283 Things to Be Thankful For in Life (Even if You’re Struggling)


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It’s nice to pause and take time to be thankful for the important things. This is especially during the important moments in life like:

  • Thanksgiving or Christmas
  • Marriage
  • The birth of a child
  • A big promotion at work
  • Buying your first home.
  • Graduations
  • Or other special holidays with loved ones.

Most people don’t take the time to think about the small things they encounter in life. The things that should fill their lives with joy and happiness on a daily basis. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of 283 things to be thankful for and grateful for in your life.

Whether you’re celebrating a holiday like Thanksgiving with family and friends OR you’re looking for small reasons why life is great, you’ll discover a wide range of ideas you can use to express gratitude. And at the end of the post, we’ll talk about how to make gratitude an important part of your life.

Sidebar: If you’d like to learn more about creating more thankfulness in your life and practicing daily gratitude​, then I suggest checking out this 90-day gratitude journal 

Let’s get started by talking about the importance of being thankful for what you have in life.

Why It’s Important to Be Thankful

You might wonder:

“Why should I take time to express gratitude?”

The simple answer is that gratitude can have a wide-range of psychological and physical benefits.

It can:

  • Increase your personal happiness.
  • Help you get better sleep.
  • Increases our success at work.
  • Improves our relationships.
  • Makes you healthier.
  • Increases your energy.
  • Helps us relax.
  • Helps you live longer.
  • …Plus, much, much more.

It has been shown that gratitude is a keystone habit — a simple behavior that can have a positive impact on many different aspects of you life.

So if you’d like to learn more about this concept, then check out this massive, well researched article on the 31 benefits of gratitude. Here you can learn more about the research and science behind expressing gratitude on a regular basis.

Now, that said, let’s dive into the first list of things to be thankful for in life.

283 Things to Be Thankful For in 2021

2020 was not the best of years. It gave us Covid-19, isolation, extreme weather disasters and political upheaval all in one bad year. Perhaps the worst year in my memory. So you could simply be thankful in 2021 that it is no longer 2020.

But even 2020 had many things to be thankful for. And it is actually more important to be thankful for the blessing you have when times are tough than when they are going well.

So lets start this list with the important things in life — the ones that we often take for granted. Then we’ll move on to small items that might seem important, but can often brighten your day.

(Side note: Some of these items might not apply to your personal situation. So feel free to skip anything that doesn’t personally resonate with you.)

  1. Holidays where you can spend time with the important people in your life
  2. Having a romantic partner or spouse who is there for you
  3. Being surrounded by friends and family
  4. Your children
  5. Having access to clean, drinkable water
  6. Not being hungry and having an abundance of food
  7. Having a roof over your head and safe place to live
  8. Your parents who raised and molded you in the person you are today
  9. Kindness from strangers
  10. Mistakes that helped you grow as a person
  11. Modern conveniences that weren’t available even a century ago (electricity, indoor plumbing, air conditioning)
  12. Having full use of your senses like eye-sight, hearing, and taste
  13. A new book
  14. The ability to learn something new
  15. A warm campfire on a cold night camping
  16. Feeling of acceptance
  17. The beauty of a work of art that moves you
  18. Making a final payment on a loan
  19. A nice hot shower
  20. Healthy foods
  21. Equality and diversity
  22. Hearing the voice of a friend or relative you have not seen in a long time.
  23. The ability to work from home in your pajamas
  24. A beautiful sunrise
  25. The sound of a song you love
  26. Simply relaxing and playing a board game with friends or family
  27. Catching up with your favorite blog
  28. Having a personal routine that helps you accomplish tasks efficiently
  29. The smell of freshly baked cookies
  30. Creating a gift for a family member with your own two hands. (crochet, woodworking, art etc.)
  31. Surprises
  32. Access to the medication you need to stay healthy.
  33. Free time on your “to do” list
  34. A hot cup of tea
  35. A home that is free of clutter
  36. The sincere appreciation of others
  37. A movie that makes you laugh
  38. Amazon Prime
  39. The mother who gave you life, nurtured you, loved you, taught you and supported you.
  40. Seeing your favorite band in concert
  41. Free apps like Todoist that can organize your life
  42. An ice cold beer after a hot day working in the yard.
  43. Questions in emails that can be resolved in a single sentence (this one always makes me happy.)
  44. New clothes
  45. The joy of rewarding yourself after completing a difficult task.
  46. The values handed down to you from your parents
  47. Entrepreneurs who constantly create technology that makes your life better
  48. Love that lasts a lifetime
  49. A really comfortable chair
  50. Realizing it has been YEARS since you have wanted a cigarette
  51. Knowing how to make a budget – and sticking to it!
  52. Visiting an amusement park.
  53. Snow days
  54. Respect from others
  55. Paydays
  56. Dancing for the pure joy of life
  57. Someone enjoying your writing/art/creativity
  58. When you’re the recipient of a random act of kindness.
  59. Thank you notes
  60. Fresh popcorn — especially in a movie theater
  61. A favorite memory that you cherish
  62. An office desk with a great view
  63. Pizza
  64. The sense of accomplishment when you complete a difficult task
  65. The ability to complete a bucket list (If you don’t have one, here are 553 ideas.)
  66. Puppies
  67. The feeling of uncontrollable laughter.
  68. Great Ted Talks
  69. Being pushed to “think outside the box”
  70. A massage
  71. Teachers who spent the extra time to give you the knowledge you have today
  72. Taking a morning walk
  73. Bathing in a nice warm hot tub or thermal spring
  74. Fuzzy socks
  75. Your dog or cat snuggling with you when you feel bad
  76. Faith
  77. Manicures and pedicures
  78. Chocolate
  79. The ability to spend time on a hobby you love
  80. Enjoying an episode of your favorite TV show
  81. Hugs
  82. The ability to learn from your mistakes
  83. A stranger opening the door for you when your hands are full
  84. The fresh smell of clean sheets
  85. Freedom of speech
  86. Coloring to relieve stress
  87. A colorful sunset
  88. The honesty of a child
  89. Happy people who make us happier simply by their presence
  90. The feeling of accomplishment when you stop procrastinating and complete the task you have been avoiding
  91. Memories of your first kiss
  92. Enjoying a movie marathon
  93. The freedom of choice
  94. Internal strength
  95. A child’s face after they get a present
  96. Spellchecker
  97. Being in love
  98. Foreign cultures we can visit and learn from
  99. Having a vibrant imagination
  100. Meeting up with your friends for lunch
  101. That new car smell
  102. Being accountable for your actions
  103. Trying new things. (even if it is simple – like a new cup of coffee)
  104. Old photographs
  105. Technology – for allowing us to stay closely connected with friends and family regardless of distance
  106. Netflix and other streaming service options that provide an abundance of viewing options
  107. A safe landing after a rough plane ride
  108. Positivity — even when things are difficult
  109. Visiting new places, especially ones you’ve always dreamed of seeing
  110. Getting a full night’s sleep (If you struggle with this, then here are 17 ways to fall asleep easier.)
  111. Home cooked meals
  112. The pride of owning a home.
  113. The first flower of Spring
  114. Home cooked meals
  115. Having a morning routine that gives you energy throughout your day.
  116. The weekend
  117. Happy memories from your childhood
  118. A unseasonably warm winter day
  119. Long drives listening to a great podcast or audiobook
  120. Therapy
  121. Real honesty
  122. People who care about the environment, human rights, and animas
  123. Meditation
  124. Your car after it has been cleaned and detailed
  125. Getting a facial
  126. Grandparents
  127. Being forgiven for my mistakes
  128. Finding unexpected money in your pockets
  129. Sitting down for dinner time with family
  130. Aromatherapy
  131. The fresh smell of a Christmas tree
  132. The snooze button
  133. A sibling who listens to your problems without judgement
  134. Kittens
  135. Acting like a kid again
  136. Sharing a smile with a stranger
  137. Overcoming your fears
  138. Fall when the leaves change colors
  139. Going for a swim in the ocean
  140. People who go out of their way to try to make us happy
  141. Clean air
  142. Apps that help you save money (Here are 17 good ones)
  143. Dreamers who never give up
  144. The sounds and smell of the ocean
  145. Fresh healthy smoothies
  146. Good hair days
  147. Uncontrollable laughter
  148. Having a mental health day
  149. The heavy ozone scent right before and after a thunderstorm
  150. Driving and getting nothing but green lights
  151. Cell phones
  152. Spending the night in a fancy hotel
  153. God
  154. Blinkist
  155. A warm cup of coffee
  156. Doing something spontaneous
  157. Getting your most important task completed early
  158. Cheering for your favorite team
  159. Having a picnic with your family
  160. Wearing something that makes your feel confident
  161. Wearing a pair of comfortable shoes
  162. Getting positive feedback from other
  163. Poetry
  164. Doing work that matters
  165. Taking a power nap
  166. Discussing old time times with an old friend
  167. Participating in a hobby you enjoy
  168. Watching a funny Youtube video
  169. Having the ability to read
  170. Having good friends who you can share good times with
  171. Quirky family traditions
  172. Craft beer
  173. Couponing, travel hacking, and other unique ways to drastically save money
  174. The convenience of Amazon shopping
  175. Feeling hope
  176. Feeling inspired (If you don’t feel inspired, then here are 23 motivational podcasts that can help)
  177. Laughing so hard it makes you cry
  178. Healthy children
  179. Forgiving others
  180. The perfect playlist (Check out these 35 motivational songs you can add to this list)
  181. The smell of lavender
  182. My Fitbit pedometer
  183. Peace of mind
  184. The successes and accomplishments that you’ve achieved in your life
  185. Money in the bank
  186. Family vacation
  187. Good health
  188. Time to practice mindfulness
  189. The amazing scale of the universe
  190. Flying a kite
  191. Hearing good news
  192. Lists and organization
  193. Kindle
  194. Refreshing herbal teas
  195. Air conditioning
  196. Hiking trails where you can get out into nature
  197. A sincere apology from someone who hurt you deeply
  198. Honest conversations full of deep questions and getting to know someone better
  199. Showers with strong water pressure
  200. Walking on the beach
  201. Quiet time
  202. Free Wifi
  203. Overcoming anxieties
  204. Journaling (Here are 59 ideas to help you get started)
  205. Farmer’s markets and local craft fairs
  206. Books so awesome they keep you up all night reading
  207. Apple pie
  208. Feeling like a kid again
  209. The billions of stars on a clear night sky
  210. Remembering the people you have loved
  211. People sharing your stuff on social media
  212. Children’s museums
  213. Planetariums
  214. Aquariums
  215. First dates
  216. Holding a newborn baby
  217. Horseback riding
  218. Pumpkin picking
  219. Hayrides
  220. Orchards
  221. Winery tours
  222. Outdoor musical festivals
  223. Fireworks
  224. A reliable car
  225. Scenic overlooks
  226. Waterfalls
  227. Cliff diving
  228. Ice cream on a hot day
  229. Happy hour
  230. Funnel cake
  231. Ferris wheel stopping at the top
  232. Roller coasters
  233. Catamaran rides
  234. Swimming with dolphins
  235. Snorkeling
  236. Comedians who make you laugh so hard your stomach hurts
  237. Skinny dipping
  238. A harvest moon
  239. Watching a sunset
  240. Driving in a convertible
  241. An obligation free weekend
  242. Mindblowing sex
  243. A sibling who is your best friend
  244. Self confidence and self esteem-boosting moments
  245. A symbiotic relationship
  246. Ride or die friendships
  247. Freedom of religion
  248. Candlelight dinners
  249. Picnics
  250. National parks
  251. Board games with family or friends
  252. Short power outages that force the family to unplug and reconnect
  253. Road trips
  254. Camping under the stars
  255. Birdwatching
  256. The change in seasons
  257. Comfy sweaters
  258. Your favorite restaurants
  259. Volunteering
  260. Your favorite vacation spot
  261. Summer traditions
  262. Smores
  263. Hot cocoa in a ski lodge
  264. Sledding
  265. Ice skating on a frozen river or pond
  266. Bustling city sounds
  267. Small town charm
  268. Restaurants on the water
  269. Fun cover bands
  270. Movies on the beach
  271. Winter hats and gloves
  272. Silky soft underwear
  273. Yoga studios
  274. A gym membership
  275. A morning walk or run
  276. Speaking multiple languages
  277. Foreign cities
  278. Actors that make your feel inspired
  279. Watching you favorite childhood movie with your child for the first time
  280. Completing a small DIY project
  281. Magicians
  282. Horse drawn carriage rides
  283. Hearing the words, “I love you”
Be inspired by these short thankful quotes and read this this massive list of things to be thankful for. #gratitude #gratitudequotes #thanksgiving #thankful #thankfulness #inspiration #motivation #motivationalquotes #inspirationalquotes

How to Apply This List of Things to Be Thankful For

A gratitude list like this is nice, but what can it really do for you?

This list can be used at a time like Thanksgiving, when we all stop and think about all the things we should be thankful for. But how about for the rest of the year?

The answer is that by itself it does little. But if it helps inspire you to create your own gratitude list, it can be quite valuable.

Earlier I mentioned the many benefits of gratitude and how it can improve your life.

Gratitude can transform you. It can pull you from the vortex of negativity that is sucking the life out of you and give you a renewed sense of purpose and joy.

One of the best ways to practice gratitude is by journaling. At its simplest form this gratitude journaling is taking time out, every day to think about (and write down) things that you are grateful for.

It can be as simple as writing three things you are grateful for on post-it notes every single day. Or  a bit more formal and guided, like using our 90 day gratitude journal.

I discussed the advantages of gratitude earlier.

Simply taking time everyday to think about and write out the things you are grateful for is one of the biggest ways to improve your happiness and overall quality of life.

Let’s face it, you are probably not going to double your income in the next year, and even if you could, studies show that above a family income of $75,000 per year money has ZERO effect on happiness.

So if getting ahead at work and making more money will not make you happier, what will?

The answer, of course, is thankfulness and gratitude.

So I highly encourage you to make a habit out of making a habit out of daily gratitude journaling. It doesn’t matter if you write it on yellow stickies, add it to an existing bullet journal, or use our book as a framework. Spending daily time thinking about gratitude will improve your life in a way few other things can.

So hopefully you can use this thankfulness list  as a idea generator for creating your own daily ideas of things you are grateful for. Write them down every day and make it a habit.

Here are 200 things to be thankful for and discover how to be more grateful and positive. #gratitude #thanksgiving #thankful #thankfulness #inspiration #motivation #mindfulness #mindfulmondays #conciousness #spirituality

Thankfulness Vs Gratitude: What’s the Difference

In this post, we use the terms thankfulness and gratitude interchangeably. But are they really the same thing? What are the differences between being thankful and being grateful?

The differences are actually minor, but I do think there are differences.

Thankfulness is in the moment. Gratitude is lasting.

When someone opens the door for you when you hands are full, you are thankful. You appreciate the action, but it is quickly forgotten.

On the other hand, when you are grateful it is a feeling that should last. You may not have true gratitude toward a single person opening the door, but you could feel a gratitude toward all of the people as a group who politely take the time to think of others and open doors.

Like the ‘being thankful’ quotes on this page? Why not check out this larger list of gratitude quotes.

Check out this this massive list of things to be thankful for and learn ways to be grateful. #gratitude #gratitudequotes #thanksgiving #thankful #thankfulness #inspirationalquotes #successquotes #lifequotes #positivethinking #positivity

A Final Word on Gratitude and Thankfulness

I hope you enjoyed this list of things to be thankful for.

Hopefully you will consider making a list of your own. Writing out your personal feelings of gratitude on a daily basis can do quite a bit to improve your life. Hopefully you will consider journaling your gratitude feelings every day.

Remember that being thankful or grateful is not just something for Thanksgiving, but something that should be practiced every day of your life. Realizing the blessings that abound in your life will make you happier and healthier.

On a related note, you may also find our post about how to respond to “thank you” pretty useful.

If you enjoyed this list of thankfulness ideas, I hope you will consider sharing it. Pin it. Tweet it. Email it.

It will be appreciated and I will be thankful!

​Finally, if you’d like to learn more about creating more thankfulness in your life and practicing daily gratitude, then I suggest checking out this 90-day gratitude journal

thnigs to be thankful for | what should I be thankful for | what should I be thankful for on thanksgiving

 

283 Things to Be Thankful For in Life (Even if You're Struggling)



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