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18 Quotes About Gratitude for Everything Life Throws at You

Discover gratitude quotes that will inspire you to live thankfully.


Noticing the comfort of a warm breeze on a cool day, pausing to appreciate the fragrance of jasmine blooming on the vine, telling someone you love them, and thanking a friend for their thoughtful advice are all examples of gratitude. Gratitude is essentially noticing and appreciating the good in our lives.

It’s been defined as “the willingness to recognize the unearned increments of value in one's experience” (Bertocci & Millard, 1963, p. 389). Research has shown that getting good at gratitude can precipitate staggering improvements in many aspects of our lives. For example, Emmons & McCullough (2003) showed that people who listed their blessings every week for 10 weeks experienced greater feelings of connection with others and were more satisfied with their life as a whole than people who only listed events or hassles. Other scientifically supported effects of gratitude include:

  • Protection against depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (Van Dusen et al., 2015)

  • Better quality of sleep (Wood et al., 2009)

  • Enhanced self-perception (Geraghty et al., 2010)

  • Being nicer (DeWall et al., 2012)

But keeping a consistent gratitude practice can be challenging. It’s all too easy to focus on our worries, fears, and disappointments. In times when we are struggling to recognize the value of gratitude or to find something to appreciate, the thoughts and reflections on gratitude of other people can help provide a richer perspective and reignite our motivation to live gratefully. Here is a collection of quotes on gratitude to refer to whenever you need them.​

  1. “Be grateful every day for the brief but magnificent opportunity that life provides.” – Carl Sagan

  2. "Life is strange, beautiful, and terrifying…and I am thankful for every minute of it that I have had. I am thankful for every minute yet to come." – Benjamin W. Bass

  3. "Gratitude helps you to grow and expand; gratitude brings joy and laughter into your life and into the lives of all those around you." – Eileen Caddy

  4. "In the modern world, we are surrounded by so much abundance that we cannot see it." – Chris Matakas

  5. “Reflect on your present blessings, on which every man has many, not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.” – Charles Dickens

  6. “Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” – William Arthur Ward

  7. "Gratitude can transform any situation. It alters your vibration, moving you from negative energy to positive. It's the quickest, easiest, most powerful way to effect change in your life—this I know for sure." – Oprah Winfrey

  8. “Gratitude unlocks all that’s blocking us from really feeling truthful, really feeling authentic and vulnerable and happy.” – Gabrielle Bernstein

  9. “May the work of your hands be a sign of gratitude and reverence to the human condition.” – Mahatma Gandhi

  10. “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.” – Melody Beattie

  11. “Life has no blessing like a prudent friend.” – Euripides

  12. “Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” —Marcel Proust

  13. “I have learned that to be with those I like is enough.” ― Walt Whitman

  14. “In ordinary life, we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

  15. “If you fail to carry around with you a heart of gratitude for the love you’ve been so freely given, it is easy for you not to love others as you should.” – Paul David Tripp​

  16. “Demonstrate gratitude for the simple things in life. Show your child that you are a person who is truly grateful for the simple, good things in life: a sunset, rain, insects, birds, children laughing, or a kind gesture… Appreciative people are happy; they see the beauty in life while others miss it.” – Richard Carlson

  17. "When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive—to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love—then make that day count!" – Steve Maraboli

  18. "Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things." – Robert Brault

In Sum

Practicing gratitude can help us live more meaningful, fulfilling, and enjoyable lives. The opportunities to find something to be grateful for are limitless when we are open and observant. It’s important to note that practicing gratitude doesn’t imply ignoring the painful parts of your life. Rather, gratitude entails recognizing that life can be both awful and beautiful at the same time. Holding both truths is challenging, but it is possible. And with practice, it will begin to come naturally.

References

  • Bertocci, P. A., & Millard, R. M. (1963). Personality and the good: Psychological and ethical perspectives. New York: McKay.

  • DeWall, C. N., Lambert, N. M., Pond, R. S., Kashdan, T. B., & Fincham, F. D. (2012). A Grateful Heart is a Nonviolent Heart: Cross-Sectional, Experience Sampling, Longitudinal, and Experimental Evidence. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 3(2), 232–240.

  • Emmons, R. A., & McCullough, M. E. (2003). Counting blessings versus burdens: an experimental investigation of gratitude and subjective well-being in daily life. Journal of personality and social psychology, 84(2), 377.

  • Geraghty, A.W.A., Wood, A.M., Hyland, M.E., (2010). Attrition from self-directed interventions: Investigating the relationship between psychological predictors, intervention content and dropout from a body dissatisfaction intervention. Soc. Sci. Med. 71 (1), 30–37.

  • Van Dusen, J. P., Tiamiyu, M. F., Kashdan, T. B., & Elhai, J. D. (2015). Gratitude, depression and PTSD: Assessment of structural relationships. Psychiatry research, 230(3), 867-870.

  • Wood, A. M., Joseph, S., Lloyd, J., & Atkins, S. (2009). Gratitude influences sleep through the mechanism of pre-sleep cognitions. Journal of psychosomatic research, 66(1), 43-48.​

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