With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I thought now would be a great time to talk about all of the wonderful things to be thankful for in life, not just on the holidays but each and every day. I shared 50 of my favorites below, along with some beautiful gratitude quotes that I love. Just keep reading!
Amazing Things to Be Thankful for Every Day
When everything is all topsy-turvy and we witness one tragedy after another the way we have these last few years, we start to think that the bad outweighs the good. The world seems meaner, colder, and crueler.
It’s easy to get lost in all of that darkness, to amplify the negative until it all but blocks out the positive. We focus so much on what we lost, or what we never had in the first place, that we forget about all of the wonderful things we DO have.
Here’s the thing, though: gratitude is so much better for us than pessimism. Countless studies show that gratitude can boost our mood, make us healthier, keep us feeling hopeful and even improve our romantic relationships. So, let’s take a moment today- and every day- to really think about all of the positive and wonderful things to be thankful for in our lives.
The Big Stuff: Family, Friends, and All of Our Blessings
When I sit down and think about what I’m most grateful for, my first thoughts are for all of the people I love. So, let’s kick this list off with those. Then we’ll just keep going and see how many other wonderful things there are in this world to be thankful for!
1. All of the amazing kids in our lives
There’s nothing quite like the sound of a child’s laughter. Even if you don’t have kids of your own, chances are your friends or siblings do. Be thankful for the joy that they bring!
2. An amazing partner
Whether it’s a husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, or just a friend who is always by your side, we all have at least one good partner supporting us in this life
3. Our parents
Without our parents, we literally wouldn’t exist. So even if you’re not close to your mom or dad, be thankful for the one gift they definitely gave you: your life.
4. Aunts and uncles who are like second parents!
It doesn’t matter if they are our biological aunts and uncles or just really great friends of our parents, they were always there for us when we needed them.
5. All of our wonderful memories with our grandparents
6. The way our pets make our days so much brighter
Even on the darkest days when we feel all alone, our pets give us a reason to get out of bed and brighten up our lives. Studies show dogs even help us live longer!
7. Our in-laws (YES, our in-laws!)
If you’re close, be thankful for all of the support they give you and how they help with the kids. Even if you’re not close, remember that they gave you your wonderful partner in life, so they can’t be all that bad!
For many of us, our cousins were our first best friends. At the very least, they made family gatherings so much more fun!
9. Friends who are like family
Friends prove that sometimes you really can choose your family. So even if you don’t have kids, a partner, parents, cousins, or even a pet in your life, if you have even just one good friend, you have something big to be thankful for.
10. A roof over our heads
If you have a roof over your head, be thankful. There are SO many people all over the world who aren’t as lucky.
11. The clothes on our back
A warm coat in the winter, a comfy t-shirt in the summer, and that pair of pajamas that wraps you in comfort at night are all things to be thankful for. Not everyone has access to clean, dry, and comfortable clothing.
12. Having enough to eat
Over 800 million people on this planet go to bed hungry every single night. In the United States alone, roughly 10% of households suffer from food insecurity. So, if you have a full belly right now, be thankful.
13. Clean water to drink
Clean water seems like such a strange thing to be grateful for, but again there are millions (about 785 million, according to the latest CDC statistics) of people worldwide who don’t even have that.
Now that we’ve shown gratitude for the really big stuff in our lives, let’s focus on all of the little things we have to be thankful for.
All The Small Things That Should Fill Us with Gratitude
I know I’ve said this so many times before, but life isn’t just about the big milestones…it’s about all of the small moments in-between. As you read through this list of smaller things to be thankful for, jot down a few things that really resonate with you. Use them as gratitude journal prompts or just whenever you need a reminder that life really is pretty amazing.
14. Spending a day off with family
A whole day surrounded by the people that you love is definitely something to appreciate.
15. Spending a day off alone
Celebrate the fact that you’ve learned to like being alone. You’re in great company!
16. Getting lost in a good book
There’s nothing quite like getting lost between the pages of a grand adventure, a sweet romance, or even a hilarious story.
17. The fact that we can read at all
Over 780 million people worldwide cannot read these words I’m writing right now. Appreciate the fact that you can. Literacy is a gift.
18. An opportunity to learn something new every day
We wake up each morning with a whole world of learning opportunities literally right at our fingertips. That’s pretty amazing.
19. A chance to learn from our mistakes
As long as you’re still breathing, you have a chance to learn from your mistakes and grow.
20. Having the courage to strive towards our goals
If you’ve taken even one step towards making your dreams come true, be thankful. It takes real courage!
21. Faith in something bigger than us
Whether it’s God, gods, or even science, faith that there’s a meaning to all of this and that there’s something bigger out there than just us is definitely something to be thankful for.
22. A good belly laugh
There’s something so wonderful about that deep down, side-splitting, laugh until you can’t breathe laughter.
23. A good cry
Be thankful for that feeling of relief that washes over you when you just let it all out, and for the fact that you’re not bottling up your emotions.
24. The beach!
If you’re lucky enough to spend even one day with the sand between your toes, count your blessings. There really is nothing like the beach!
25. The way the sun feels on our face on a cold day
That small spot of soothing warmth on a frigid day reminds us that the cold won’t last forever.
26. The feeling of a cool breeze on a hot day
Is there anything better than feeling that breeze tickle across your scorching hot skin?
27. The opportunity to travel
Whether it’s by plane to the other side of the world or by car to the other side of town, the chance to get away from our everyday lives is definitely worth our gratitude.
28. A smile from a stranger
A simple smile from a stranger is enough to remind us that we’re never alone on this planet.
29. Witnessing random acts of kindness
As grateful as we are when someone is kind to us, we should be just as grateful to see others receive random acts of kindness. It’s a constant reminder that there is so much good in this world.
30. Good music
Music soothes the soul. Can you imagine a world without it?
I’d like to personally thank the person who discovered the world’s most delicious treat.
32. Finding out your favorite old show is streaming online
I love when I check out the “what’s streaming next month” lists and discover an old favorite, don’t you?
33. Getting up early enough to see the sunrise
Instead of grumping about getting up early, celebrate the fact that you’re literally witnessing the dawn of a new day.
34. Watching a sunset
Not only are they beautiful, but sunsets remind us that even the worst days of our lives eventually come to an end.
35. Winter’s first snowflake
If you live in a place where you actually get snow, celebrate that first beautifully unique flake that falls from the sky.
36. Spring’s first flower
It’s a reminder that beauty always returns to the earth even after the harshest winter.
37. Summer’s first day at the pool
Splashing around and laughing with those you love most while cooling down is definitely something to be thankful for!
38. Autumn’s first cool, crisp day
It’s just cool enough for your favorite cozy sweater but not so cold that you need to turn on the heat. Just right!
39. That moment right after you finish cleaning your house
Sure, the dog and the kids will mess it up again, but for just one moment everything is exactly in its place and sparkling clean.
Time is both short and endless. Even though you always want more, be grateful for the time that you do have. Make the most of it!
41. A really great hair day!
I mean, yeah, there are probably a million more meaningful things to be thankful for in life, but let’s be honest…a great hair day is definitely something worth singing about!
42. A perfectly “broken in” spot to sit and relax
There’s just something about settling into your favorite chair or your spot on the sofa and feeling the cushions form around you. It’s like a cozy hug after a long day.
43. The feeling of a hot drink warming you up on a cold day
That first sip of coffee, tea, or cocoa after you’ve been out in the cold? Pure bliss! Definitely something to be thankful for!
44. Finally figuring out the secret in your grandma’s secret family recipe
Whether she finally lets you in on the final ingredient or you figure it out yourself through trial and error, there’s nothing like the feeling of accomplishment that comes from being let in on your grandmother’s (or your mom’s, dad’s, etc) most top-secret recipe.
45. Clear skies on the night of a “once in a lifetime” meteorological event
From comets that only come around once every thousand years to neat planetary alignments, it seems like every time there’s a “once-in-a-lifetime” meteorological event my weather forecast calls for rain and clouds. So when I do actually get clear skies on these magical nights, I’m definitely thankful!
46. Those “aha” moments of clarity
Whether it’s finally finding the answer to a question that’s been nagging at me forever or a sudden burst of inspiration, I’m always grateful for those wonderful “aha” moments.
47. Green lights all the way home
It doesn’t happen often (and, sadly, rarely when you’re in a major rush), but every now and then you hit every single traffic light at the exact right moment and score green lights all the way home. It’s just one of those wonderful little things to be thankful for!
48. A really good night’s sleep
If you consider that 30% of people experience insomnia at some point in their lives and 10% experience it regularly, it’s easy to see why a good night’s sleep is something to be thankful for!
49. Living in the age of technology
Given all of the downsides of tech, some would say that this isn’t really something to be thankful for. But there are also a lot of upsides that I’m grateful for, too. We have so many more ways to stay connected to loved ones all over the world than ever before.
50. Just being alive, period
If you’ve reached the end of this list thinking, “I don’t have this, I don’t have that, nope not that either,” well here’s one that you definitely DO have: your life. The very fact that you are alive right now is definitely something to appreciate.
I could make a list of a million little things and still never scratch the surface of all of the wonders in this world. Beauty is all around us. If you learn to look for it instead of focusing on the negative, you’ll never run out of things to be thankful for.