every day, good or bad, as part of your journey? Celebrate this positive can-do attitude and be proud of yourself for using all circumstances as a way to grow as a person.

“I am glad I had the opportunity to get to know Sarah. She helped me become a better friend.”

When we lose people we love, it can be difficult to see the good of those relationships in light of the pain we feel. Celebrate your friendships and relationships by thinking about the ways that person impacted your life. Did they help you become a better friend? Perhaps they taught you something special. Maybe you learned an important life lesson from them. 

Acknowledging how a person impacted your life is one way to show grief and gratitude after a loss.

“I appreciate my desire to continue learning, growing, and developing into a better person.”

What is something unique about you? Do you like to learn new skills? Are you a fountain of knowledge? Do you challenge yourself to reach new heights in sports or the workplace? Celebrate these unique parts of yourself by acknowledging them and taking notice of them.

Celebrate Your Wonderful Self

The art of practicing self-gratitude plays an important part in recognizing the wonderful and unique qualities that make you “you.” The more you focus on the things you love about yourself, the less susceptible you’ll be to negative self-talk. You’ll also find your self-esteem growing by the day. We hope you start celebrating who you are because you are amazing.

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