There are many things to be grateful for, but we often tend to focus on the negatives instead.
Many people only think about what they’re thankful for during special holidays or in response to big gestures.
However, if we focus on the smaller things that affect our lives, we can develop the art of grateful appreciation every day.
The following list may prove helpful if you are having trouble finding things to be grateful for.
I’m sure this list will show you that you have more things to be grateful for than you realize.
Note: I am aware that not everything on this list will be relevant to every person reading this. So please read on and choose things that resonate with you.
What Is Being Grateful?
Being grateful is defined as having an appreciation or being thankful for things in your life. Recognizing good things in our lives and acknowledging them is a form of grateful appreciation for people, things, and experiences that affect us.
Being grateful doesn’t mean that we block out the difficulties we may experience in life. Living a life of gratitude means that rather than focusing on the negative, we try to find things that we’re thankful for.
We can be thankful for the simplest things like seeing a beautiful rainbow, enjoying your favorite meal, catching up with a friend, or big things in life like the birth of a child or the recovery of a loved one after an illness.
What Are The Benefits Of Being Grateful?
There are many benefits of gratitude. Several studies in the early 21st century suggest that grateful people lead a happier life, are less depressed and less stressed.
Gratitude Can Help You Cope With Depression
Depression is sometimes associated with focusing on the negative things in our lives. The Journal Of Social & Clinical Psychology suggests that finding something to be grateful for offers more positive ways of coping with difficulties in your life. We can more effectively plan how to deal with problems and learn from them.
Gratitude Has A Positive Effect On Others
Showing gratitude will also have a positive effect on others. We all know how we feel when we are not appreciated for something we do. So when someone notices it and thanks us for it, it makes us feel good and improves our day.
Gratitude Helps You Connect
Gratitude acknowledges the goodness in one’s life. According to Health.Harvard.Edu, a person usually realizes that the source of that goodness lies at least partially outside of themselves. Consequently, being grateful also helps people connect to something larger than themselves – whether to other people, nature, or a higher power.
How Can I Be Grateful In Hard Times?
Practicing gratefulness is possibly even more important in difficult times.
According to Ryan Fehr, research shows that “gratitude can help us cope with traumatic events, regulate our negative emotions, and improve our well-being. More importantly, gratitude can have a positive effect on our friends and family, too. It’s a small way to have a meaningful impact.”
You can start with small things that we tend to forget and ignore every day.
When you wake up, you can be thankful that you’re breathing properly.
Feel your limbs as you stretch and be grateful that you’re healthy and able to get up out of bed.
Be thankful that you can see (okay, perhaps you may need to put on your glasses first).
Be grateful that you slept in a warm bed and have running water.
Before you’ve even gotten out of bed, you’ve already found five things that you’d really miss if you didn’t have them.
We often only realize what’s important once we lose them.
So start by thinking of each action you take and everything that affects you during the day, and imagine not being able to do that, have that, or experience that.
You’ll soon discover things that you’re truly grateful for.
Things To Be Grateful For Today
Every day we can find things to be grateful for.
We can start by looking at things that we usually take for granted, like having clean air to breathe and fresh water to drink.
Look around you and you’ll find plenty of things to be grateful for today.
- Waking up, breathing, and seeing a new day.
- A present family.
- A home to go to.
- Clean air.
- A favorable environment to thrive.
- The presence of nature that supports life.
- Fresh water to drink.
- The sun that lights up the day and keeps you warm.
- This moment you have right now.
- Living in an environment you feel safe in.
- The stability in your country.
- Income-generating activities. Having a job or generating an income is something most people strive towards.
- Your car.
- Having enough food for all meals.
- All the parts of your body.
- The availability of medicine.
- Access to premium health services.
- The availability of video chatting options to stay connected with loved ones.
Watch this inspirational video about the power of gratitude.
Things To Be Grateful For About Yourself
The way we treat ourselves often dictates how we treat the world around us, and how others treat us.
Take some time to find things that you appreciate about yourself.
You might be a great cook, or you might be grateful for the strength you’ve had to overcome obstacles in life.
When we find things in ourselves that we appreciate, we can see and appreciate them in others as well.
- Your unique personality that makes you who you are.
- Your level of education.
- Your emotional wellness.
- Your healthy immune system.
- Your resilience.
- Your unique energy and aura.
- The way you cook.
- Your unique point of view.
- Your sense of style.
- Having a sense of taste and smell.
- The sad or difficult times that you had that made you strong today.
- The ability to love people
- A heart to help strangers.
- The willingness to share with the needy.
- The ability to see beyond people’s looks.
- A full head of healthy hair.
- Your childhood and the memories you made.
- The networks you made earlier in life.
- Your unique talents.
- The skills you have grown over time.
- A sense of humor.
- A friendly demeanor to everyone.
- Your self-awareness.
- The support you offer others.
- Your attitude towards change.
- The quotes you live by.
- Your capacity to take care of pets.
- Your creativity.
- The ability to exercise and stay active.
- The past that shaped who you are today.
- The history of your lineage.
Things To Be Grateful For In Your Home
Having a place to come home to every day might seem normal to you, but it’s not the case for many people around the world.
Yes, someone may have a bigger house, or nicer furniture or gadgets.
There will always be people who have more than you, and there will always be people who have less.
Focusing on what you do have, rather than on what you don’t, will make you much happier in life.
- Having a comfortable home.
- The undisrupted provision of utilities- water, electricity, gas. Many countries have water restrictions or intermittent electricity blackouts.
- Technology that makes things easier every day.
- A TV that keeps the entertainment going for your family.
- A comfortable bed that provides relaxation and rejuvenation.
- Enough space for everything you have.
- A functional refrigerator that keeps your food fresh and safe.
- Your favorite radio station that entertains and informs you at the same time.
- Warm rugs on the floors.
- Tools for easy and quick repairs.
- The security in your home.
- A stocked pantry.
- Your phone that facilitates communication.
- A comfortable couch.
- The heating and cooling system in your home.
- Indoor plumbing. Believe me, when you come home from the bush, a flushing toilet (and hot shower) are your favorite things in your home.
- The washer and dryer in the laundry room.
- Your coffee machine.
- Light bulbs for the nights.
- The stove.
- The soft furnishings of your home that bring you joy.
- A clutter-free and organized home.
- New clothes in your closet.
- Your camera that documents happy and sad moments.
- Warm blankets for the cold nights.
- Thriving plants in your home. These purify the air in your home and add to the aesthetic.
- Drawers and cabinets that keep your home organized.
- Your morning alarm helping you wake up on time. Yes, I know, nobody really likes their alarm, but we do need it to get up on time, and therefore should be a little bit grateful for it.
- A home free of pests.
- A deck or patio in your home.
- Hats to shield you from the hot sun.
- A variety of clothes that match your style.
- A home gym that helps you stay fit.
Things To Be Grateful For In A Relationship
We don’t always take the time to look at and appreciate our partners.
With about 50% of married couples divorcing in the US, being in a happy relationship is something one should be grateful for.
- The connection you have with your partner. Being single, divorced, or widowed can be very lonely. Appreciate that you have someone special who you can connect with daily in your life.
- A happy, fulfilling marriage.
- Going out together with friends.
- Exploring the world together.
- Challenging each other.
- Learning from each other.
- Imagining the future together.
- Sharing secrets with loved ones.
- Having a fulfilling sexual relationship with your partner.
- A date night with a friend, spouse, or family.
- A cozy night in spending quality time with your loved ones.
- A supportive partner.
- The consistency in the love you receive.
- An understanding spouse.
Things To Be Grateful For As A Teenager
Teenage years can be tough as there are many physical, emotional, and social changes happening within and around teenagers.
Adolescents are vulnerable to depression, anxiety, and behavioral disorders.
Encouraging your teen to practice gratitude and start a gratitude journal, is a great way to help them to look at life in a more positive way, and to start appreciating the good things in their lives.
- Good friends.
- The hope for a better tomorrow.
- The ability to speak and be heard.
- Social media platforms that keep you connected to friends and family.
- A healthy family background.
- A fit, healthy, and young body.
- The opportunity to get an education. In some countries, children and especially girls, are not able to receive a proper education.
- Your last hour of school or work.
- A special teacher at school that goes the extra mile.
- The ability to read. Imagine not being able to read simple things like prompts on your computer games, road signs, food labels, memes, etc.
- Books that have helped you grow.
- Valuable information you learn from social media.
- Opportunities to meet new people.
- Music that lifts your spirits.
- Your hobbies.
- Having your own room.
- Access to wholesome and healthy food.
- Having access to fast internet that keeps you connected.
- Success in your exam or interviews.
- The future you are yet to experience.
- The memories you are yet to create.
- Feeling the school spirit when cheering on your team.
- Social gatherings that build connections
- Having fun. Your teenage years should be filled with a lot of fun with friends. As you get older, your responsibilities grow, and there isn’t always that much time to just have fun. Enjoy it!
- A concert you enjoyed.
- Long weekends.
- Videos and memes that make you laugh.
- The convenience of online shopping.
- Blogs with valuable information on different topics.
- Having the freedom to express yourself.
- Opportunities to volunteer and give back to the community.
- Having a bucket list.
- Useful apps.
- A sport you like.
- Having a bike to get around.
- Online courses.
- Opportunities to learn new languages.
Things To Be Grateful For At Work
Going to work every day might seem like a drag, and we often moan when our alarm clock wakes us up.
However, having a job or a way to generate income is a huge blessing that we should be grateful for.
We might be even luckier and actually enjoy our jobs and be grateful for amazing colleagues.
- Excellent connections at work.
- An understanding boss at work.
- A job that provides for your needs and wants.
- Failure that gave you the hard lessons to succeed.
- Lost opportunities that opened doors to better ones.
- Folders that keep everything organized.
- Equality in your workplace.
- A work-life balance.
- Flexibility at work.
- Your growth potential at work.
- The promotion at work.
- The flexibility of working from home.
Financial Things To Be Grateful For
- Investments that you have made.
- Extra money to save.
- The ability to settle all your bills.
- No debt. Most people live with debt, so you have a considerable advantage if you’re debt-free.
- The ability to afford a shopping spree.
- The ability to afford healthcare.
- Having money in the bank.
- The ability to afford school.
- Your credit card.
Deep Things To Be Thankful For
Practicing gratitude daily will lead you to be able to see and appreciate things that might not be as obvious, to begin with.
Have a look at this list of deep things to be grateful for, and see which of these resonate with you.
- Thoughts that help to shape your reality.
- Feeling appreciated for the things you do.
- The respect others give you.
- Finding joy in the little things.
- Being your best self without worrying about judgment.
- The ability to think and come up with solutions to problems.
- A good cry to let out your emotions.
- Being understood and feeling heard.
- A safe space to express yourself.
- The ability to beat fear and go after your dreams.
- Clarity of mind when making decisions.
- An open mind.
- Wholesome conversations with a different perspective to what you know.
- A growth-minded circle of friends.
- Experiences that helped you evolve.
- Kindness from people you do not know.
- Peace of mind.
- The people that rejected you and made you stronger.
- Wise words that you share with your circle.
- The compliments you receive from people.
- Being accepted in new environments.
- Meaningful conversations that steer you to growth.
- The courage to make a tough decision.
- Healing from things that happened to you.
- Mistakes you learned from.
- Feeling emotions.
- Being vulnerable with others.
- Apologies you have received.
- The changes in your life.
- Relationships that ended.
- Things that have remained the same.
- The ability to maintain honesty.
Best Things To Be Grateful For
- The blessing of becoming a parent.
- Family traditions you will keep alive.
- The productive days. Being productive gives you a real sense of achievement and joy at the end of the day.
- Giving or receiving genuine apologies.
- Friends that support you.
- Pets that light up your days and calm your nights.
- AHA moments that awaken you on a deeper level.
- The right choices you have made.
- Innovations that help prevent diseases.
- The joy your kids give you.
- Hugs from your loved ones.
- Waking up to the noise of your children.
- Completing a challenge you didn’t think you could hack.
Special Things To Be Grateful For
- Fresh, home-cooked meals.
- Rekindling a relationship with an old friend.
- Vacations with family and friends.
- The fun times that awakened your inner child.
- The memories you have of people that passed away.
- Surprise parties.
- Siblings that show up to help you during hard times.
- Alone time to reset and recharge
- The things that were passed down to you.
- The people that listen to you.
- The reassurance from your close friends.
- Time away from your responsibilities.
- A quiet night.
- People that you trust.
- Sunday’s brunch with great company.
- Acts of service from your partner or kids.
- The time you spend with loved ones.
- Milestones you hit.
- The ability to decompress and relax after long days.
Little Things To Be Grateful For
We often take for granted the very things that are most deserving of our gratitude. It’s the little things that add up to a whole lot of gratitude in our lives.
- Thank you, notes.
- Journey mercies whenever you travel. The smallest things can be hugely appreciated while traveling, especially with kids. Perhaps you get to check in first, you avoided a traffic jam, or your kids slept through the whole plane ride.
- Free things you have won. We all love winning prizes and getting a freebie.
- A cup of coffee. Many of us would be very grumpy without our morning coffee.
- Good roads that make it easy for you to get to where you need to be.
- Putting a smile on someone’s face. There’s no better feeling than knowing something you did made someone smile. It could be an act of kindness, a hug, or even just saying good morning to someone with a smile on your face.
- The afternoon nap that recharges you.
- Sleeping on a weekend.
- Beautiful stars.
- The scents of candles.
- Shoes for your feet.
- Flowers that bring you joy.
- A place you enjoy visiting.
- Herbs and spices that improve your food.
- Trying new restaurants.
- Having some quiet time to yourself.
Simple Things To Be Grateful For
Simple things often bring us so much joy. Appreciating the simple things in life can fill your gratitude bucket very quickly.
- A warm fireplace on a cold winter night.
- The beautiful snow during winter.
- Sunny winter days.
- A cool dip in the pool on a hot Summer’s day.
- Long drives to the countryside.
- Beautiful, sandy beaches.
- A beautiful garden.
- Your favorite fragrance.Your comfort meal.
- Beautiful sunrise and sunset.
- A great outdoor activity like a hike.
- Hot chocolate on a cold winter night.
- Your favorite cocktail or craft beer that you enjoy.
- A new, unique recipe that your family loves.
- Parks to visit.
- The freedom to explore everywhere.
- Access to a fully-stocked grocery store.
- Relaxing, warm evenings.
- Peaceful mornings.
- A beautiful sunset.
- The calming sound of rain.
- A calming shower.
- Something special you bought and still appreciate today.
- All seasons of the year; all are beautiful in their own way.
Watch this hilarious video on some awesome things to be grateful for.
Things To Be Grateful For In Recovery
The journey to recovery is often a long and difficult one.
According to the RCA, gratitude is an antidote for self-pity and selfishness. When you feel negative feelings start to creep in, it helps to focus on the good. Focus on what you want, not on what you don’t want.
Being grateful is a conscious decision, that you can choose every day.
- Quitting a bad habit.
- Having faith.
- Friends that extend grace when we need it.
- Getting better every day.
- A good night’s rest.
- Having the strength to get through another day.
- Progress. The progress you make by the hour, day, month, or year.
- Getting through a tough week.
- The days you showed up when broken.
- Access to therapy and mental support.
- Realizing that you’re worth it.
More Things To Be Grateful For
If the lists above weren’t enough, here are some more things you might be grateful for.
- Comforting prayer.
- Spiritual growth.
- Extra items you can donate.
- Inspiring speeches you have listened to.
- Your passion project.
- Going through sickness and feeling better.
- Your morning meditation session.
- The people you inspire.
- Different cultures you can learn about.
- Looking at old photographs.
- Selfcare days where you get facials, massages, pedicures, etc.
- Animal rescue centres.
- Access to free amenities.
- Hiking trails in your area.
- Planes that allow you to travel all over the world.
- Positive feedback.
- The encouragement you get to keep going.
- Gifts you have received from people.
- Wild animals in the parks.
- The bike trail in the neighborhood.
- Military personnel.
- Bees that provide you with honey.
- Fertile soil that allows crops to grow and produce.
- Nice neighbors. You only realize how lucky you are to have nice neighbors when you have grumpy ones.
- The fresh and new start of Mondays.
- GPS that helps you find your way.
- A journal providing you with a safe space to document your thoughts.
- Diversity. Having different backgrounds of people.
- A fresh supply of vegetables and fruits.
- Frontline workers serving the community.
- New things you have discovered lately.
Instilling a regular gratitude practice in your home will benefit everyone in your family. You can even start with writing a letter of gratitude to each family member, and ask them to make their own gratitude list.
Gratitude journals are also a wonderful way to start the day by documenting a few things we’re grateful for and increasing positive emotions.
When teens are going through a tough time, there are several mental health benefits to keeping a gratitude journal.
True gratitude comes not from trying to find big things and reacting to them, but from sitting in the moment and noticing the small things that enhance our quality of life and help us live a meaningful life.