105 Things to Be Grateful for Whatever the Circumstance

In today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy to get caught up in all the stressful events that rule your day, and forget about the things to be grateful for in your life. It is so easy to focus on what’s going wrong or what you don’t have, rather than taking a step back and acknowledging the good things that surround you. Practicing gratitude has the power to shift our perspective and help us appreciate the abundance of positivity in our lives.


Embracing gratitude may seem challenging especially during tough times. It’s hard to break a self-loathing cycle but you must remember that even in difficult situations, there’s always something to be grateful for. By practicing gratitude consistently, we can develop an attitude of appreciation that helps us face life’s challenges with a more positive outlook.

Let’s explore insights and tips on how to integrate gratitude in our daily lives. From recognizing the seemingly small blessings to expressing thankfulness for larger acts of kindness, we hope you’ll be encouraged to reflect on the goodness that surrounds you and adjust your mindset to be more appreciative of the blessings in your life.

The Power of Gratitude

grateful for family

When I examine the power that gratitude has had in my own life I see the faces of my husband and children. Aren’t they cute? Their love and care kept me moving through life when I was in the deepest darkness with PTSD. My gratitude for them kept me alive when I had little hope that I’d ever feel better. I share this as a testament to the power that gratitude has played in my own life and healing.

My friend, Kristi Nelson, shares in her book Wake Up Grateful, that “a grateful life is made up of grateful days, and grateful days are made up of grateful moments”. This sentiment and countless others Kristi shares in her book, changed my mindset on gratitude. That the smallest blessings in our lives can add up if we acknowledge and recognize the power they wield in our lives. I featured her guidebook for practicing a grateful life in my last blog because it serves as one of the most powerful accounts of manifesting gratitude especially during challenged times.

Practicing gratitude has a significant impact on your mental health. When you focus on the positive aspects of your life, you are more likely to develop a positive mindset. This shift in perspective reduces the levels of stressanxiety, and depression you may experience.

  • Better mental health
  • Reduced stress and anxiety
  • Less depression

Not only does practicing gratitude improve mental health, but it also contributes to overall good health. People who appreciate their life’s blessings report having better sleep quality and feeling more in harmony with their body and its needs.

Feeling grateful leads to happiness as it triggers the release of positive emotions. This increase in positivity paves the way for stronger relationships built on love and understanding. As a result, grateful individuals often enjoy a more profound sense of peace.

Benefits of Gratitude:

Mental Health Good Health Happiness Love Peace
Stress reduction Better Sleep Positive emotions Stronger relationships Sense of harmony

The power of gratitude extends across many aspects of life, positively influencing mental and physical health, relationships, and overall well-being. By embracing gratitude as a daily practice, you open yourself up to a more fulfilling, content, and joyful life.

Thing to Be Grateful for at Work

grateful at work

It’s easy to slip into a negative mindset when it comes to work, but taking a moment to focus on the positives will help combat stress and anxiety. In fact, there are many things to be grateful for in the workplace!

  • supportive coworkers
  • opportunities for growth and learning
  • exposure to new skills
  • diversity and inclusion
  • creative collaboration
  • collective morale
  • a sense of feeling your skills are valued
  • opportunities to cultivate creativity
  • personal growth
  • career successes and milestones
  • peer support
  • growing your professional network
  • daily routine and structure
  • projects that encourage innovation
  • financial stability
  • health insurance benefits
  • pension and retirement benefits

Health Benefits in the Workplace

Benefit Description
Good Sleep A structured workday helps improve sleep quality and quantity, which is vital for overall wellbeing.
Positive Emotions Work achievements and personal connections with coworkers can boost happiness and self-esteem.
Stress Reduction Establishing a healthy work-life balance can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression.

Cherishing these aspects of the workplace can lead to improved mental health, happiness, and a more positive mindset. It’s important to focus on the aspects that bring joy, peace, and excitement to daily work life, and strive to maintain that gratitude throughout the ups and downs.

grateful man

Things to Be Grateful for in Life

  • family
  • living grandparent, parents, spouse, children
  • grief for someone you’ve lost
  • health – physical and mental health
  • friendships
  • your community – neighborhood, church, school, clubs
  • support system relationships – therapists, doctors, care givers.
  • your shelter
  • access to food
  • access to fuel
  • running water, heat, cooling, electricity
  • your outdoor space or garden
  • your transportation – both public and private
  • education – access to higher education and learning
  • hobbies
  • access to travel
  • technology
  • access to Wi-Fi and data
  • modern conveniences
  • life challenges and growth

Let’s dive into some of these things to be grateful for a little more and examine how they impact our lives.

Family Bonds

Family bonds are something to be truly grateful for in life and offer an imperative support system. It is through our families that we learn to loveconnect, and form lasting relationships. Having solid family bonds promotes a positive mindset and has countless benefits for both mental and physical health.

  • Sharing happy memories
  • Providing emotional support in times of stress
  • A network of trusted individuals

These bonds create an environment that facilitates decreased levels of anxiety, depression, and stress, contributing to overall mental well-being.

Mental Health

Being grateful for a healthy sense of mental well-being can positively impact every aspect of life. A healthy mental state reduces stress, promotes happiness, and fosters a positive mindset.

Benefits of Good Mental Health Examples
Reduces stress & anxiety Practicing mindfulness, seeking support
Promotes a positive mindset Gratitude journaling, emotional awareness
Enhances happiness Spending time with loved ones, engaging in hobbies

Gratitude for mental health can encourage individuals to prioritize their mental well-being, leading to a more balanced and happy life.

Physical Health

Expressing thankfulness for physical health is essential as well. A healthy body allows people to partake in various activities and contributes to a more fulfilling life.

  • Exercise regularly to reap numerous benefits
  • Enjoy good quality sleep for mental and physical restoration
  • Experience peace of mind, knowing the body is functioning properly

A grateful attitude towards physical health can serve as a motivation for maintaining good habits for the body’s well-being. Don’t wait to be grateful for your good health. Having good health is a tremendous blessing!


Friendships are invaluable and provide many emotional advantages. Being thankful for these connections can lead to stronger and healthier relationships. The support system that friendships offer is also something to be grateful for.

  1. Trusting connections in times of need
  2. Building lasting memories together
  3. Exchanging love, support, and laughs

Gratitude for friends provides the energy to maintain and nurture these relationships, leading to enriched lives.

Romantic Connections

Lastly, gratitude for romantic connections plays an essential part in overall well-being. These deep connections foster unique experiences of love and mutual growth. Delighting in romantic relationships shapes better communication and understanding within partnerships.

  • Bonding and intimacy
  • Sharing goals and dreams
  • Fostering a safe space for personal growth

Embracing gratitude for romantic connections results in healthier and more fulfilling relationships, promoting happiness in life.

Simple Things that Bring Gratitude

Gratitude Practice

One way to experience gratitude is through gratitude practiceGratitude practices involve acknowledging and expressing appreciation for the good aspects of your life. And as Kristi Nelson shares in her book, even the smallest moments can be opportunities to express gratitude and those little opportunities of awareness add up. Families and relationships can also be great sources of thankfulness.

For example, expressing your love and appreciation to your parents, grandparents, children, and significant other makes a difference. This simple practice brings happiness and positivity, strengthening your connection to your community and personal relationships.

Learning Opportunities

In life, it is important to appreciate all the learning opportunities, good or bad, that present themselves. These opportunities can come from various sources, such as family, friends, or community members. Embracing these moments of growth helps you to gain valuable life lessons, improve your overall wellbeing.

Here are a few examples of learning opportunities:

  • Reaching out to your support system in good and bad times
  • Support and advice from parents
  • Wisdom shared by grandparents
  • Inspirational conversations with friends
  • Community events focused on personal development

Life Lessons

Life’s challenges provide essential lessons that can contribute to personal growth. Though these lessons aren’t always easy to navigate, they can help you build resilience. By embracing and learning from these experiences, you can cultivate a mindset of gratitude. Reflecting on past experiences and recognizing the value of these events leads to a greater appreciation for the present moment.

I’ve witnessed this happen in my own life and my experience at the Boston Marathon bombings. The experience has given me a different perspective to view my life through. Recognizing these lessons also helped me to embrace and accept PTSD into my life sooner and I think that also helped me heal faster too.

Unexpected Sources of Gratitude


When it comes to gratitude, you may not immediately think of mindfulness as a source of gratitude. However, mindfulness is the practice of being fully present in the moment and being aware of thoughts, feelings, and sensations without judgment. Through mindfulness, you can identify and appreciate the positive aspects of your life, ultimately leading to a sense of gratitude. One effective way to practice mindfulness is through gratitude journaling.

  • Gratitude Journal: A gratitude journal is a daily record of things in your life that you are grateful for. This practice helps foster a positive mindset, and it can help you find gratitude even in challenging situations. Here is a quick gratitude worksheet that I created and use frequently myself!gratitude journal
    • Gratitude List: Lists are an excellent way to organize thoughts and feelings. Writing down a gratitude list as part of the journaling process can help you focus on what matters most and guide you in your mindfulness practice.


Hobbies often serve as a wonderful escape from the daily grind and can be a qualified source of gratitude. Whether it’s painting, playing the guitar, or gardening, the sense of accomplishment and joy gained from engaging in a favored activity can contribute significantly to your well-being. Moreover, the following gratitude practices can help strengthen these positive feelings:

Gratitude Practice Description
Gratitude Journal Documenting your progress and experiences during hobbies can help to appreciate the journey and the small victories.
Present Moment While engaging in hobbies, focus on being present and savoring the process rather than fixating on the end goal.
Thankfulness Expressing gratitude to fellow hobbyists or instructors can deepen social bonds and bolster feelings of happiness and well-being.

Holidays and Festivities

Finally, holidays and festivities offer an abundant opportunity for cultivating gratitude. While it’s easy to get caught up in the hectic nature of such events, pausing to appreciate the memories being created, the shared love and connection, and the simple joys of the season can foster a sense of gratitude. Here are some ways to practice gratitude during holidays and festivities:

  1. Gratitude Journal: Reflect on and list special moments or highlights from a recent holiday or festivity
  2. Present Moment: Be fully present and engaged during special events, allowing for increased awareness and appreciation
  3. Thankfulness: Share words of gratitude and love with those around during these occasions, deepening connections and amplifying positive emotions

Thing to Be Grateful for in Your Surroundings

Outdoor Elements

Take a moment to appreciate the outdoor elements that surround you. Whether it’s a sunny day, a gentle breeze or even the refreshing rain, these are all things to be grateful for. Don’t forget the simple pleasures that holidays bring, like the warmth of a beach day or the excitement of a snowball fight. As for transportation, a reliable public transport system or a nice pair of comfortable shoes make exploring the outdoors a lot easier.

Flora and Fauna

Flora and fauna in your surroundings deserve gratitude too. Admire the flowers and the trees, for they provide you with clean air, beauty, and a home for many creatures. Speaking of creatures, don’t forget the joy pets bring into our lives. From a loyal dog to a playful cat, their presence can be heartwarming and a source of companionship.

I also think it’s helpful to grow plants, flowers, or a garden yourself. Seeing the fruits of your labor when your tomatoes finally ripen or when a flower blooms is amazing and keeping a houseplant alive can even bring great satisfaction.

I recently planted a rose bush in my own yard in remembrance my beloved grandmother who passed away in October and every time it blooms I am overcome by her love and lasting impact on my life.

blooming rose


When it comes to your home, there are endless things to be grateful for. A cozy space filled with personal touches can provide refuge and relaxation after a long day. Within the home, take a moment to appreciate the beauty of art, whether it’s a painting, a sculpture, or a prized photograph. Music is another source of gratitude, as it can fill our homes with joy, reflection, or motivation for dancing. Let’s also be grateful for the technology that allows us to stay connected with friends and family, even when we’re miles apart

Gratitude in Unexpected Moments

Overcoming Challenges

Everyone faces challenges in their lives, whether it’s related to learning, your job, or personal growth. However, people often overlook the opportunities embedded in these challenges. By tackling obstacles head-on, you have the chance to learn new skills, improve upon weaknesses, and gain a better understanding of your capabilities. Next time, consider being grateful for facing challenges, as they inspire growth and resilience.

Learning from Mistakes

Mistakes can be a great source of gratitude, even if they don’t seem like it at the time. Whether in your job, education, or personal life, mistakes offer lessons in humility, persistence, and determination. Teachers often appreciate students who learn from their mistakes and offer new ideas or thoughts that lead to a deeper understanding. Embrace this opportunity and view mistakes as stepping stones toward growth.

Personal Growth

Continuous personal growth helps keep positivity and inspiration alive. Through the study and exploration of new ideasopportunities, and experiences, you can gain a broader perspective on life. Feeling gratitude for personal growth is essential, as seeking self-improvement offers ongoing chances to learn from others, foster relationships, and uncovers your strengths.

Aspect of Growth Positive Benefits
Emotional Growth Increased self-awareness, better emotional regulation
Mental Growth Sharper critical thinking skills, better problem-solving
Spiritual Growth Enhanced sense of purpose, stronger connection with beliefs
Social Growth Improved communication skills, stronger relationships

Global and Cultural Awareness

In a diverse and connected world, it’s important to develop global and cultural awareness. This can be accomplished through education, travel, or meeting people from different backgrounds. Being grateful for these moments of cultural understanding not only expands one’s perspective but also fosters empathy, compassion, and open-mindedness. Encouraging cultural curiosity and appreciation can lead to a more harmonious and inclusive world.

Worldly Experiences

Broadening your horizons by seeking out new experiences is a valuable way to grow as a person. This can include trying out new hobbies, visiting unfamiliar places, or immersing yourself in a different culture. Such worldly experiences can lead to great memories, fascinating discoveries, and unexpected inspiration. Be grateful for these opportunities to step out of your comfort zone and experience all the wonder life has to offer.

Things I am Grateful For

  • Audible books and my kindle – I LOVE reading
  • Starbucks iced green tea
  • EMDR therapy
  • acupuncture
  • my medication and supplements – I thank them each time I take them!
  • White Christmas the movie
  • La La Land the movie – Musicals are my jam
  • Gloria Estefan – her music is life!
  • Taylor Swift for everything
  • long walks on the beach or in the sun
  • hugs from my kids
  • every moment I get with my husband
  • Capri Blue candle
  • Cape Cod summers
  • every moment in my life that takes my breath away
  • when I get through an anxious or depressed time
  • peace in my heart and body
  • to live in a time when mental health is normalized
  • my siblings
  • my parents
  • my two best friends
  • my readers

Final Thoughts

Practicing gratitude takes effort and I think it’s a habit that becomes easier when you start small. Just take a few moments to look around your environment – name 5 things you see that you appreciate. Now, look at your phone, your messages, recent calls, a quick scroll on your social media feed, and count how many friends or family members or people you care about, have reached out to you. Be grateful they are in your life. Lastly, take a walk outside and notice the beauty around you. The smells, sights, and sounds and count the things you are grateful to be witnessing. These exercises seem simple. When you recognize you are being thankful for things, people, and places that you take for granted most days then you start to build the awareness for the blessings that surround you.

As you can see from my gratitude list that these things can be small and big things. I encourage you to create your own list of things that make you happy. I hope you find it hard, like me, to stop writing!


things to be grateful for

Elena Breese

Elena is a Boston Marathon bombing survivor and lives with post-traumatic stress disorder. Through her website, Still Blooming Me, Elena shares how she learned to embrace her trauma and mental challenges, advocate for herself, and grow from her experience. She is passionate about bringing awareness about PTSD and sharing resources that have helped her heal. Elena has contributed to various blogs, podcasts, and speaks publicly.

Elena is a dedicated wife and mother. Her family lives in Phoenix, Arizona.


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