How often do you look back on your life or after achieving something and think about all the things you should be thankful for? For most people, the answer to this is almost never. We often take things and people for granted, complain too much, or work too much, and rarely pause to truly appreciate all the good things we have in our lives and be thankful for them. 

It is almost the end of the year, and there will never be a better time to practice gratitude than right now. Looking back on the past year or even your entire life, you will probably realize that there are so many things to be thankful for – from big achievements to others that are smaller but deserve to be celebrated and appreciated just the same.

Gratitude means being appreciative and content with what you have. 

It is important to cultivate an attitude of gratitude because some of the things we take for granted are what other people consider blessings and wish they had, and some can’t have them at all and probably have no way to wish for them. In this post, we shall discuss why you should cultivate an attitude of gratitude and some of the things to be thankful for in life.

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Why You Should Practice Gratitude

There are many benefits you get from cultivating an attitude of gratitude. However, finding things to be thankful for when you are going through hardships can seem impossible. But even in times of adversity, if you look closely enough, you will still find things to be grateful for, without allowing it to spill over into toxic positivity. So, if you want to enjoy the benefits and learn how to be a more thankful person, here are some of the reasons why you should practice gratitude;

  • Writing about the things you are thankful for in a gratitude journal regularly leads to better mental health.
  • Having an attitude of gratitude helps you put things into perspective, thus making you realize what matters most to you and develop an abundance mindset.
  • Finding things to be thankful for makes you happier and motivates you to live your life to the fullest.
  • Having an attitude of gratitude enhances your emotional resilience, thereby enabling you to cope with hardships better.
  • Being a person who often expresses gratitude helps you build better friendships and relationships because it makes people feel valued.
  • Practicing gratitude brings out the best in you, hence making you a better person overall.

21 Things to Be Thankful for

So, what should you be grateful for? When considering the things to add to your gratitude list, include anything that brought you joy or added value to your life. Since we all have our own lives, experiences, and achievements, each of us has different things to be thankful for. Nonetheless, in this post, we shall mention examples you can include in your gratitude list of things to be thankful for (where applicable).

  1. Your good health
  2. Being alive
  3. The people in your life, for example, your partner, children, parents, extended family, friends, colleagues, etc.
  4. Being who you are
  5. Having a job and working under good conditions or a good boss
  6. The money you have and the things you own
  7. Your freedom; physical, spiritual, social, political, etc.
  8. Lessons you learned from hardships and mistakes
  9. Good habits you began and stuck to, for example, regarding things like your life, health, finances, career, etc.
  10. Your education
  11. Your growth and progress
  12. Having peace, safety, and security at home
  13. Having body parts that function how they are supposed to
  14. The resources you have access to. For example, clean air, food, clean water, clothes, technology, electricity, the sun, medication, etc.
  15. Kindness from other people
  16. Getting rid of bad habits and toxic people that were no longer serving you
  17. Your abilities and creativity
  18. The goals you set and were able to accomplish
  19. People and industries that make your life easier or better. For example, farmers, doctors, nurses, teachers, garbage workers, entertainers, the government, etc.
  20. Experiences such as traveling and discovering new places or people, falling in love, the birth of a child, trying out new foods, learning a new language or skill, starting a new job, being more open with others, etc.
  21. Anything else that added value to your life or made you happy

These are only a few of the things to be thankful for in life. Everybody has different things they would like to express gratitude for based on their experiences and achievements in their own lives and thus, there are many more things you can include in your gratitude list.

When deciding on the things to be thankful for, recognize that, no matter how small an achievement was, it deserves to be celebrated and appreciated. You did your part, put in the work, and reaped the fruits of your labor. Even if it was small progress, it was still progress! Nobody else has the right to tell you what you should be grateful for or how big an achievement should be in order to be considered big enough to celebrate.

Getting caught up in the stresses and strains of our everyday life can make us forget to look for the brighter side of things and practice gratitude. Now that you know some of the things to be thankful for, cultivate an attitude of gratitude, starting today. By becoming a more thankful person, you will begin appreciating the little things, be more satisfied, fall in love with life again, and be happier.

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