happy woman in field grateful for life

The Life Changing Magic of Gratitude: 20 Powerful Prompts to Add to Your Gratitude List

Some days, life can be tough. It’s easy to forget all the good things we have going for us and focus on the negatives – particularly when things always seem to be going wrong. But there is a way to turn this around, and it’s a powerful one. By focusing on the good things in our life – the things that we are grateful for, we can easily switch our thinking from a negative mindset into a more positive frame of mind. 

How? Well, for starters, you need a gratitude list. Which is exactly what this post is going to help you with. 

In this article, we’re going to explore what gratitude is, and how it can transform the way we perceive a situation. We’ll also look at some examples of things to be grateful for, to help you choose the perfect phrases for your own daily gratitude list. 

Best of all, we have some powerful prompts to get you started on your own journey to practising gratitude. Not only will this give you a great head start, it will also lay the foundation for improving your self-esteem and happiness levels. 

What is the Meaning of Gratitude? 

To be truly grateful is to appreciate all the positive things in your life that enable you to live your life. From the basic human needs like shelter, warmth, food, and security, to emotional needs like love and connection, and higher psychological needs like esteem, recognition, and our deepest desires. 

The Benefits Of Practising Gratitude

It’s official – the benefits of practising gratitude have been scientifically proven. Being grateful for even the smallest things creates physiological changes in the body, which can greatly improve your mental and physical health. Let’s look at these benefits in more detail. 

Scrabble letters: Count Your Blessings to help promote the benefits of using a gratitude list
Photo by Brett Jordan via Pexels

Small acts such as saying thank you and being genuinely grateful for other people’s actions can go a long way towards improving relationships. We all love to feel appreciated, and being genuinely thankful towards a person can create a lovely bond. 

By practising gratitude daily, we increase the number of happy thoughts in our minds which, in turn, releases feel-good hormones. When you’re on a natural high, you’re less likely to slip into unhelpful thinking habits

Gratitude makes you feel good, and when you feel good, it’s much easier to let things flow over you, rather than get to you. You might also feel more empathetic towards others: when you’re in a good place and have a better understanding of yourself, it’s often easier to see things from someone else’s perspective. 

4. Higher self-esteem 

When you appreciate what you have, you feel better about yourself. Comparing ourselves to others can lead to feelings of lack, not being ‘good enough’, and subsequently, low self-esteem. Expressing gratitude can really help to show how rich our lives truly are, and make us feel better overall. 

5. Stronger mental resolve 

When you’re not in a great place, the slightest thing can make it feel like your whole world is crashing down around you. As practising gratitude improves your overall mood, it’s much easier to let the small things roll over you.

6. Improved sleep

Imagine going to sleep at night feeling content, and thankful for everything you have in your life? Ending your day on a positive note thanks to practising daily gratitude is much better than falling asleep worrying about things. And better sleep leads to a better quality of life. 

7. Fewer aches and pains 

As psychiatrist Bessel van der Kolk, MD explores in his book The Body Keeps the Score, aches and pains are often a physical manifestation of past trauma and emotional pain. We can become ‘stuck’ in a pattern of negative thinking, which can then keep us ‘stuck’ in our pain. Using gratitude is one way we can change our thoughts and help to decrease these aches and pains. 

8. Lower blood pressure

Expressing gratitude stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system (the part that puts your body into ‘rest and digest mode’), which in turn, lowers your heart rate and your blood pressure. 

9. Greater cardio fitness  

Feeling grateful to be alive has a powerful effect on your physical health. It makes sense that the concept of “healthy body, healthy mind” works both ways. Because when your mind feels good, you’ll be more inclined to take care of your health and overall levels of fitness. 

The Power of Daily Gratitude Lists 

Having a gratitude list in your wellbeing toolkit can help you transform your overall mindset. It’s a powerful practice, resulting in greater awareness of all the wonderful things in your life, as well as being more mindful in the day-to-day. 

Taking time to be grateful for things in your life at least once a day can turn it into a habit, and therefore increase its impact on your daily life. Let’s look at 10 reasons to be grateful, that you might want to add into your own daily gratitude list. 

happy family sitting together outdoors on grass surrounded by nature. Supporting the message to add family to gratitude list.
Image by Charles McArthur from Pixabay

1. Family 

When was the last time you felt truly thankful for your children, your parents, or your spouse? When these people feature in our lives on a daily basis, it can be so easy to take them for granted. And when living in close proximity to each other, day in, day out, we’re also often inclined to direct our frustrations and emotions towards those closest to us. 

By taking the time to be grateful for our family members and the things they do for us, we can view those dearest to us in a much more positive light. So the next time your kids or your other half are bugging you, imagine for a moment how different your life would be if they weren’t in it? Not everyone is fortunate enough to be blessed with a family. By flipping the perspective in this way, it’s much easier to be thankful for the loved ones in our lives. 

2. Health

Your health is the most valuable asset you have. Without your health, you wouldn’t be here! So even if your health isn’t at its best, consider the parts of you that are. The ability to walk, to talk to others, to see the beauty around you. To be able to get out into nature, to hear laughter, to smell and taste delicious food. Without a 100% functioning body, these pleasures may not be available to you. 

3. Relationships

All too often we take each other for granted. Life happens, and we get complacent. If you’re noticing a lack of intimacy in your romantic relationship, try making a list of all the things you’re grateful for when it comes to your other half. 

Similarly, with friendships, it’s important to remember that it’s a two-way street, and relationships take work. By practising gratitude for your friends, you become more mindful and appreciative of them, and will naturally make more effort and feel strengthened relationship bonds.

4. Community

One of our most important human needs is to feel a sense of connection. We’re hardwired to belong within a community, no matter how big or small. Take the time to appreciate your community – whether that be any groups you attend, the village/town you live in, or your surrounding dwelling and all the facilities available to you. 

If you don’t have that sense of community where you live, take the time to search for some clubs or groups you can join to cultivate that sense of belonging, and add this into your gratitude list.  

5. Personal Growth

We’re always growing, always learning, often when we don’t realise it. Take the time to be aware of any progress you might have made, and congratulate yourself on how far you’ve come. If you don’t feel like you’ve made any progress, consider taking a course that will enhance your self-development. 

For example, if you struggle with self-doubt, you could try our free self-acceptance masterclass. Then thank yourself for taking the time to practise self-care and put yourself first, for once. 

6. Challenges

This might seem a strange one to be grateful for, but without challenges, we don’t grow. A challenge presents a lesson, and an experience. While it might be unpleasant at the time, it’s worth considering any way it might have enhanced your life. For example, if you’re having a hard time at work, think about what that challenge might be teaching you? Perhaps you feel threatened and belittled by a colleague. In which case, you might like to try some assertion techniques and work on your self-esteem to help with your personal growth. 

7. Opportunities

With every challenge comes a new opportunity. As one door closes, another one opens. Life is full of opportunity around every corner, and sometimes we just have to take it. Take a moment to be grateful for any new opportunities that may have opened up for you, and consider how they might enhance your life. 

8. Nature

This is such an easy one to be grateful for – without nature, we would have no home. Being around nature is so incredibly grounding and good for the soul. So the next time you’re out and about, take the time to notice the beauty and wonder around you, and be thankful for the birds, the bees, the trees, and the greenery that gives us oxygen to breathe, and the food that the earth can provide. 

9. The little things

Ahh, it’s the little things. Cuddles with your children. Your pets. The sun on your face on a sunny day. Being able to wash your hands under running water. To have a warm shower. To put socks on and crawl under a toasty duvet. 

Do you ever complain about your surroundings? Hate your decor? Wish you had a bigger house? Being grateful for what you already have puts everything in perspective. Because if you imagine what your life would be like without these little (and sometimes, big) things, you’ll realise how blessed you really are.  

10. Yourself

Always remember to be grateful for who you are. I appreciate that it’s not easy to express gratitude for yourself, particularly if the concept of self-love is a little alien to you. But when it comes to adding yourself to your gratitude list, consider how far you’ve come in your life. 

Make a list of the things you’ve achieved, all the things you’re proud of. Think of the challenges you’ve overcome, and the opportunities you’ve made the most of. All of your experiences have made you who you are, and you’ve shown incredible strength to get to this point. So take some time to thank yourself – you wholeheartedly deserve it.


Happy smiling woman facing her reflection in mirror to support the benefits of using a daily gratitude list
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio via Pexels

Taking a moment to be thankful for anything in your life can create truly powerful results. From the transformation of negative thoughts, to better overall health, the benefits of practising gratitude are clear. Ultimately, being truly grateful can lead to higher levels of happiness and a more fulfilling life. 

I hope this article has given you the motivation to adopt regular gratitude practise into your life, and suggest you try incorporating these examples into your own daily gratitude list and making it a habit

To make things easier, you can use this completely free resource to help you create your own daily gratitude list with these 20 powerful prompts.

Access the free PDF to build your new positive mindset here:  

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