How to Make a Gratitude List

November 8, 2020 Martha Lueck

With Thanksgiving just a few weeks away, many people are talking about things they are thankful for. While giving thanks might be easy for some people, others have a hard time with it. One thing that helps me is creating a gratitude list. To learn about how to create a gratitude list, read on.

Ways to Create a Gratitude List

  • Do a gratitude meditation -- Before you start making your gratitude list, get yourself in the right mindset with a gratitude meditation. In a gratitude meditation, a speaker will have you envision pleasant things such as the ground you walk on, strong legs for movement, and the air you breathe. By closing your eyes and imagining the firmness of the ground, the movement of your legs, and the gentle breeze on your face, you will be reminded that you are part of the world. You will find gratitude for your existence. There are many gratitude meditations and artists out there. Many meditation artists have soothing accents. Some meditations include background noise such as Native American flutes, ocean waves, birds, rain, and wind. Personally, I enjoy listening to artists with British accents. My favorite background noise is the sound of ocean waves.
  • Think about anything that makes you feel good -- Some of the most common things people might put on a gratitude list include food, water, family, friends, employment, and life. If you are not feeling happy with some of these things at the moment (or if you do not care about them), think about something that has recently given you hope. It can be a compliment you recently received, a favor someone did, something funny you watched, or something someone said that sparked your interest. It doesn't matter how strange it might seem to other people. If it makes you feel good, put it on your list.
  • Use word associations -- In one of my writing classes, the teacher had the class come up with word associations. Every student came up with a word related to the one before it. You can apply this to a gratitude list by thinking of one thing that makes you feel good. For instance, if you wrote down the sun, you can associate it with vitamin D. After you write down vitamin D, you might think about different types of food that provide vitamin D. Just a small list of words can lead to a long list of associated words.
  • Watch an inspiring video -- Doing poorly on an assignment or getting a bad report from your boss can discourage you, which will make it difficult to find gratitude. Watching a movie or reading a book about something inspiring can help you feel better. For instance, Paralympian Josh Sundquist has videos where he talks about playing sports with a missing leg. A video like this might give you the hope and inspiration you need to accomplish a difficult task. You can find gratitude for people who inspire you.
  • Talk to a friend -- If you still have trouble coming up with things to be thankful for, talk to a friend. You don't have to mention that you are struggling to find gratitude. You can ask your friend what they are thankful for. As you listen, you might think of something they did that made you feel thankful in the past. After your conversation, you might be thankful for your friend's thoughts.

Regardless of whether these tips helped, be proud of yourself for trying to find gratitude. It's not easy to feel thankful, especially during these difficult times. Remember that even though it might be hard to believe right now, you can find gratitude when you least expect it.

What could go on your gratitude list? Share your ideas in the comments.

APA Reference
Lueck, M. (2020, November 8). How to Make a Gratitude List, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, April 18 from

Author: Martha Lueck

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Lizanne Corbit
November, 9 2020 at 9:16 pm

There is so much to be said for not just gratitude but cultivating a practice around it. I love your suggestions! This is a beautiful way for someone to begin really creating an active presence of gratitude, or to even add one to something they may already do. Wonderful.

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