Gratitude helps people appreciate what they have instead of focusing on what they don’t have. Everyone has so many things to be grateful for, yet many people never feel happy or satisfied until every need is met, and this rarely happens. They are constantly waiting to be truly happy or content. When I was younger, I used to put so many things on hold until I lost weight. I am grateful that I passed that stage and learn to appreciate what I have and enjoy life to the fullest, even if I have a few pounds to lose. There will always be things that we lack in life no matter how lucky we are, but if we focus on what we do have, we will enjoy life so much more!
Reflect on the good in your life. Achievement is pointless if you don’t stop to recognize it and appreciate it.
Gratitude List Templates
We offer a few gratitude list template printables that can be customized online. The backgrounds can be changed or deleted if you want a blank list.
Feel free to make any changes since you can edit the title. Here are some of the gratitude list templates available on this site:
Daily Gratitude list
I am grateful for
You can change the title and the titles of the boxes. You can also change the colors.
50 Things to be Grateful for.
You can print as many copies of this list as you want and change the title. For example, if you want to make a list titled “500 things to be grateful for” then print 10 copies of the list and complete it over time. You can turn it into a gratitude binder. See our binder covers to make a special cover. You can, of course, use any number. You can also put any number of items per page. There are many templates. This is just an example.
We also offer an online gratitude list that you can print, email to yourself or download as a PDF document. You can keep coming back to the site to add to the list and it will save your previous list.
Do whatever works for you, and feel free to make changes.
Gratitude List Examples
Here are some examples of gratitude lists or things to include in them:
- My health
- My family
- My friends
- My job
- My home
- My comfy bed
- My comfy sofa
- My favorite book
- My favorite song
Feel free to use these gratitude examples to get ideas for your gratitude list.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself to identify things that you are grateful for.
- Who do you love?
- Who do you like?
- Who can you count on?
- What do you love?
- What do you like?
- What do you enjoy?
- What makes you happy?
- What relaxes you?
- What is your favorite memory?
- What is your favorite food?
- What is your favorite 50item?
- What have you accomplished?
- What are your good qualities?
- What are your hobbies?
- What movie did you like?
- What books did you enjoy?
- What songs do you love?
- What have you learned?
What are you thankful for?
Benefits of Gratitude
Being thankful benefits you in so many ways. According to Psychology Today, Amy Morin, Mental strength trainer and international bestselling mental strength author, claims that there are 7 scientifically-proven benefits of gratitude. Gratitude:
- Increases mental strength. It makes us happier and less likely to suffer from depression.
- Improves self-esteem. When you recognize the good things that people do for you, then you feel loved, which is great for your self-esteem.
- Helps you make new friends by showing appreciation.
- Can improve your physical health.
- Can improve your psychological health.
- Helps you show more empathy toward other people and makes you less likely to seek revenge.
- Can improve your sleep.
Adding a gratitude list to your journal will ensure that you take a few moments to focus on all that you already have instead of the things that you lack. Since a journal is often used to set goals and help you reach them, you might be focusing a lot on what you want to achieve. I think that this is great since it enables you to achieve your goals, which is really important. However, even if you are striving to achieve more, you can still stop and recognize and appreciate what you already have.
Benefits of Writing a Gratitude List
Dr. Robert Emmons, UC Davis psychology professor and author of “The Little Book of Gratitude: Creating a Life of Happiness and Wellbeing by Giving Thanks”, asked three groups of people to write in a journal once a week for ten weeks. One group was asked to write 5 things they were grateful for, the second group wrote 5 things they were displeased about and the third group wrote about 5 neutral events.
At the end of the 10 weeks, Dr. Emmons compared the well-being outcomes to those measured before they started writing in their journals. Participants who wrote five things that they were grateful for each week were 25% happier than the other participants. They felt better about their lives and were more optimistic in general than the other two groups.
Try this for yourself! Each week write 5 things that you are grateful for in your journal and see how much better you feel.
How Long Does it Take to Feel the Benefits?
In the study mentioned above, Dr. Emmons reported that participants who wrote five things that they were grateful for each week were 25% happier than other participants after only 10 weeks!
According to Joel Wong and Joshua Brown, the mental health benefits of gratitude writing do not happen overnight but rather accrue gradually over time. During their studies, a small improvement in mental health was seen after one month, and a more significant difference was felt after 12 weeks. If you add a gratitude list to your journal, don’t expect to feel much better right away. However, if you consistently add to this list and read it over occasionally, then you should start reaping the benefits of gratitude over time.
Ways to cultivate gratitude
Harvard Health Publishing lists some ways for people to cultivate gratitude.
Keep a gratitude journal, or add a gratitude list to your journal. Write down all the things you are grateful for and try to add to this list each day or week. To make an entire journal, print many copies of our lists and get them bound or insert them in a binder or journal. You can also make a coordinating binder cover on this site.
Write a thank-you note. Thank you letters can obviously be written to others to improve your relationship with them but you can also write yourself a thank you note. Thank yourself for who you are and what you do.
Count your blessings. Harvard Health Publishing suggests that you pick a time every week to sit down and write about your blessings. Reflect on what went right or what you are grateful for. They suggest that you write detailed blessings that include the emotions that you felt when something good happened to you.
How to Make a Gratitude List
- Select any gratitude template from the selection available.
- Either use our suggested title or change the title. See some possible options above.
- Either use an online list or a printable list. To access the online list, you will need to register to ensure that your list is saved. If you prefer a printable list, then no registration is required.
- Add things you are grateful for. Spend a few minutes every day adding to your list. Need ideas? See some examples and questions above.
When should you write your gratitude list?
It doesn’t really make a difference when you write your list. Still, since it takes a while for the benefits to accrue, you might find that in the beginning, you see the benefits right after you start thinking about your gratitude list, whereas after a while, the benefits should last all day.
First thing in the morning
To Feel Happier
If you feel stress or suffer from anxiety or depression, then why not try to work on your gratitude list each morning and see if you notice any difference after a month to three months.
To Exercise More
I love getting my exercise done in the morning, but I am often not motivated enough. When I don’t exercise in the morning, then it usually doesn’t happen at all. I keep putting it off all day. Dr Robert Emmon’s studies showed that people who kept gratitude journals exercised 33% more than those who weren’t keeping such journals. Being grateful for one’s health possibly makes you want to protect it by exercising more.
To Be More Creative
According to Barbara Fredrickson, in her book “Positivity,” gratitude can broaden our minds and help us to come up with creative solutions to problems.
Before you go to sleep
To Sleep Better
Writing your list before you go to sleep can make you sleep better and longer, according to a 2011 study published in Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being. If you are having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, why not try writing a few things that you should be thankful for each night before you go to sleep. You can also just put your gratitude list next to your bed and read it every night.