101: How To Be Grateful In Life

Are you one of those people who often think they are not happy in their life

Or, do you always feel miserable about your situation and, god forbid, also consider yourself unlucky? 

Is it because you have forgotten how to be grateful in life?

Gratitude, by definition, refers to the quality of thankfulness. Expression of gratitude is beneficial not just for others but for ourselves too. 

We all can agree that life is unfair. But, to quote Ada Adams precisely, “There is light at the end of every tunnel; some tunnels just happen to be longer than others.”

To find the shred of light, one needs to develop themselves. This easy yet difficult process starts with the feeling of gratefulness.

By the end of this article, one can quickly notice that the light seems brighter at the end of the tunnel. 

how to be grateful in life
How To Be Grateful In Life For What You Have

How being grateful affects your mental health

A research paper published by Joshua Brown and Joel Wong in 2017, “How gratitude changes you and your brain.” states that practicing gratitude and psychological counseling is one of the most efficient ways for people to be happy and lead a positive life. 

Although the effects of this simple exercise might take time to surface, remember that Rome was not built in a day.

Research published in 2020 by Feng Kong, Jingjing Zhao, Xuqun You, and Yanhui Xiang on “Gratitude and the brain: Trait gratitude mediates the association between structural variations in the medial prefrontal cortex and life satisfaction,”  focuses on the neural basis of the relationship linking emotions like gratitude to positive life satisfaction-which thereby positively influences our mental health.

The practice of how to be more grateful in life helps in improving our self-value, which leads to a decrease in anxiety, trauma, and depression by increasing self-worth, motivation, and productivity. This quality leads to a society with better mental health.

Gratitude and happiness

Just as thanksgiving and turkey, gratitude and happiness go hand in hand. The more you find reasons to be grateful in life, the closer you are to being happy. According to the United States Constitution, happiness is a fundamental right. 

In positive psychology research, it has been observed that gratitude is strongly associated with happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions and relish precious moments by a smile on their face representing their happiness. 

Therefore, knowing how to be grateful in life can lead one toward happiness. 

10 Ways on how to be more grateful in life:

We have established that the need for gratefulness in one’s life is quite essential. So it’s high time everyone develops their emotional and mental well-being. 

There are numerous ways to be more grateful. Here we have  listed down the most basic yet effective ways for it:

1. Blurt out your reasons to be grateful in life!

Anne frank once said, “I can shake off everything; as I write, my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.”

As per a research published on PubMed conducted in 2017 by M Suhr, A K Risch, and G Wilz on “Maintaining Mental Health Through Positive Writing: Effects of a Resource Diary on Depression and Emotion Regulation” supports the fact that journal writing or more specifically positive writing has the potential for stabilizing mental health problems.

Take up a journal and start writing or, in fact, start blurting out all your emotions. When you are finished, turn over a new page and write everything you are grateful for to date. It might be small or big; pen it down and read that page repeatedly.  

And after that, as time passes, the moment you feel a tiny bit of happiness, pen it down and re-read the list. By this, you’ll get to know how to be grateful in life for what you have.

2. Acceptance: The stepping stone to your happiness!

In the words of JK Rowling, “Understanding is the first step to acceptance, and only with acceptance can there be recovery.” 

Research published on PubMed in 2018 by Ford, Lam, John, and Mauss on “The psychological health benefits of accepting negative emotions and thoughts: laboratory, diary, and longitudinal evidence” states that self-acceptance of negative emotions and worries helps one build better psychological health. 

Every once in a while, clear out your head and recite that “You accept yourself the way you are, others might not, but that doesn’t bother you. All you need is to accept all that and be grateful to yourself for that you made it so far”. All of us need to know how to be grateful when life is hard. At the same time, please do not lose hope because ahead is the road not taken by all but a few. All we can say is that the view will be spectacular at the end of the road.

3. Insignificantly significant: everything matters!

In the big scheme of things, it’s the little things that matter!

We, humans, are very complex creatures. Sometimes our brain looks over the small things which are entirely normal. Still, we need to be grateful for those tiny little things because that will help us realize that there are many reasons to be grateful in life.

Learn how to be grateful for everything, and appreciate all those little gestures. It might be a friend sharing things with you or a family member asking about your day. 

In our fast-paced life, these things look pretty insignificant, but these are what ignite the light for you. 

4. Stop the comparison!

As quoted in Zen Shin “A flower never thinks of competing with the flower next to it; it just blooms.”

A Research published on The Nursing Times by Warner D, Milne R in 2020 on “How the use of social media and social comparison affects mental health” states the after-effects of social media that lead to social comparison and then falling into depression

We all can agree we compare ourselves with others for various reasons, and that too daily. The problem is that it is not used in a constructive manner but in a mentally disruptive way. One needs to know that every individual is different and perfect in their own way. We know that it seems hard, but once you do these exercises, you will realize that it is just a matter of perspective

Gratitude towards others is great but, start by learning how to be more grateful to yourself.

Stop saying bad things about yourself and start saying good. We want you to give yourself a chance!

5. Find your treasure under the boulder!

Obstacles do not block the path. They are the path!

Challenges are what shaped us the way we are today. We may not notice it, but whenever we face a challenge and overcome it, that rush is like no other! You feel more motivated and pumped up about the next challenge life throws at you and start looking towards the day on a positive note. 

Whenever you face a difficult situation, don’t leave the ground. Stay and fight. Remember to be consistent, because when you look back at these moments, you will feel grateful for all that strength and determination you gained. You will start finding new reasons to be grateful in life

6. Be the helping hand!

Learning how to be grateful in life also includes helping others, it should not just be confined to the things we are thankful for, but also should include things others are thankful for. 

Helping others unconditionally is true bliss. Making someone smile warms our heart and lead us toward a positive perspective on life. 

Start from your home! Parents are always overburdened with work, help them. If you see someone on the street who needs your help, go for it! Participate in volunteering activities. You’ll see these acts of kindness will help you radiate more positive energy 

7. Gratitude meditation is what you need!

As said by Sakyong Mipham, “The body benefits from movement, and the mind benefits from stillness.”

As per MEDLINE, meditation helps in reducing stress, controls anxiety, and promotes emotional health. 

In a day, take out 5 minutes and, sit and clear out your head space. After that, start remembering all the events and even minimalist reasons to be grateful in life. Practice it daily and then notice, that just 5 minutes is not enough. Slowly, increase the time to 8 minutes. 

Remember to practice this for the next 21 days and then see the results yourself. One thing for sure is that this simple strategy will refresh you and make you happier than ever. 

8. Focus on the good ones!

As quoted in the Zen Shin, “One of the greatest gifts you can give is time”

While learning how to be more grateful, remember to spend more time with people you feel thankful for. Make your happy place. It will benefit not only you but them as well. Being there for someone is one of the most effective forms of appreciation. As you start spending more time with your loved one, you will notice, there are more ways to be grateful. Hold on to that thought and channel it into your thoughts.

9. Appreciation is better when said out loud!

In the words of the great William Arthur Ward, “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”

Don’t just feel grateful in your thoughts. Say it out loud and clear, to all those people for who you feel gratitude. It might be your family or even your postman! Make a habit of finding reasons in people to be grateful in life and appreciate everyone. With just that, you can make yourself and the people around you more positive. 


10. There is a silver lining to all!

As we say, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”

Even in the face of adversity, don’t lose hope shine that optimism on everything, and then only you can see the silver lining. Hold onto the positive aspect of something terrible and fight through it, shaping it into something positive and unimaginable. That is how you will know how to be more grateful in life.

Say you lost your job, and instead of being sad about it, use the time to focus on yourself! We can never know until we try. There are a number of things to be grateful for in life, you just need to look hard.


In this fast-moving world, it is difficult to know when you are not taking care of yourself. Focus on building your mental health. Gratitude is a primary aspect of our life to maintain our mental well-being. Practicing self-care habits in daily life is not that difficult. But, do remember, the important part is to be consistent and not lose hope. Change your “I will be grateful” to “I am grateful.”

Till now, you must be well versed with “how to be grateful in life,” but always remember, being happy and grateful doesn’t mean you should bottle up negative emotions because they are as necessary as positive ones. And also, be happy but don’t let yourself burn out for materialistic things or others’ opinions. The first step is to start loving yourself, and then my friend, no force can stop you from leading a happy life

Initially, you might fail, but remember it is not about whether you fail; it is about whether you stand back up. And once you do, you know the rest.

Use the above-mentioned strategies and if you are more inclined towards something digital here are a few gratitude apps you should give a swirl.

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  1. Thank you for sharing. Sometimes we get lost chasing big things, forgeting in the process of being grateful to little things that make our lives better, day by day.

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