This post is everything you need to know about keeping a gratitude list. The post includes a long list of unique things to be thankful for.
An article I read recently made a distinction between “feeling grateful” and “being grateful”.
You see, while feeling grateful is passive and influenced by a bunch of wishy washy factors, being grateful is a choice.
Being grateful is something that you can (and should) choose to be, despite your circumstances and despite the number of reasons that you think you have for being a negative Nancy (apologies to all the positive Nancys out there).
Keeping a gratitude list or gratitude log is the perfect way to adopt an attitude of gratitude.
Here are some of the biggest reasons why…
Why Make a Gratitude List?
There are a boat load of benefits to keeping a thankful list.
Read 28 Benefits of Gratitude & Most Significant Research Findings, if you want the detailed lowdown.
But in short summary, being more grateful can positively affect your emotions, personality, spirituality, health, social life and career!
You can look forward to the following 3 things, in particular.
Being Grateful Makes You a Happier Person
Being grateful can shift your mood.
By intentionally focusing on what you do have in this life (instead of what you don’t), you block negativity from clouding your mind and mood.
In his essay, Robert Emmons says “In the face of demoralization, gratitude has the power to energize. In the face of brokenness, gratitude has the power to heal. In the face of despair, gratitude has the power to bring hope. In other words, gratitude can help us cope with hard times.“
That says it all!
Thankfulness Rewires Your Brain (In a Good Way)
Training your brain to identify the positive results of negative events is a way to reframe your memories and experiences.
And not only does being grateful give you a better perspective, it also inspires hope and decreases stress which goes on to relieve tension and improve your health!
Finally, gratitude makes us more resilient to minor and major sources of stress.
Gratitude Trains Your Mind to See the Good
Even when it feels like you have nothing, do you reeeeeally have nothing though?
When it comes to your mindset, repetition is everything. What you spend time and energy on is what your mind will become trained to notice.
For example- have you ever noticed that whenever you drive a new car, you can’t help but notice how many of the same car (make & model) in the same color are on the road? It’s like that.
When you start pointing out the good things in your life, you can’t help but to notice more and more good things as you go along.
(Speaking of, join my email family for weekly tips on training your mind and adjusting your self-talk)
200 Gratitude List Ideas
of Things to Be Thankful For
Now that you’re convinced (and hopefully excited!), let’s talk about starting your very own gratitude log.
All you need is something to write on and something to write with. It can be a piece of paper or it can be a journal. (I’ve listed my recommendations for highly-rated gratitude journals at the very end of this post). You can truthfully even type your list on your phone or computer; just know that writing it can be more impactful.
Now, start writing and make a plan to do so several times a week.
Below, I’ve listed 200+ things to put on a gratitude list. So, when you are stumped or need some inspiration, you know where to find it! Right here!
BOOKMARK THIS PAGE
so that it’s easy to return when you’re having a crummy day and it’s hard to see the silver linings.
I think you will also notice that once you get in the habit of listing what you are grateful for, you’ll start to notice things throughout your day that you want to add to your daily/weekly lists.
My gratitude list examples are organized into the following categories:
- Daily or Morning Gratitude Ideas
- Deep Things to be Thankful For
- A to Z Gratitude List
- People to be Thankful For
- Gratitude for your Spouse
- Gratitude Affirmations
- Personal & Self-Gratitude Ideas
Daily or Morning Gratitude Ideas
It’s a beautiful day to be alive, ain’t it?
Keeping a morning gratitude list is popular because it starts your morning off with that attitude right there.
And when you start off with such a pleasant disposition, it’s real hard for something to get you down the rest of the day.
If your morning routine or morning journaling time doesn’t allow, you can also make a daily gratitude list in the evening-time, before bed or even during your lunch break.
One benefit of doing it later in the day is that you can show appreciation for the things that went well earlier that same day.
You can keep things simple and just list 3 things you are grateful for today, or you can go more in depth with gratitude journaling prompts and describe why you’re grateful for each item.
Here are some ideas to steal for your everyday gratitude list-
Today I am grateful for…
- A fresh start
- The ability to walk
- A good night’s sleep
- The comfort of my own home
- Tastebuds to taste delicious food
- Eyes that see and appreciate beauty all around
- The ability to smell
- The gift of hearing
- Limbs that work
- The beauty of Mother Nature
- Access to food
- Clean water to drink
- Indoor plumbing
- Loving pets
- Medicine to help us feel better
- Rainy nights that lulls you to sleep
- The first snowfall of winter
- Fun parties
- Sunrises & Sunsets
- The ability to travel
- That feeling you get after accomplishing something very difficult
- The immune system
- Your job
- Direct Deposit
- Hot showers or baths
- Your favorite shows
- The feeling and smell of newly washed sheets
- Game nights
- Flowers and plants
- Waking up and realizing you can sleep in longer
- Long, reflective walks
- Meals so delicious that they make you dance
- Lazy days
- Sunday afternoon naps
- 3-day weekends
- The feeling you get when you have an amazing outfit on
- Babies! Their innocence, the way they smell, their smells and adorable cooing
- Food delivery services
- Exciting reunions
- Hobbies that make life interesting
- Binging a juicy new show
- Scented candles
- Getting a good grade
- DJs or playlists that play hit after hit
Deep Things to Be Thankful For
While it is important to give thanks for the small joys of life (like that feeling you get when you finally slip into a bed after a hectic day ahhhh), it’s also important to express sincere gratitude for the profound and significant experiences in this life.
When acknowledging the deep things that you are thankful for, try to be as specific as possible.
Instead of writing “I’m grateful for the ability to communicate“, go deeper and say “I’m grateful that I can call my best friend to talk whenever I need to because it makes me feel heard“.
Here are some examples to get you thinking…
- The ability to feel things and experience emotion
- The challenges you face that make you a better person
- Being able to enjoy things today that you prayed for in the past
- The ability to communicate with others
- Rest and relaxation
- The ability to express creativity and make art
- Fresh starts and new beginnings
- The ability to think clearly and focus
- The things that bring purpose and meaning to life
- Being able to come home after a tough day to a space where you feel comfortable and accepted
- The ability to make and then recall memories
- The things that are invisible but oh so important in your life (your faith, oxygen, thoughts…)
- Having people to turn to when the world feels harsh and life is hard
- Being surrounded by free learning opportunities
- The everyday blessings that feel so automatic that we take them for granted
- The feeling of acceptance when you’re with your tribe
- Diversity and culture
- The moments when you laughed so hard that you cried
- Growth and progress
- The opportunity to experience new things
- The ability to change
A to Z Gratitude List
This is sometimes referred to as an alphabet or abc gratitude list.
All you have to do is list all the letters of the alphabet and then write something to be grateful for that starts with each letter.
This is a fabulous gratitude activity to do with children, for fun or as a coping or self soothing strategy. It’s is a creative way to identify silver linings!
Here are my examples of what I would list for each letter-
- Easy solutions
- Good friends
- Mental health
- Quiet moments of peace
- Social media
- Text messaging
- Unexpected gifts
- Xoxo (aka kisses and hugs) or X-rays and modern medicine
- Zzzzz’s… Sleep 🙂
People You’re Thankful For
For this category of grateful list ideas, start by thinking of the people who positively impact your life from day to day. Then continue to people who work behind the scenes of your life.
Take this a step further by sending a thank you card or text to whoever you are expressing gratitude for, thanking them for their contribution to your life.
This is one way that gratitude can improve your relationships.
- Good neighbors
- Significant other
- Friendly cashiers
- Old friends
- New friends
- Doctor and nurses
- Emergency workers
- Smiling strangers
- Coworkers you can count on
- Role models
- The person who gave you a job
- Philanthropists that donate to important causes
- Scientists that discover new things
- The people that do grimy yet very necessary jobs in society
- Inspirational people that motivate you
- People who screwed you over but unintentionally paved the way for better opportunities
- Authors that write your favorite books
- The people who bring us technology
- People that advocate for you even when you’re not in the room
- Civil Rights leaders
- People who donate blood and organs
- Whoever invented ‘auto-save’
- Whoever thought of pizza!
Gratitude for Your Spouse
One important thing to add to your gratitude list for today is your relationship. Writing a list of things that you are grateful for when it comes to your spouse and the life you share can improve your marriage.
Researchers have found that “feeling appreciated and believing that your spouse values you directly influences how you feel about your marriage, how committed you are to it, and your belief that it will last.”
That being said, one way to enrich your relationship is to share your relationship gratitude list with your significant other. Try texting them one gratitude daily or writing a mini list on greeting cards as gifts.
Or, both of you can share your gratitude lists with each other on date nights.
Here are some ideas of things to give thanks about your spouse-
- Their trust
- Their unconditional love
- Their cuddles
- Their support
- Their encouragement
- Their provision
- Their listening ear
- The circumstances that led you to find each other
- Their tender touch
- Their ability to make you laugh
- Their loyalty
- Their honesty
- Their hard work
- Their embrace
- The inside jokes that you both share
- Their smile
- Your memories and history
- Their forgiveness when you hurt them
- Their apologies when they hurt you
- Their romantic side
- The deep conversations that remind you just why they are ‘your person’
- The way they make your body feel
- Their perspective
- Their help with the children
- Their cooking
- The nice things they say about you
- The way they take care of you when you are sick
- The way they care for your home
- Their acceptance
- Date nights
To incorporate gratitude into your daily affirmations, begin your affirmations with gratitude words like “I am grateful for…” and “I am thankful that...”
You will end up with a thankful list that you can make into affirmation cards or use as mantras.
- I am grateful for a new day.
- I’m thankful for the ability to think clearly.
- I appreciate my past, and I learn from it.
- I’m grateful for friends I can count on.
- I will view everything I come across today as a gift.
- I’m thankful for celebrations that bring us together.
- I see beauty in everyday things.
- I am grateful for the opportunity to use my legs, hands and body today.
- I appreciate the communities and groups that bring me support.
- I am grateful for all the ways that I’ve received help.
- I am grateful to have survived the worst days of my life.
- I am grateful to have someone to share the deepest parts of me with.
- I am blessed to have choices.
- I am grateful for the ability to create (whether it be a DIY project, a social media post, a poem, a meal, etc).
- I am thankful for the ability to earn money.
- I am grateful for the health of my friends and family.
- I’m grateful that I was born.
- I am thankful for the gift of music.
- I appreciate the nutrients that good food brings.
- It is a blessing to exist in the day and age of modern medicine and technology.
Personal & Self-Gratitude Ideas
Last but not least, be grateful for yourself! All the progress you have made, your unique identity, your beauty, your experience… there is so much about your life to be thankful for!
- Your one-of-a-kind personality
- The goals you’ve accomplished
- Your contributions to the world
- Your style
- Your growth as a person
- Your resilience to keep going when things are tough
- Your ability to do hard things
- Your core values
- Your curiosity and desire to learn
- The unique way that you see the world
- Your sense of humor
- The unique lessons you’ve learned from the unique mistakes you’ve made
- Your creativity
- The talents you were born with
- The skills you’ve sharpened over the years
- How far you’ve come
- Your discipline
- Your ability to change your own life
- Your memories
- Your ideas, both great and not-so-great
- Your nurturing spirit
- Your intuition
- Your business acumen
- Your voice
- Your drive
- Your self-awareness
- How sensitive you are
- The way you look
Gratitude is free but the benefits are so potent. I hope that these ideas for your gratitude list help you on your journey to becoming a more grateful person.