“Appreciate everything, even the ordinary. Especially the ordinary”

When I first came across the term gratitude and explored the meaning and the perspective behind it, it changed my life. 

We all go about our lives in a spectrum of different purposes and lifestyles. But there’s one thing that’s common among all of our dreams and purposes and that is desire. 

We all desire a good life. A life that’s better than the one we were born into. We all want better homes, better cars, better friends, better vacations, better lovers and more than anything the millennials desire better social profiles 

While there’s nothing wrong in desiring financial well being or power or complete freedom, we should also acknowledge the beauty of the things we already have. 

Things that we take for granted so often. Things that we fail to appreciate just cause we had it all along. Things that we should start being grateful for before we lose it.

TABLE OF CONTENT:

  • Why Gratitude List?
  • Things to be grateful for:
    • Everyday Gratitude List
      • Early Morning Gratitude list
      • Before sleep gratitude list
    • Extremely Important Things to be grateful for
    • Gratitude list for spouse
    • Gratitude list in recovery
    • Pandemic gratitude list
    • Body gratitude list
  • Gratitude list examples

Before we go into the things that we should be grateful for in our daily life, let’s get into why one should have a gratitude list and how it would benefit them and their life in a long run:

WHY GRATITUDE LIST?

GROWTH MINDSET:

“ You recognize that something is valuable to you, which has nothing to do with the monetary worth”

When we start our day off with gratitude, we are looking for opportunities rather than obstacles, right? We are looking for the opportunities we have right this moment.

We will look for better ways to grow. Our mind is not consumed by the obstacles like it usually does.

SUPERIOR MENTAL HEALTH:

Did you know that practicing gratitude results in better self awareness, mental health, better relationships, lowered stress levels and increased level of fulfilment in life.

“When you are present in gratitude, you cannot be anywhere else”

If you are consumed by negative emotions like bitterness, jealousy, pain etc, life becomes so much harder to live. But one can’t feel positive and negative feelings all at the same time. Right?

Try feeling angry and grateful at the same time. We cannot. Gratitude makes us feel good and it can even get addictive.

“Once you start seeing things to be grateful for, your brain starts looking for more things to be grateful for”

HELPS OVERCOME TRAUMA:

People who have been hit hard emotionally, who have been through a severe trauma, generally experience PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). 

Gratitude has proven to help reduce stress and helped people cope with PTSD. 

NOT JUST THE MIND, BUT ALSO THE BODY:

Gratitude has more to it than helping with our mental health. 

Did you know that the toxic emotions that we feel like anger, jealousy, hate etc cause inflammation in our body which would lead to so many serious health issues including heart diseases that could potentially kill us.

These toxic emotions would be blocked by gratitude which is very beneficial for our body.

“If gratitude was a drug,it would be the world’s best selling product with health benefits to all major organ systems”

Things to be grateful for everyday: Gratitude list

Did you know that people who are grateful and practice gratitude often have significantly lower stress levels and increased quality of life and this has been proven in multiple studies and researches over and over again.

In fact, gratitude can be very addictive because of the mindset it puts us in, the ability to appreciate the “present” in a deeper level than ever before. 

Hence it is important that we practice gratitude every single day to be able to look at the world through an amazing perspective

DAILY GRATITUDE LIST

Early Morning Gratitude List

When we wake up, let’s remind ourselves how lucky we are through this gratitude list:

We are grateful for

  • Fresh Air : The air we get to breathe
  • Health : If we can breathe, walk, talk, see, hear and smell, we are luckier than many people in this world. Be grateful for yourself and your body.
  • Good relationships : Think about the 5 people in your life that you are absolutely grateful for and think about how lucky you are to have them and how hard life would be if it isn’t for their presence in your life
  • A roof over our head : It’s important to realize the fact that millions of people all around the world are still homeless and sleep out in the cold without any security or comfort. 
  • The day : Think about the millions and millions of people who are in hospitals right now struggling for their life, hoping, praying and dreaming they would get to live another day on this planet. Now you realize how lucky we are to be able to live this day. 
  • Education and growth : One way or another, hundreds of people (teachers, parents, peers, friends, authors of guides and youtube tutorials) are responsible for your intellectual and personal growth and it’s important that we remember to thank them for the efforts they put towards us. If it isn’t for them, I wouldn’t have written this article and you wouldn’t have read it right now
  • Mental Health: There are millions of people in this world who are going through some real mental issues such as : Drug addiction, Heart break, trauma, self harm (cutting themselves), depression and so much more. 
  • Sleep : The fact that you got any sleep last night itself is a good indication that you are not like the millions of people who didn’t get any sleep because of work, trauma,hunger,depression and so much more. 

If you think about it, we have so much to be grateful for every single moment in our life. We need to start noticing and appreciating these little things that we have by realizing how valuable it is and how we are extremely lucky to have these things. 

I told you! Gratitude can be very addicting! 

Also when we are in gratitude state we cannot feel any negative emotions which dulls the light in our life

Before Sleep Gratitude List:

Having a gratitude list to go through in the morning sets the tone for the day, right?

But the gratitude list we use at nights serves so many purposes

  • We sleep better
  • We Acknowledge and appreciate the little things that brought us joy in that day
  • Our subconscious brain is filled with things to be grateful for.

So the gratitude list to have before sleep:

We should be grateful for

  • The little things that gave us joy
    • Our friends
    • Our family
    • Our partner
    • Job : Having a pay-check
    • Food that we had 
    • Health : The fact that we were healthy today without much difficulties in breathing and walking and so on
    • A hot shower
    • Laughs : Did anyone make you laugh today? Did you have a good time with your friends today? Be grateful for these because these are the moments that makes your life worth living
    • For yourself : Self love is something that I promote and everyone should be grateful for themselves. Take it easy. Forgive yourself for the mistakes you have made. Learn and grow and become better. And love your imperfections. 
    • The bed you sleep in, the electricity that’s making you comfortable in the summers and the winters. The bed sheet that’s saving you from all the mosquitoes.
    • Be grateful for the opportunities you got today!

One can literally appreciate anything and everything about the life we live in. From the moment you wake up to the moment you go to sleep, you experience a range of emotions and thoughts and experiences. Some pleasant and memorable and some not so much and yet brings a value with it.

Be grateful you got to experience today!

EXTREMELY IMPORTANT THINGS TO BE GRATEFUL FOR:

Health :

 The fact that we have two legs and two arms and the ability to see, hear and experience life in any way we desire! 

Do you know how fortunate we are to have a properly working nervous system? If it isn’t for it, we would have severe problems even moving our fingers. If it isn’t for our properly functioning digestive system we can’t eat all the delicious food we eat around the city.

It’s important to be grateful for our health more than anything else! Especially after the coronavirus pandemic that has taken millions of people.

Family

Family is the most important thing in anyone’s lives and family always comes first. But how many of us actually take the time to thank our parents/partners/relatives/cousins for the efforts they put towards us? 

Value and treasure every single moment we get with them because we never know when it’ll all end.

Having lost some close family members in this pandemic, I now am really grateful for each and every single member of my family and I spend more time with everyone of them and stay away from any sort of negative emotions whatsoever because I value the moments with so much now that I know how easy it is to lose it all.

The traumas of yesterday

Why should someone be grateful for the traumas and bad experiences in their life which only brought sorrow and pain with it?

But there’s where we are going wrong. It didn’t just bring sorrow and pain with it tho? That experience somehow would have taught us some sort of a lesson or benefited us in some way. 

Imagine how healthy our minds would be if we start being grateful for the traumas and the unpleasant experiences or people in our past. 

Breaking free from the traumas and being able to forgive and be grateful for the unpleasant people of our past, we get our true freedom

Lost loves:

When we think about our life, some of our saddest moments would include a heart break or a betrayal. 

While the relationship culture is now moving more towards a series of casual encounters rather than commiting and investing in a single person. 

This change is trend is mostly attributed to people’s inability to forgive and move on from a person who they were deeply in love with. 

Love is hard. Vulnerability brings with it it’s weakness and people crumble into the hole of sadness and live the rest of their life with the trauma of the past affecting each and every decision they make. 

That’s not freedom. We let fear dictate how our life goes and that limits us from living life to our best. And let’s face it, life is too previous and we have to experience every thing life has to offer. 

So we need to find a way to be grateful for our lost loves. Maybe that whole experience benefitted us by giving a better perspective on life. Maybe that breakup had to happen for you to meet your real true love. 

Turn that anger into empathy. Forgive that person. Wish them well and go on with your life. Use the emotions to fuel your dreams which would make way for a whole new let of opportunities and experiences . 

“Thank you for showing me what love feels like

Thank you for all the happy moments

Thank you for making me realize that human feelings can change with time and we have to deal with it”

Everyday and every moment

If you realize how many people couldn’t wake up alive today, you would realize the value of being alive every single day

This is something most of us take for granted. 

The thing we need to realize is that we are getting older as the time passes by and we are NEVER EVER going to live “today” again.

We do not get to experience today again.

Remember, life can change in a blink of a second. You might be living with your parents and before you know it you move to another country or city, or something might happen which wouldn’t let you experience the things you get to experience today.

People die. Jobs change. Our houses change. Our partners change. Feelings change. Friends change. Our health changes. Everything changes!

So acknowledge how rare today is. Realize that we will not get to experience everything we have now again. We may not get to live this life again. So live it to the best of your abilities.

Be grateful for being alive at this moment in this strange and beautiful planet.

GRATITUDE LIST FOR SPOUSE:

Being in love and finally getting married to the person of our dreams is one of the most important part of life. So our life partner is probably the most important person in our lives.

Even Though we acknowledge that fact, we often tend to take them for granted at times and might have some misunderstandings and hateful moments that we want to forget and move past of.

But after you dive deep into your relationship you would understand how grateful you should be for your spouse and having this gratitude list will help you fight less with that person and appreciate them to a greater level and fall in love deeper.

More than anything else, being appreciated for the efforts we put in our relationship can go a long way in strengthening it

Gratitude list for spouse: 

  • Support : For being there in your toughest moments, standing by your side for the better or worse.
  • Happy moments : For giving you some of the most happy moments of your life
  • Better life : For making you smile every single day and making you feel love and appreciated like never before
  • Efforts to make you happy : For all the surprise visits and gifts and for all the bike drives and late night phone calls and long deep talks that filled your life with joy and love
  • Cooking : Irrespective of gender, if anyone goes through the effort of making us food, even if it is occasional or regular, we need to appreciate them with all our hearts for their efforts.
  • Checking up : For all the times they texted and called us to make sure we are safe
  • Protecting us : For all the times they stood up for us and help fight injustice that’s done against us
  • Loving us : Appreciate every single touch, every single kiss. Every single night they spend with you. Every intimate moment you shared. Be grateful for their presence.
  • Little chores : For all the times they helped us with our daily chores so our life could be a bit easier.
  • Making time : We should even be grateful that the person we love is there
  • Starting a family with you
  • For being good to your kids
  • So many little things they do to take care of us:
    • Taking you out to get you a surprise ice cream
    • All those long walks and long drives just because you were bored
    • Understanding us when we act rude sometimes
    • Watching movies with us
    • The fact that someone’s there to kiss you good night and good morning and to sleep with itself is something to be grateful for.
  • Further you can dive deep into their character traits to further be grateful for them:
    • For being innocent and adorable
    • For having that smile that brights up our life
    • For giving you the warmest hugs ever
    • For always wanting to see you and be with you
    • For letting you inside and getting vulnerable with you
    • For willing to help you any time you call for them
    • For being hard working and focuses
    • For being disciplined
    • For not swearing too much with the kids around

Even if things with your spouse isn’t at a great place at the moment, you still can find hundreds of things to be grateful for about them.

Just express the gratitude you have for them from time to time. Be specific like I have mentioned in the list. When we actually thank them for the efforts our partners put into us, it makes the relationship so much more stronger and your partner will be very happy that you notice and appreciate the little things

GRATITUDE LIST IN RECOVERY:

If you have been through therapy and rehab to quit any addictive habit or if you know someone who has recently become sober, this list is important for you

Even if you are an occasional user of any of the intoxicating substances, go through this list of things that sober people should be grateful for so they don’t take their hard one sobriety for granted:

Having more time to invest in yourself : Better career

If you have been an addict you would know how much of our mental and physical energy it drains for us to be able to escape reality and live in a drunk or high world where no problems exist. Right?

Any addictive habit has the ability to drain the juices out of our life and we become unmotivated and tired and not interested in doing anything else.

This would help us go a long way in our career. I personally support this point from my past experiences. Being sober makes us atleast 10 times more productive which increases the chances of our growth significantly

Better Mental Health:

The very fact that we are dependent on an external substance to be mentally stable and to cope with the stress and the odds of our daily lives itself says that our mental health is very poor.

I remember people having troubles with sleeping and having severe boredom issues when they try to quit their addictive habits.

With this dependence, our emotions go off unnecessarily, we would say things we don’t mean and we get frustrated often.

So remember all the pain and the mental health issues you faced when you were addicted and be grateful for the sobriety

Better relationships:

The strength and the depth of the relationships with have in our lives with people who are close to us tend to slip when we are consistently high or drunk.

We tend to isolate ourselves in an addictive behavior and get all our happiness and pleasure from our addictive habit which makes us not seek human interaction and love from people.

If you have become sober now, you can see an improvement in this aspect of your life.Be grateful for that!

Better self awareness : Do things that actually make you feel good:

If you had reached this point in recovery, I am very happy for you. So once we pass that boredom phase, we actually start living a better quality of life by doing the things we love rather than just spending all our free time and energy on our addiction.

Quitting actually changes the way you live life. Remember that.

So alot of things about our life changes the moment we quit. We are calmer, more intelligent, more hardworking, maintain better relationships with the people we love and we are mentally happier and more satisfied.

Be grateful for being sober today! Life is much better this way!

PANDEMIC GRATITUDE LIST:

It is these times like this that makes us realize how lucky we are to have had the freedom and how precious and valuable it is to be able to go around this beautiful planet in such comfort.

There are many things that this pandemic has made us realize that we should have been grateful for:

  • Clean air to breathe
  • The freedom to travel literally to any corner of this world
  • The ability to go out with friends and socialize
  • Our body and our immune system that has protected us from so many infectious microbes
  • Even the smallest happiness we get from taking a walk in a beach or a park!
  • We should also be grateful for the health of our loved ones like parents, children, friends, relatives, partner and so on
  • So many people lost their jobs and we should be very grateful for the paychecks in our hands
  • Millions of immigrant workers had to walk back home for thousands of miles just to be able to get back to their place and hence be very grateful for the roof above your head and the food on your plate. 
  • We should be very grateful to even be alive in such a time where people are dying of covid 
  • Be grateful for the lives of the people in your life as well. Millions have lost their parents, friends and so much more. Even if you have lost someone, be grateful for the people you have in your life now. This pandemic has spared us

Wait, now that we have seen what should be in your gratitude list in different scenarios and how we can use this list in everyday life, let’s take a quick peek into how the gratitude list would help you transform your life

BODY GRATITUDE LIST: 

Ever since the moment we are born, we are exposed to a very wide range of infectious microbes and insects and pathogens and threats. Our immune system learn to fight and adapt so we can survive.

There are so many amazing organs and senses in our body that’s working round the clock to make us feel normal and live our life to the best of our abilities and yet alot of take it all for granted.

Here’s a body gratitude list : We should be thankful for

  • Our ability to see
  • Our legs that give us the ability to travel the world
  • Our heart for helping us breathe and for showing us what love us
  • Our tongue for letting us taste the world of food. Imagine a world without tasty food. 
  • Our brain for all the decisions it makes
  • Our hands for the ability to hold the people we love

We can be grateful for almost any part of our body. Even if we are not very happy about the way our body looks and feels at the moment, we should appreciate and be grateful for everything we have now. Things could always be worse. Remember that!

GRATITUDE LIST EXAMPLES:

gratitude list example 1
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Gratitude list example 2
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