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Last Updated on February 25, 2020

32 Things You Should Be Grateful For

32 Things You Should Be Grateful For

There is so much that is wrong with the society we live in. There is so much about ourselves that we wish to change. In an attempt to make ourselves better and to change our society, many times we forget to be grateful for the things we do have. We focus so much on the negative that the positive loses its place in our hearts.

Here is a list of little and big things we all should be grateful for, for gratitude itself is a virtue.

1. Your Life

No matter how you think it is, it is a gift. So many individuals don’t get a chance to make it as far as you did.

Disease, poverty, famines, and droughts claim thousands of lives each year, but you were lucky. You got to live, to survive, to exist and to be able to dream. Be grateful for your life.

2. Your Situation

Wherever you are, if you’re reading this you are already in a better situation than the hundreds of millions of individuals who are struggling to have two square meals a day. Be grateful for your situation.

3. Your Friends

They’re the family you picked. Think of the crazy inside jokes, the embarrassing memories, the late night phone calls and the fact that they’ve always got your back. Be grateful for that priceless relationship.

4. Your Parents

Your biggest fans and most honest critics. The only beings who could possibly love you more than you could ever love them. Not all parents are great, I agree, but they did choose to let you live and gave you life.

Be grateful to your parents for their support, their encouragement, for their strength and undying love. Be grateful for the opportunity of life that they gave you.

5. Your Courage

You’ve lived so long, you’ve come so far. You made it despite heartbreaks and pain, though disappointment and failure. Yet here you are, alive, motivated and rearing to go.

Remember to be grateful to whatever is giving you the will to drag yourself out of bed and face the world. Be it your motivation, your goals, your God, whatever, be grateful for the courage.

6. Your Strength

The fact that you didn’t break down that once. The time when you supported your friend in despair, that time you smiled for the family photo when all you wanted to do was to cry, but you didn’t.

Be grateful for your strength to face your troubles and overcome your sorrows.

7. Your Mind

A complex science, a firm friend. Your mind can wander to destinations unknown and yet be back to the present in a fraction of a second. It keeps you hoping, dreaming, thinking. It is in essence a part of what makes you, you.

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Be grateful for your mind’s ability to contribute to making you who you are.

8. Your Heart

Scared, wounded, healed, and still up for more of the same, your heart is like the spirit of a three-year-old. No matter how much it bears, it bounces back. If it were to stop even for a second, your life could be in danger.

Be grateful for you heart for its mettle.

9. Your Senses

To touch, to smell, to see, to feel all the beautiful feeling we take for granted. Think of a day when you couldn’t feel. Think of the misery if you couldn’t taste. Think of the beauty that you would miss out on if you couldn’t see.

Be grateful for your senses that make the world so pretty.

10. The Things You Love

Everything you love gives you joy. It becomes a part of you and can easily make you smile or tear up.

Be grateful for its presence and its effect in your life.

11. Your Belongings

Your bag, your clothes, your couch, your table, everything that’s yours has a story. Even if it’s boring, it’s a story. When you got it, why you got it, how you got it, when you used it, every little detail works its way to make your life more complete.

Each story captures a moment in your life that will never come back. Be grateful for those moments hidden in your belongings.

12. Your Tears

Remember that time you cried in joy? That time when you thought you couldn’t be happier? Do you also recall that terrible night when you thought your heart couldn’t take any more?

Your tears bear testimony to the best and worst times you’ve had. Be grateful for the emotions your tears brought forth.

13. Your Mistakes

A clouded judgment, a tinted perspective, an unfair remark, that stupid, stupid, phone call. Some mistakes that were forgiven and some that weren’t. Some mistakes that warranted an answer and some that didn’t.

Every mistake helped you grow, to learn, to understand. Be grateful for the wisdom that your mistakes enabled.

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14. Your Life Lessons

A lesson could be anything. Basic etiquette, the touch of a hand, the path back home, the stranger who helped, the little girl you learned to console.

A lesson in life is one that only experience can enable. With every lesson learned, you’re one step more experienced than you were yesterday. Be grateful for the experience.

15. Your Mentors

Be it your family, friends, professors, or bosses, be grateful for those individuals who took time out of their lives to help you. To make you feel more competent and give you the cheat sheet of life that they never had. Be grateful for their guidance.

16. Your Happiness

Happiness is a misunderstood, often misquoted commodity. To be loved is to be happy, to be an artist is to be happy, to walk in a park alone with your thoughts is to be happy.

Happiness is how you define it. Many people are robbed of their happiness for they often try to follow someone else’s definition of it. It’s a rare commodity today, one that the world is scrambling to own. Be grateful for your happiness.

17. Your Disappointments

With every disappointment that you encountered, be it academic, emotional, physical, artistic or mental, you got a little stronger. Your disappointment temporarily saddened you though, taught you to overcome the sadness and be happy again.

Be grateful for the strength your disappointments gave you.

18. Your Job

For all the hard work you put in and for the job that pays your rent. It may not be the best yet, but it could help you get the best.

It’s one door that will lead to another. It’s a door that you had to fight to get to. Be grateful the door opened.

19. Your Enemies

Your enemies taught you about the world the way that no book or reality show could. They taught you how to fight, how to be true to yourself and, most importantly, what not to be like.

Be grateful to your enemies for showing you who you never want to be.

20. Your Teachers

They encouraged you, corrected you, motivated you and applauded you, asking for nothing in return from you. Some you loved, some you didn’t, yet they cared for you all the same.

Be grateful for their time and effort that they spent on you.

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21. Your Heartbreaks

Each heartbreak made your heart stronger, wiser, more experienced. It gave you the wisdom to tell between loyal and faithful, a lie and a truth, and eventually between reality and expectations.

Your heartbreaks taught you to bounce back and introduced you to your quieter side and your best friends. Be grateful for that knowledge.

22. Your Laughter

To be able to extract humor from a situation is nothing short of a talent, a gift if you will. To be able to look at something with such an eye that you couldn’t help but laugh.

Be grateful for the talent that enables you to laugh.

23. Your Body

It’s able, it’s healthy. Be grateful that your body is responsive, healthy and yours. Your body is yours alone and for that be grateful.

24. Your Pain

The funny thing about pain is that when you feel it, it hurts so bad; but when it’s gone, you can’t remember how it felt.

You have an idea that you hurt but not how much. Be grateful that it’s over, that the pain you once felt is no more. And the pain you feel will slowly die out.

Be grateful for the pain for it introduced you to a greater joy after it passed.

25. Your Siblings

Your first and last friends, your partners in crime, your shoulders in despair. Your siblings are the best thing that could ever happen to you.

Whether it’s an inside joke, an anniversary gift, a heart break or even plotting a plan, they’re always there and always on your side. Be grateful for your siblings.

26. The Sun

Every day, it comes and spreads its light over all of us. Unselfish and kind, its warmth spreads in every direction.

Be grateful for the sun, for without it food wouldn’t grow and your body wouldn’t experience its tender warmth.

27. The Trees

Ask any child, they’ll tell you why. But if there isn’t a child around, let me tell you.

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Trees make the world prettier, give us fruits and purify the air. Be grateful for the selfless trees that allow us to live so well.

28. Your Privileges

No matter how few privileges you have, at least you have some. You may work towards a fairer society and that is awe inspiring, but don’t forget to be grateful for the knowledge of their existence and the power to utilize your privileges.

Be grateful that you know your privileges.

29. Your Choices

Your choices — good or bad — were yours alone. You were lucky to have an opportunity to make your choice, to do as your heart desires and to be able to pick from among options. You were lucky that it wasn’t just one way.

Be grateful for the opportunity to make your own choices.

30. Electricity

If it’s hot, we have fans. If it’s cold we have heaters. Imagine those who have nothing.

Be grateful that you have electricity to pamper yourself. It’s not a right, it’s a luxury.

31. Drinking Water

Every day on the streets of my hometown, I see children begging for mercy, for food, but even more so, for water. Be grateful for the water you drink. For the ease of the availability of that water and the purity of the water.

Be grateful, for millions are dying because they don’t have water. For water, too, is a privilege.

32. Your Name

It’s an identity you were born with. Your name gave you a place in the world. It doesn’t matter whether you changed it, or kept it or hate it, it’s your first, not only, identity, but an identity nonetheless.

Be grateful for an identity.

More About Practicing Gratitude

Featured photo credit: Ales Me via unsplash.com

More by this author

Sanah Rizvi

Sanah is an influential public speaker and a devoted advocator of female rights.

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

“We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

1. Take a step back and evaluate

When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

  1. What is the problem?
  2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
  3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
  4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
  5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

4. Process your thoughts/emotions

Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

  1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
  2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
  3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
  4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

5. Acknowledge your thoughts

Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

6. Give yourself a break

If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

As Helen Keller once said,

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

  1. What’s the situation?
  2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
  3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
  4. Take action on your next steps!

After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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