Not sure what to be grateful for? Here are some ideas.
Do you want to express thankfulness for the people, things, and experiences in your life? That's great! Gratitude can not only help us form closer, more satisfying bonds with others, but it feels good too. So in this article, we'll give you a list of things to be thankful for in different areas of your life.
What is thankfulness?
Gratitude—or thankfulness—is often considered to be a positive emotion (Chipperfield, Perry, & Weiner, 2003). Expressing and experiencing thankfulness is strongly linked with happiness and well-being (Bono, Emmons, & McCullough, 2004). In short, being thankful feels good and is good for us.
But it's not always easy to think of things to be thankful for. So here's a list of ideas to get you started.
Things to be thankful for today
Having air to breathe
The feeling of the sun
The smell of flowers, fresh-cut grass, or trees
The people we have in our lives
That our parents gave us this life
To be alive
For a beautiful sunrise
For the beach
For each new day
For the opportunity to learn from mistakes
That today is probably not the worst day
For a hot cup of tea or coffee
For the hard times, because they will help us appreciate the good times
For failure, because it makes us stronger
To be able to think our own thoughts
For the body—it carries us through this life
To be able to learn new things
To have a place to sleep at night
For time to experience life
For simply existing
That I will get to live today and hopefully tomorrow, too
For health, even though it may not be perfect
More tools to help you with thankfulness
In one study, participants were asked to write down three good things each day (and note down their causes). They did this for just one week. The results showed that this strategy made them happier after that week and even 6 months later (Seligman, Steen, Park, & Peterson, 2005). This suggests that noting the good things—and perhaps being thankful for them—has long-term, positive impacts on our happiness. Other strategies can be to write gratitude notes or start a gratitude journal.
Taking a few minutes each day to practice thankfulness can be a cool and fun way to boost happiness. Hopefully, you got some ideas here that will help you think of even more things to be thankful for.
Chipperfield, J. G., Perry, R. P., & Weiner, B. (2003). Discrete emotions in later life. The Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 58(1), P23-P34.
Bono, G., Emmons, R. A., & McCullough, M. E. (2004). Gratitude in practice and the practice of gratitude. Positive psychology in practice, 464-481.
Seligman, M. E., Steen, T. A., Park, N., & Peterson, C. (2005). Positive psychology progress: Empirical validation of interventions. American Psychologist, 60(5), 410.