What Is A Gratitude List?

A gratitude list is an intimate and highly personal checklist that enumerates anything that brings joy and adds positive value to your life. It is a comprehensive list identifying the things you are thankful to have. This, of course, is different for everybody. It can consist of anything that you believe adds genuine benefit to your life.  

According to Nationwide Children’s Hospital, having an attitude of gratitude greatly impacts mental health. Those who express gratitude regularly are shown to be much happier people overall; and as a result, significantly decreases their likelihood of depression and stress.  

Benefits of Keeping a Gratitude List

There are several compelling reasons why you should start jotting down the things you are grateful for. You’ll find that the following benefits are not only good for you but for those around you as well.

Improves Self-awareness: The act of recalling, listing or writing down brings a certain mindfulness to you internally and externally. You can be reviewing your daily schedule or weekly events; and by referring to your list, it creates a space for your own self-reflection. Promotes Emotional Well-being: It is a widely accepted notion that maintaining good mental, spiritual and emotional health has a profound effect on physical health. Studies have shown that showing gratitude has a positive impact on mental health. Taking note of what you are thankful for has been seen to help individuals manage and regulate stressful and challenging times. Gratitude lists help reinforce the promotion of overall well-being. Boosts Feeling of Connectedness: This is good news if you want to connect more deeply with your spouse, child, best friend or anyone for that matter. Showing people gratitude can help strengthen your relationship with them and foster a sense of connectedness. Deepens Appreciation: Starting a gratitude project not only applies to the big things (e.g. dream vacation, beach house), but also pertains to the little things. Others might argue it’s the little, simple things that truly matter. And they are often the ones we take for granted. Adds Positivity: With too much pessimism and cynicism going around, practicing gratitude helps bring back positive vibes which allows for a more accepting and tolerant society. Depression and anxiety permeates every part of the world these days. The COVID-19 pandemic compounded feelings of stress and insecurity. Expressing gratitude and treating others with kindness and respect may help bring back the light in a world already filled with negativity.

How To Create a Gratitude List

The easy-to-use templates above are downloadable and printable. Pick a sample, start editing and make a gratitude list that’s uniquely your own! Don’t know where to start? Follow these steps and you will be on your way. 

Step 1: Take Time To Reflect 

It always begins with self-awareness. Allowing yourself to be present is the key. This usually entails avoiding replaying past mistakes (or even reliving past achievements) and worrying about future plans. Taking the time to sit down with your thoughts is a necessary first step. 

Step 2: Write Down the Date

This may seem basic but indicating a date will help you when you look back and realize how much growth, development and blessings you’ve accumulated. You can opt to keep a weekly gratitude list or a daily journal-type diary.     

Step 3: List Each Item Down

It could be in bullet points and can be as detailed as you want it to be. Your list is a personal reflection tool for self-improvement. The structure and arrangement will also depend on you. Some find it easier to list the most important ones first. Examples of these may include family, husband, daughter, health, employment, etc. It is followed by the often overlooked things such as having a roof above one’s head, being able to travel anywhere, or something as simple as gardening or dancing.  

Step 4: Review and Repeat

Gratitude is a conscious practice that you consistently have to work on. Making a habit of listing down what you are thankful for has long term benefits.   


What should I put on my gratitude list?

Anything that matters to you. It can be as simple as a pet dog who makes you happy or a corporate promotion that you earned and worked tirelessly to get. However, don’t limit yourself to just the concrete things; abstract ideas like freedom and love can also be placed on your list.

What are 3 things you are grateful for?

The fact that you are alive and still breathing seems like an obvious one but it is one of the most fundamental things to be grateful for. When placed within the greater context of a global pandemic, it makes it even more significant. Having a solid support system in the form of family and friends is a blessing. It’s important to have people around you that you can count on. It’s best to focus on the quality of relationships rather than just the quantity. With all the news about rising cases and an overall feeling of uncertainty, just being able to say you are safe and healthy is already a gift in itself.

What are some daily gratitudes?

These include but are not limited to family, friends, God, food, coffee, financial security, clean water, electricity, technology, good health, pets, plants, and music.

Starting a gratitude list does not require much effort. It is a thoughtful process but mostly all it takes is being able to notice. It’s noticing what you have instead of yearning for what isn’t there. With the many samples to guide you, pick a template and start asking yourself: What am I thankful for?