How to Be Grateful Every Day and Make it a Habit

To be happy, healthy, and at peace

- | 83 Aha! comments | Posted in category: Self Improvement

Silhouette of girl to show how to be grateful everyday

We’re dependent upon and affected by other people, things, and events. Some help us directly and some indirectly by teaching us valuable lessons. We should be grateful to them. Research tells us that gratitude makes us happy and healthy. It also helps bond with other people and spread happiness and a positive atmosphere. Here’s how you can be grateful in your daily life in this re-published post. ~ Ed.


How can you be grateful every day? Do you find it easy to be grateful or express your gratitude? I think being grateful is an attitude that we need to cultivate daily.

You can learn to be grateful for just about anything that comes your way. Begin with the small things first, or things that happen every day that you appreciate.

Such things to be grateful for can be like waking up to a new day. Or being grateful for your health, kids, home, parents, job, phone, nature, birds, comfy bed, laughter, and having each other.

Being grateful helps us grow, evolve, and feel better. Even research reveals that gratitude improves well-being, mental and physical health, and helps you get on in life.

“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” ~ Marcel Proust

Thankful grateful note

Why Do We Need to Be Grateful and Give Thanks

We give thanks to acknowledging someone else’s goodness and express our gratefulness.

We thank others when they do good things for us, though even the bad ones teach us lessons in return.

Hey! It’s Thanksgiving! Just as the word indicates – “Thanksgiving” has two words, ‘thanks’ and ‘giving’, and that’s what we need to do – thank others and learn to be giving.

Thanksgiving is a time when family and friends gather together to enjoy. They share a meal and take time to reflect on the things they are thankful for.

I love the spirit in which it is celebrated, and I wish all my friends who celebrate it – a very Happy Thanksgiving.

I personally like every day to be full of gratitude and giving. Not to mention that you need to instill gratitude in your kid’s too!

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” ~ William Arthur Ward

10 Ways to Be Grateful Daily

You too can cultivate the habit of gratitude every day by learning to be grateful and make it a part of your daily life and routine.

Try the following ways:

Keep a Gratitude Journal

I know many of my friends keep a gratitude journal, though some write it daily, while others maintain a weekly one.

Just write down what you feel thankful for. Also, mention the benefits that come from writing things you appreciate. It’s kind of a visual reminder that you can reflect back on often.

Some of you might prefer writing a gratitude letter to a person. It might be to someone who has had a positive influence in your life, but whom you’ve not thanked properly.

Have a Grateful Attitude

There are times when you come across problems or issues in your life. You need to re-frame them by keeping an affirmative attitude. Just remain grateful and positive even for such times.

Take such problems as challenges and opportunities to make you better. Don’t fear your failures; instead, be grateful that you are given the chance to make them stepping stones to your success.

Remain Positive

Sometime you might tend to compare your life to others and feel you aren’t lucky or you don’t have the LUCK factor in your life. You need to make positive comparisons instead.

Think about what you have in your life that others don’t have, and be grateful for those things.

Appreciate Everything

You should be grateful to each and everything in life. It’s not that you’ve to be grateful for only the big things in life. In fact, there’s nothing too small to be grateful for.

Develop a habit to appreciate anything and everything that you’ve in life. Don’t compare but just value them. Take nothing for granted.

Set Reminders

Initially, you would need small reminders to start cultivating an attitude of gratitude. Things like alarms in your phone, post-its on your mirror, or family and friends can remind you what is it that you want to be thankful for.

Learn to be grateful daily and make it part of your life.  You need to integrate it into your daily schedule till it becomes natural or second nature to you.

Express yourself

If you’re grateful, then let the people know about it, if you can. By expressing yourself you not only increase your level of happiness but also make the person at the receiving end happy.

Make it a habit to say thank you, as many times and as often as you can. Care for your loved ones whom you’re grateful to and spend time with them. Appreciate and praise whomever you’re thankful for and you’ll feel the happiness within and all around you.


A way to express gratitude is to volunteer and give back to the community. Volunteering is known to increase the well-being quotient within us. It has been researched that those people who frequently take part in volunteering activities are at the least risk of depression in life.

You help yourself by helping others. But that’s not why you’re helping; it’s just because you feel like and you get happiness as a return gift!

Be Humble

Humility and modesty make you more compassionate. Needless to say, if you’re humble you’ll be more grateful. Live with an attitude of gratitude towards all big and small things or people in life.

Life is filled with seemingly ordinary and small moments that if you reflect upon help you immensely directly or indirectly. Humbly accept and appreciate them and feel grateful for them in your life.

Practice Gratitude Before Meals

The meal that you eat is facilitated by many people and animals. If it weren’t for them, you would be left hungry and weak. It’s a good thing to thank them all the first thing when you sit down for a meal.

You can even make the mealtime as an opportunity for all to express their gratitude to whatever and whomever they feel grateful to.

Reflect On Your Day at Bedtime

Last but not least, recall the events of the day just before going to sleep and be thankful to all who helped you. Be thankful to all the good and bad events for helping you learn valuable lessons.

Researches prove that if you come to a truce and be peace with yourself and others before sleeping, you sleep with a light heart and that would help in falling asleep and have a sound sleep.

Make Gratefulness a Part of Yourself

Besides these, just learn to relax and make your life easy. That’s because you cannot be grateful when you are angry, anxious, or frustrated.

Take each day as it comes by living in the moment, without going back to your past or thinking about the future.

Be grateful for such life’s moments, and learn to treasure and value them because such moments will never return.

Value your relationships, and bring in more of affection, laughter, and joy into your daily lives. These are the things to be grateful for every single day.

“Let us rise up and be thankful; for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.” ~ Buddha

What Am I Grateful For

Ah…my list is quite endless though I will try to keep it short. When you want to be grateful, you can – for anything, whether it’s big or small, good or bad.

I am grateful to the Almighty for everything. I need to express my gratitude to my family and friends who have always been supportive and there for me – all the time.

Most of all for being healthy, having a roof over my head, and being financially stable. Besides, I remain grateful for having food to eat and to be able to help others.

I am also grateful to everyone I’ve come across because I’ve learned more about life and being a better person myself. And it’s often the rough or tough ones that teach you the best – isn’t it?

We tend to be grateful for things that make us feel good, but we need to also learn to be grateful for those that don’t.

“There is always, always, always something to be thankful for.” ~ Author Unknown

So, I am also grateful for:

  • Pain – because that has taught me to love life more.
  • People or things that hurt me – because then I am able to learn more about patience, tolerance, and compassion.
  • All the obstacles that come my way – because they are opportunities for me to get better.
  • People who make me angry – because that gives me a chance to grow. I learn to accept others and myself better. It reminds me to find peace within myself. It also reminds me that I am the only one who can put out that anger, and I learn more about forgiving.
  • Tears – for they bring out my emotions. And when that part of me is touched, I evolve into a better person.

Being grateful every day isn’t tough, but it requires effort on your part. If you learn to look at what you have in your life, instead of what you don’t, you will learn to be grateful and not complain.

“Be thankful for what you have and you will end up having more. But if you concentrate on what you don’t have, you’ll never, ever have enough.” ~ Oprah Winfrey

Over to you –

What are you grateful for? How do you express your gratitude? What suggestions would you give to be grateful every day? Share in the comments below.

Show Comments

83 Comments - Read and share thoughts

  1. Nataly Auger

    2015-03-17 at 8:15 am

    Hi Harleena,

    Very inspiring post! I am grateful every day for all the happiness my husband brings me, for my children who grew up to be awesome adults and for the fact that my health is better than ever. I have a great job that I love and wonderful friends. And the list could go on and on!

    Instead of focusing on our misfortunes, we have to focus on the things that bring us happiness. It’s important to realize that when we are grateful, we are happier.

    Your 4 ways of being grateful daily are amazing! I especially like #2 and #3. Facing your problems in a positive way and don’t compare yourself to others are two excellent ways of staying grateful of the things we have.

    Thanks for sharing this with us and have a great week ahead! 🙂

  2. Karen Hoyt

    2013-08-21 at 9:04 pm

    I love that you reminded us to just be thankful! Life gets so busy! I just got a new planner. So I’m going to be using step 1 and writing something I am grateful for everyday!

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-08-21 at 11:53 pm

      Hi Karen,

      Oh yes…we all tend to get too involved in our lives and often overlook the simple fact of being grateful for even the smallest of things around us. Ah…nice to know that and I hope you enjoy your planning on that!

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views 🙂

  3. Muhammad Naeem

    2013-06-20 at 1:36 pm

    First of all, very thanks for nice post. If we deeply go to our religion, it also orders us to be greatful even in good or bad times.

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-08-21 at 11:41 pm

      Welcome to the blog Muhammad!

      Sorry to have missed your comment earlier, though I’m glad I’m here now 🙂

      Yes indeed, I think all religions teach us to be grateful and the happiness we find in doing so.

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

      BTW – Do get yourself a Gravatar so that we know who we are talking to next time – just a friendly suggestion 🙂

  4. Darlene Today

    2013-05-31 at 6:24 pm

    I remember years ago hearing Oprah say she kept a “Gratitude Journal”

    She said it completely changed her life.

    Although I don’t keep a gratitude journal, I do actively gives thanks throughout the day for this beautiful life..

    When Anthony Robbins teaches this and someone says “I can’t find anything to be grateful for.” ..Robbins always says “Well if you could be grateful for something, what would it be?” LOL

    ~ darlene 🙂

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-05-31 at 7:23 pm

      Hi Darlene – nice to have you back 🙂

      Oh yes…I remember reading about that too, though somehow I’ve not yet kept one even though I wrote about it because like you, I prefer giving thanks daily for all that He’s given us by my daily prayers. Liked those last lines about Anthony Robbins 🙂

      But yes, I used to keep a gratitude journal when I was young and it was almost like a diary where I would share my thoughts and feelings too. I guess with the lack of time it all got left behind.

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

      • Darlene Today

        2013-05-31 at 7:53 pm

        Harleena, I know!

        I’ve been remiss while putting together the final touches on my site.. and then I “had” to go spend time with my family at Panama City Beach. LOL

        It’s been a luxury this morning to run around seeing what everyone has been up to while I was MIA!

        ~ darlene 🙂

        • Harleena Singh

          2013-05-31 at 10:16 pm

          Ah…that’s wonderful indeed, Darlene 🙂

          Spending family time is the best thing you can do, and it reminds me I too need a break away from work soon now. Glad you stopped by.

          Thanks once again 🙂

  5. Julidarma

    2013-02-02 at 5:21 am

    Keep positive thinking has major role to be grateful every day. This also improve the life quality to do the useful thing for oneself and also for other people.

    • Harleena Singh

      2013-02-17 at 11:11 pm

      Welcome to the blog Julidarma!

      Yes, when we remain positive and think about or appreciate all that life has given us, it helps us to be grateful in more ways than one. And once you are grateful – you feel better and spread positive vibes all around too. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  6. Cathy Taughinbaugh

    2012-11-26 at 11:35 pm

    Hi Harleena,

    What a pleasant surprise to see my blog nominated for the Super Sweet Blogging Award. How “sweet” of you! Thanks so much!!

    Wonderful post on being grateful. It is so important to have gratitude every day of our lives. It is the way to fill our lives with joy. Looking at what we have, rather than what we don’t have can make all the difference. I am grateful that we have connected. Your writing inspires me. You share such wisdom on how to live your best life. Take care and thanks again for the award! Hugs!

    • Harleena Singh

      2012-11-27 at 2:07 pm

      You are most welcome and so very deserving Cathy!

      I love all that you share on your blog, and your efforts to help people is well-known to everyone too. 🙂

      Yes indeed, being grateful IS something that all of us need to make part of our everyday lives, though few are really able to do that. If we can just learn to appreciate and value what we have, and not look at what we don’t, we will be so much happier in our lives – isn’t it?

      Thanks for stopping by, and for your warm and kind words. I am grateful for our friendship as well, and hope it grows through the years. 🙂

  7. Abby

    2012-11-26 at 10:34 pm

    This is so important, but not nearly enough people take the time to think about gratitude! Why is that? Gratitude provides such a comfort and a buffer against a stressful life. It liberates us from worries, it allows us to relax, but so many of us are always striving for more, more, more! Is it perhaps that people think it’s a cop-out to smell the roses rather than always be “in pursuit” of something? Can there be a balance between the two?

    • Harleena Singh

      2012-11-27 at 2:03 pm

      Welcome to the blog Abby!

      Glad you could relate to the post. 🙂

      Yes indeed, very few people really take time to be grateful for all that they’ve got in life, which makes me wonder too as to why is it that ways. It surely does help us lead a more relaxed life, besides making us happier and content individuals. I wish there we all learn to maintain the right balance and find reasons to be grateful everyday.

      Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  8. Sneha

    2012-11-26 at 12:07 pm

    A very well-written post 🙂

    I agree with you .. I have always been a person who has been practicing being grateful for whatever I have gotten in life 🙂 And from my experience, I can say that if you practice being grateful, you’d automatically start giving value to every single thing that you possess 🙂

    Whenever I happen to visit the temple, I just thank the Almighty for whatever he has given me 🙂 I rarely ask for anything apart from the strength needed by people around me. I guess He has already given us a lot. We need to utilize our abilities towards becoming better day by day and be grateful after receiving the fruits of our hard work. Being grateful is a continuous process and each one needs to do it in order to lead a healthy and happy life 🙂

    • Harleena Singh

      2012-11-26 at 1:36 pm

      Welcome to the blog Sneha!

      Glad you liked the post and agree with it too. 🙂

      Yes indeed, once you start being grateful, it gradually becomes a habit that you can follow everyday with ease. Just the mere fact that you and me are alive is enough reason to be grateful – isn’t it?

      Visiting the temple and giving thanks is wonderful, though you can be grateful anytime and every time, even if you are just at home and one to one with Him. Yes, He has given us everything, it’s just that we need those kind of eyes to see it all and learn to express our gratitude every single day.

      Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  9. Hajra

    2012-11-26 at 12:07 am

    Congrats! Sorry I am so late – trying to play catch up whenever I can!

    And congrats to all the recipients too! Doesn’t all this make the blogging journey so much more special!

    My mom always taught me that before going to bed just recall the day and be thankful – every night – and even if you can’t find something to be thankful about then think about the dinner you just had, the roof over your head and the bed and blanket you are going to snuggle into!

    • Harleena Singh

      2012-11-26 at 1:32 pm

      Not a problem and thank you Hajra!

      Absolutely! I think with such awards you feel a little nice for being recognized and counted along with other wonderful bloggers, which makes blogging all the more special. 🙂

      Your Mom sounds so much like mine Hajra! I guess most Moms must be telling their kid’s to be grateful for small or big things, even the bad ones sometimes because they always teach us things in return – don’t they?

      Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  10. Adrienne

    2012-11-23 at 10:21 pm

    Hi Harleena,

    Well, I’m a little late to the party but glad I stopped by.

    As you already know, my most recent post was also about gratitude and you know I have my daily ritual of thanking God for everything I have in my life as well as what’s still to come. I won’t go over my list here again but I agree, this should be done daily and not just on holidays and special occasions.

    I love what you’ve shared here Harleena and I’m also thrilled that this is a popular topic. I’ve always been grateful for a lot of things but up until six years ago never really thanked God for it. I learned along the way that if you’re already thankful for what you do have, more of that will come. I know for me it’s just a positive way to start each day and it’s really hard to get too upset, at least for me, when I start my day this way.

    Thank you for such a lovely post and acknowledging Thanksgiving since I know it’s not celebrated in your country. We definitely appreciate you recognizing it with us.

    Hope you enjoy your day and your weekend Harleena and thank you again. One special thing I’m grateful for is meeting you! 🙂


    • Harleena Singh

      2012-11-24 at 2:02 pm

      You are never late, and always welcome Adrienne!

      I loved going through your recent post about gratitude and all that you had listed in it, which as you mentioned, should be an everyday affair. Some people aren’t able to express their gratitude daily, though I feel once you start to be grateful a little everyday – it gradually becomes a habit – isn’t it?

      Being grateful, not just for Thanksgiving but everyday is what most people agree with here too. I agree about the Law of Attraction that works for the those who believe in it, and when you are thankful for what you have in your life you get more of it – more will attract more as they say. But for some people it doesn’t work, or perhaps their belief isn’t that strong.

      Though Thanksgiving isn’t celebrated our end, but I am all in for the spirit with which it’s celebrated and the reason as well, which is simply to convey our gratitude and give thanks – isn’t it? I am grateful for our friendship that’s grown over the past year, besides the guidance that you share on your blog, which is an inspiration to many like me. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by. I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving at your Moms place and really had a nice time too. 🙂

  11. Carolyn

    2012-11-23 at 8:00 pm

    Congratulations on the Super Sweet Blogging Award, Harleena! Well deserved. You are an amazing blogger and super sweet!

    You’re right about gratitude. It’s not about how much we have, it’s about how much we are grateful for it. I like your ideas about how to express more gratitude. Expressing gratitude is all about loving the life you live.

    I am thankful for your inspiration and support, Harleena!

    • Harleena Singh

      2012-11-24 at 12:44 pm

      Thank you so much for your warm wishes Carolyn! Ah…I am floating on Cloud 9 hearing your words of appreciation. 🙂

      Absolutely! Being grateful isn’t about what we have or what we don’t, instead, it’s appreciating and valuing all that we have. I guess that’s why there are so many people who are content and happy with little, because they appreciate those things that they have and remain grateful for them.

      Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate your friendship and constant support, and look up to you as an inspiration for many like us. 🙂

  12. Betsy / Zen Mama

    2012-11-22 at 9:50 pm

    I’m so grateful to have connected this year, Harleena! Your gratitude post and mine are right on the same page so to speak! Great minds…

    And thanks for the Super Sweet Blogger Award!! And to be in such good company! I so appreciate it!

    Happy Thanksgiving to you in India! It doesn’t matter where we live to practice Thanksgiving!


    • Harleena Singh

      2012-11-24 at 12:16 pm

      So am I Betsy!

      It’s been a pleasure to get to know you, and am so very glad that we connected – isn’t that in itself a wonderful reason to be grateful for?

      Yes indeed, our gratitude posts are on the same page, yet different in their own ways. And this time for Thanksgiving there have been so many others who have put up their posts on being grateful that it’s been a treat going through them.

      You are so very deserving of the award for the beautiful content that you share on your blog, besides being the wonderful person that you are. 🙂

      Absolutely! The place doesn’t matter, instead, it’s a grateful and thankful heart that counts.

      Thanks for stopping by. I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving as well. 🙂

  13. James

    2012-11-22 at 9:06 pm

    Happy Thanksgiving Harleena!

    Hope you have a great day. I like to be grateful for many things that most people aren’t. I try to find something to be grateful for no matter what, even with those nasty in-laws who intentionally take pleasure in trying to hurt people’s feelings.

    I started keeping my own gratitude journal 4 years ago, and I write at least 10 things in it every day. it really helps to find more appreciation for the things I have and the lessons I am learning every day.

    Have a great holiday!

    • Harleena Singh

      2012-11-23 at 11:47 pm

      Welcome to the blog James – nice to have you over!

      Congratulations on your new blog, though I hope the other one is still around. 🙂

      Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving as well, and yes, aren’t we all grateful for so many things that it often becomes tough for us to pen them all down here. I like your remark about in-laws, but yes, we are thankful to them too, and should be for every little thing, whether good or bad because that’s what makes us who we are today – isn’t it?

      Nice to know about your gratitude journal, which reminds me to restart mine soon now. It does help us to appreciate and value what we have in life.

      Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  14. Ehsan Ullah

    2012-11-22 at 9:05 pm

    Being grateful everyday helps us live happy life and feel good. Well, I’m grateful to my team mates whom I play soccer daily, my mom and my blog. Especially my blog and my readers is what which makes me really happy and motivates me to keep doing.

    I express my gratitude by participating in the conversation with my readers and by helping others in what I learned.

    • Harleena Singh

      2012-11-23 at 11:20 pm

      Absolutely Ehsan!

      When we are grateful, we feel and live a much happier and content life. And being grateful is something that we all should follow every day. Nice to have your list of gratitude – I’m glad you remembered your Mom too, and I’m sure your soccer friend’s must be so lucky to have you in their team as well.

      Ah…your blog is indeed wonderful, and with interactive readers, the blogging journey becomes all the more purposeful – isn’t it? Helping each other out is what blogging is all about, and I’m glad you also believe in that. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

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How to Be Grateful Every Day and Make it a Habit

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