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Such small words (and only two of them) express a profound state of being – gratitude. I first discovered what gratitude really means when I found my person in life.
After a long time on my own, I had kind of resigned myself to being the odd one out and always being alone… but when I met my soul sister for the first time, I felt an intense sense of gratitude. I was found.
If you’ve merely mouthed “thank you” when you receive a gift, you don’t quite know what having things to be grateful for means. Gratitude is an awareness that life is good, you are blessed, and there is a purpose behind everything.
While my ultimate gratitude has been for a person in my life, your gratitude may be for that job interview that worked out okay or the car that didn’t hit you on the sidewalk. There are so many things to be grateful for in life. Becoming aware of these gratitude-worthy moments, events, things, and people is how you build a life of inspiration.
What are you most grateful for?
What Is Gratitude?
Gratitude is a state of mind that has emotional, rational, and physiological components that go beyond merely being thankful. When you experience gratitude, you feel positive and warm about a situation or person, which is your thankfulness and feeling blessed by the object of the gratitude.
You also reason that you are lucky and graced by good fortune to have the event or reason for the gratitude in your life.
On a physiological level, gratitude manifests as a general feeling of well-being, improved immunity, and better overall health. You may even sense a glow-up in your being.
Being mindful of the things to be grateful for in your daily life is a state of mind that has the power to change your way of thinking and living.
See all the powerful benefits of gratitude.
Why Does Gratitude Matter?
While we are taught that gratitude is a “polite and nice” thing to do, we don’t always understand why gratitude does matter. Oh, we are taught in our religious institutions to be grateful and count our blessings and give thanks by way of alms, but we don’t always realize just why gratitude matters.
When you experience gratitude, you feel happier. With gratitude, your life outlook improves and becomes more positive. Where life had gotten you down before, you realize with gratitude that it’s not as bad as you imagined.
Gratitude helps you experience life in perspective. All the negativity, stress, anguish, and pain of living gets set in the right place on your life shelf, since you also know that there’s goodness, truth, and a sense of positivity in the world. Suddenly, with gratitude, it all becomes worth it.
Ways to Practice Gratitude
Gratitude is not something you are always aware of needing. It’s like the salt of life, and after you’ve tasted the meal, you can add it to make everything taste better. Gratitude takes a conscious effort – awareness.
There are a few ways in which you can practice gratitude.
Anything can be a gratitude worthy event. It doesn’t have to be a massive thing for you to feel gratitude for it. But what matters is that you notice something good has happened, and you are blessed by it.
Ways to notice and make the most of that gratitude include writing a journal daily, reflecting in the morning and again in the evening.
It may seem like a needle in a haystack at times to look for gratitude in your day. Perhaps it was truly awful: your parent died or you had a car accident. Surely there can be nothing worth gratitude on such a day?
Look for it, and you will find it. There is always a silver lining and an opportunity for joy and gratitude.
The way you look at the world changes how you perceive it. Practice gratitude by becoming conscious of your thoughts. If you tend to be negative, think the worst, and see the worst in everything, you CAN learn to think with gratitude.
Consciously begin to manifest gratitude in your day.
101 Things to Be Grateful for in Your Daily Life
If you think you’ve got nothing to be grateful for, this list of 101 things to be grateful for in your daily life will help to open your eyes and see what’s right in front of you.
Practicing gratitude has benefits like increasing your immune system, reducing inflammation and aches and pains, lowering blood pressure and reducing the risk for a heart attack. You will naturally take better care of yourself when you are grateful and exercise to build a healthy body.
You may not think it’s a blessing, but breath is a gift. It’s drawn for the first time at birth, and you breathe your last when you pass.
There is such joy in physical movement. Whether you are blessed with good health or partially disabled, if you can still move to some extent, you are blessed. Each step is one that someone else can’t take, so there is cause for gratitude there.
Whether you are in excellent health or suffering from some ailment, there is always someone who is going through worse. Health is a reason to feel gratitude.
You may not think of yourself as a beauty star, but in your so-called imperfection, you are perfectly you, and that is beautiful in itself.
“Youth is a gift wasted on the young,” George Bernard Shaw famously said. If you are young, value your youth and all the possibilities ahead of you.
Old age is often seen as a curse, yet it should be celebrated. With your maturity, you have earned experience and lived. If you’ve reached your golden years, there is such gratitude for this too—not many people get to where you are.
7. Your Hands
Looking at your hands right now, are you grateful for the gift of having them? Hands bring the blessing of touch. Hands let you work and let you hold those you love.
8. Your Opposable Thumbs
Give yourself a grateful thumbs up today—thumbs are what allow you to hold the TV remote, phone, pen and pencil, knife and fork, chocolates, drinking straws, and more.
9. Your Voice
Have you ever felt awkward when you hear yourself speak on a recording? While you may sound strange to yourself, your voice is also completely unique, as is the way you speak.
Poems have been written in praise of them, but lips are often overlooked. Without lips, you wouldn’t speak like you do, nor would you be able to kiss or smile.
When you start to take a second look at things, you begin to really give your mental faculties a workout and build new neural pathways. Gratitude is when you look twice at the world around you through the lens of positivity.
11. A Sense of Humor
Life can be a challenge, and one of the best mental skills you should be grateful for is a sense of humor. When you can laugh, you can live strongly.
Intelligence is what sets us apart from the animal kingdom, and if you have a higher IQ than a mushroom, be grateful.
While language can seem limiting, it is also how we communicate. Speaking a language means you can connect with others and share your thoughts. How amazing to articulate the intangible!
14. Puzzle Solving
Did you recently solve a problem? Your logic and puzzle-solving skills helped you out—time to give them a shout out.
15. Writing and Reading
Because you can read the thoughts of those who came before and leave a legacy too.
The wonderful chronicle of your life lies in your memories, along with where you left your keys.
Without the ability to have fantasies, we wouldn’t dream, and we wouldn’t strive for better and bigger things.
Be grateful for your imagination; it’s something not everyone has.
Again, not everyone has one (#clonesofsociety), so be happy for yours.
Your mental skills probably include a range of talents, from playing piano to reciting all the American presidents in order. You are special.
When you are grateful, you will be more caring, share more, and help others. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.
Having compassion will stand you in good stead.
Seeing others and being seen is priceless.
23. Your Tribe
When you find your people, hold on tight to them.
Hanging out with friends should be appreciated and not taken for granted.
Gratitude often begins with charity.
Such joy can be shared at gatherings of similar-minded people.
27. Being Polite
Develop manners and be grateful if you have them.
28. People You Meet
Meeting the people who change your life for better or worse – and there’s always something to learn from them.
29. Freedom of Speech
Living in a society where you can speak out.
30. Knowing Silence
The wisdom to keep silent in public and private is valuable.
Financial gratitude is about so much more than money.
Having it opens possibilities.
32. Losing Money
Teaches you to survive.
Helps dreams come true.
34. Earning Money
Working for your income is a gift.
35. Winning Money
Coz we all need a break too.
How you handle it helps you grow.
37. Not Depending on Money
Priceless to know you can do without it.
38. Money Shows People for Who They Are
Truth is valuable.
For a lesson in responsibility.
40. Having It and Not Needing It
Money can be a vile force unless you master it.
Having gratitude makes you feel positive and thankful. Joy, pleasure, optimism, happiness, and contentment come from gratitude.
For teaching the meaning of joy.
Learning what matters.
To help you believe in heaven.
Connection to yourself through the mirror of someone else.
To show you that you’re human and have things to work on.
So you can learn what not to do.
Showing you something is wrong.
So you can love yourself.
So you’ll never get bored.
Only in contrast can we learn what happiness means.
All of nature celebrates, and so should you.
New beginnings and potential each day.
Nature rests too.
So children can dream.
So you can feel goosebumps too.
To dig toes into and grow.
To quench thirst.
Keeping warm and for stories.
Man’s first companions.
So you can watch trees dance.
How the sea hugs the shore.
A neglected spirit is the whisper of a life not lived, so practice soul gratitude daily.
So you can speak and listen to your Maker.
For forgiveness to have meaning.
So you can know yourself.
What you are made of.
The movement of life.
66. Sharing and Expanding Consciousness
For when physical life ends.
67. Concept of Heaven
68. Concept of Hell
Spiritual self-awareness leads to a better relationship with who you are.
If life is gratitude, your soul is the thank you from the universe.
Family is more than blood, and each member in your family is there for a reason.
They made you. (#duh)
Mile markers on your journey to who you are now.
There to support you when it’s a bad family day.
Your real family when blood fails.
The space where you learn about family and yourself.
So you can remember that family matters.
It contributes to who you are.
78. Family Photos
So you can remember those who have passed.
79. Romantic Partners
So you can know the thrill of love and fear of loss.
80. Your Own Children
So you can teach others the lessons you learned.
We each have personal things we are grateful for. These can be random or deeply meaningful.
For unconditional love.
82. Add Breaks
So you can have a bathroom break during a show.
For a thirsty soul.
For wishes after storms.
85. A Good Book
86. Quotes from Famous People
Words that speak to your core.
87. Grass Underfoot
Best connection to primal roots.
88. Cooking Shows
Because we all dream of making fancy food.
So you can feel like a kid again.
There is so much we can be grateful for in the world.
So order can be maintained.
92. Rebels and Civil Organizations
Because order should be challenged too.
Because it helps us unite against an aggressor.
So reconciliation can happen.
Cultures are the spice of life.
96. Sports Events
So we can cheer for the underdog and wish we could participate too.
When disaster strikes, heroes help us believe in goodness and care.
Without them, we’d never have learned about the big stuff in life.
No matter the form it takes, opportunity is always a blessing.
We live on a rock spinning around the sun at a few million miles a second—and it sustains life—wow!
Finally, be grateful for yourself. You are unique and reach others in ways you can’t ever imagine.
Final Thoughts on Things to Be Grateful For
Gratitude is such a vital concept in our thinking paradigms. When we know what influence gratitude has on others and on us, we are better able to see our life in perspective.
Discover your gratitude and how to make the most of it by being conscious of every event in your life. Live moment by moment, and you will find joy in every second of this precious life.
Get started today by learning about how to make a gratitude board in our handy guide. Or start journaling a few minutes each day, even when you don’t feel like it, to help gain some perspective. Most often, things could always be worse than they are… and there is always something to be learned, even in times of despair.