Today’s guest post from “a little dose of happy” discusses the importance of gratitude. Check out this great list of 10 things to be grateful for, whether it’s Thanksgiving or any other time of the year. If you are American, I wish you and your family a beautiful Thanksgiving!
Guest post on things to be grateful for
2022 has been full of challenges. War, inflation, job losses, and other global, local, and personal issues can make it hard to think positively. But amid the chaos, there are always things to be grateful for.
What is gratitude, and why is it important?
Gratitude is a positive attitude that helps us recognize and enjoy the blessings we have rather than focusing on our struggles or what we don’t have. It is a way of thinking and feeling that acknowledges and appreciates the good things in our lives, no matter how small.
Gratitude can help lift our spirits when times are tough, and help us to focus on things that are important. It is one of the deepest emotions we can feel and is linked to feelings of joy, contentment, security, and connection. Moreover, gratitude naturally encourages us to show kindness towards ourselves and those around us.
What are the benefits of being grateful?
Positive psychology research has shown that gratitude has a number of benefits:
1. It improves our physical health
People who practice gratitude on a regular basis have lower blood pressure, stronger immune systems, and less pain. They also tend to get more exercise and sleep better.
2. It improves our mental health and well-being
Practicing gratitude can help us feel more positive emotions and less negative ones. When we’re grateful for what we have, it’s difficult to feel angry, stressed, or depressed.
3. It makes us more resilient
Gratitude promotes optimism and helps to reduce negative thinking. It helps us focus on the good and remain positive, even when things are difficult. As a result, we are more resilient and can bounce back from life’s challenges more quickly.
4. It leads to more fulfilling relationships
Gratitude can help us be more empathetic and understanding toward others. We become better at managing conflict, communicating with kindness, and expressing appreciation for our friends and family.
Given all these benefits, cultivating gratitude can be one of the best investments we make in our physical, mental, and social health.
10 things to be grateful for right now
Starting a gratitude practice can be as easy as writing in a gratitude journal or adding to an ongoing gratitude list. To help you get started, we’ve listed 10 things for you to be grateful for right now:
1. You’re alive!
The simple, amazing fact that you are alive and breathing is miraculous. Every breath you take is a reminder that you are alive and able to experience life.
Whether it’s first thing in the morning or when you’re feeling stressed or down, take a moment to pause and appreciate the fact that you’re alive, able to breathe in the fresh air, and participate in this journey called life.
2. Food and shelter
Having food on your table and a safe, warm place to live is something that not everyone has. Be thankful for the food you have, and be aware of how fortunate it is if you have a safe place to call home.
3. A good night’s sleep
Appreciate every revitalizing night of sleep, each energizing power nap, and moments of rest throughout the day. Be grateful for your bed and acknowledge that it’s a luxury to have a comfortable place to go to sleep and wake up feeling refreshed.
4. Sunshine: Another thing to be grateful for
Not much can compare to the feeling of the warm sun on your face, shining down on you from a bright blue sky. It just feels good!
In addition to the great feeling it gives you, sunshine also provides your body with much-needed vitamin D, which helps boost your immune system and mood. Thank you, sun!
5. Nature’s beauty
Whether it’s the stunning colors of a sunrise or sunset, the brilliance of a starry night sky, the delicate petals of a flower, or the sublimity of a majestic mountainous view – take a moment to appreciate the beauty of nature. It will help you stay grounded and at peace and feel connected to the world around you.
6. Supportive people
Always be thankful for the amazing people who love and support you – parents, partner, children, close friends, good neighbors, or even kind strangers. Having someone who cares about you is truly a blessing.
Many of these people have seen you at your worst and still think you’re amazing. They can make you smile when you’re feeling down and can make you laugh when you feel like crying. They genuinely care about your well-being, and many may go to great lengths to be there for you in your time of need.
Be grateful when someone is dependable, considerate, or conscientious. Appreciate every deep conversation and thoughtful gesture. And truly appreciate the unconditional love of a parent or spouse/partner. It’s easy to forget to acknowledge all they do for you and the sacrifices they make, so make it a point to thank them often.
7. More things to be grateful for: Good health
Health is another one of those things we tend to take for granted, at least while we’re healthy. Once we get an illness such as a cold, headache, joint injury, etc., we’re quickly reminded how nice it was prior to our illness.
So think back to a time when you weren’t feeling well and use that as a reminder of how much better you feel today. Be thankful for having recovered from an illness and for feeling healthy now. Feel grateful for modern medicine and medical facilities that are readily available if needed.
While this may sound silly, be grateful for basic things like eyesight, the ability to hear, walk or run, or having all your fingers and toes. Thank your body for all the incredible things it does for you each and every day.
8. Personal growth
Every day, you have the opportunity to expand your knowledge and skillset and become a better person. Whether you’re learning a new recipe, developing a positive habit, or exploring new ideas and opportunities, each experience comes with its own lessons.
Gratitude for personal growth can help motivate and inspire you to keep striving toward your goals. Be grateful for the ability to learn, the skills you’ve gained, and the growth you’ve achieved. Express thankfulness to those who provide you with positive feedback and constructive criticism as they have helped shape you into the person you are today.
With technology, you can communicate with people all over the globe in an instant. You can keep in touch with friends and loved ones who live far away, connect with colleagues for work or join support groups.
Technology gives you access to a wealth of valuable information and resources like this article you’re reading now! You can learn about other cultures and customs without ever having to leave your home. Technology also provides you with entertainment and stress relief, like music, movies, and games.
In times of difficulty and uncertainty, technology can provide you with the necessary tools to stay informed, connected, and productive. So take a moment to be grateful for all the amazing technological advancements that help enrich your life right now.
10. Funny things
It’s easy to get lost in all the serious things life throws at us. Sometimes, out of nowhere, you see or hear something that just makes you laugh. Suddenly your worries and troubles go away, at least for a little while.
Be grateful for the funny things in life – silly jokes, wacky ideas, ridiculous memes, and random laughter. Take note of the comedic moments and appreciate them for what they are: precious reminders that life is worth living.
Final thoughts on things to be grateful for
There are so many things to be grateful for right now – big and small. From the blessing of family and friends to good health, personal growth, and funny moments, take time to recognize all that you have in your own life.
Every day is a new opportunity to appreciate what’s around you, so don’t forget to give thanks for it all. Take a moment to think about the things you’re grateful for and then express gratitude for each one. When you do, you’ll be amazed by how much your outlook on life improves.
About today’s writer
a little dose of happy (aldohappy, “all do happy”) is a mission, mindset, and movement dedicated to spreading happiness throughout the world. It was created by two Seattle-based physicians who believe that happiness can be cultivated through little doses of happy and by actively doing happy. Our blog provides tips on how to infuse happiness into everyday life and our Do Happy app helps individuals stay accountable to their happiness goals. Visit https://aldohappy.com and join us on our mission to make the world a happier, kinder place!