Gratitude is the state of being aware and appreciating the good in our lives.
There are many benefits to writing a gratitude list. Not only does it help you feel better, but it also improves your mood and can stimulate the immune system. The act of appreciating what you have in life can give you more energy and make you happier overall. If that wasn’t enough, making a gratitude list can improve your memory and even reduce high blood pressure!
In this post we will explore what a gratitude list is and how to create your own, so that you too can feel the enormous benefits of writing a simple, yet powerful gratitude list!
What is a Gratitude List?
The concept of a “gratitude list” is not new. In fact, it’s been around for centuries and has roots in Eastern Philosophy.
The idea behind it is to take a few moments each day to reflect on the things you are grateful for. It’s also an easy way to keep track of your progress in practicing gratitude, which research has shown can improve well-being and health.
In fact, the benefits of writing and keeping a gratitude list include (but are not limited to):
- increases the ability to maintain a positive outlook in life,
- builds self esteem and confidence,
- improves our ability to handle obstacles, challenges and stress,
- strengthens relationships,
- increases happiness and fulfillment in life.
Gratitude lists are an excellent way to increase your happiness levels and make a positive impact on your life!
What should I put on my gratitude list?
The truth is, gratitude lists are as unique and personal to you as your fingerprint.
Some people begin with what they’re thankful for in their lives or the things that happened during a day; others start by thinking about specific individuals who have done something kind for them recently.
There is no limits, but some things you may be thankful for could include;
- the people in your life,
- the animals in your life,
- health and the health of those around you,
- free and natural resources that you have (air, water, sunshine, rain etc)
- the shelter you have,
- the knowledge you have,
- the experiences you’ve had and continue to have,
- the food you have,
- the resources available to you,
- the support you have,
- the opportunities you have,
- the abilities you have,
- the talents you have,
How To Write A Gratitude List?
There are many different ways to write a gratitude list (or gratitude journal) but the general idea is that you write down everything you’re grateful for at this present time.
Take a few minutes each day to reflect on what you’re grateful for right now and note them down – in a list, dot-points or sentences. Try to be specific. It is good to be thankful for the good things that happen in your life, but it is also good to be thankful for challenges. Overcoming these can teach us and make us stronger.
Grab a piece of paper, a journal or notebook. You might choose to write a simple list of ‘3 Things I’m grateful for today’, or you may want to expand on some gratitude prompts such as:
- Things i am most grateful for now,
- Things that make me smile,
- Things that inspire me,
- Things that I enjoy doing,
- Things that I love,
- Things that make me feel proud,
- My favorite people (name, relationship and why they are special to you)
- Challenges I’ve overcome recently,
- Things that make your life better
You may sit and contemplate your appreciation for a while, or it may be a quick 5-10 minutes time period. Either way, it will leave you feeling reignited and upbeat.
Best Time To Write A Gratitude List
The best time to write a gratitude list is any time at all, as it will all help! However, you may like to write:
- whenever you’re feeling down, stressed or negative,
- each morning upon waking to start your day off right!
- each night upon going to bed for a restful sleep,
- around the start of each month and end of each year. These are great times for self reflection on what has happened in your life so far as well as being thankful for it all!
Some people write a few items each morning and night, some people prefer to write a list at the end of each week or month, whatever works best for you. You will however, notice the best benefits of the practice if you make it a regular habit, each day.
The benefits of writing a gratitude list and keeping it with you are innumerable. Not only does this simple exercise help people stay mindful, but also the act of taking time to reflect on what they have in life is an enormous gift for both them and those around them.
What’s one thing that makes your heart smile? How has your life improved since starting the practice? If there’s anything we can do to make our readers’ lives easier or more joyful, please let us know! For more on having an attitude of gratitude, check out:
- The 7-Day Gratitude Challenge That Brings Fast Results
- 80+ Gratitude Journal Prompts (+ Free Printable)
- Gratitude Poems; That Inspire Appreciation & Joy
- Why is Gratitude Important?
- 9 Examples of Gratitude To Try (Beyond a Gratitude Journal)
- 16 Gratitude Quotes for Kids: Simple to Digest and Discuss Together
- 6 Ted Talks On The Power Of Gratitude
- How To Practice Gratitude – 11 Simple Ideas
- 74 Gratitude Quotes: A Reminder Of The Good