7 habits of people who always find reasons to be grateful

by Isabel Cabrera | November 26, 2023, 8:38 pm

Life can be tough, can’t it? We’ve all been there — stuck in traffic, behind on bills, or facing some personal heartache. 

But then there are those people who, despite it all, seem to always find a silver lining. They carry a sense of gratitude that really warms the heart. 

One of my friends is like this, and I have so much admiration for her unwavering gratitude, no matter what curveballs life throws at her — and there’s been quite a few over the past few years.

What makes people like her always able to find things to be thankful for? 

After some soul-searching and close observation, I’ve discovered 7 habits that seem to be the secret sauce for a gratitude-filled life. 

Want to know what they are? Keep reading.

1) They start or end their day with gratitude

You know how some people bookend their days with a cup of coffee in the morning and a good book at night?

Well, those who are endlessly grateful have their own special routine — they either kick off or wrap up their day with a hearty dose of gratitude. (Or both!)

Take my friend, for example. Whether it’s morning light filtering through the curtains or the serene stillness of night, she uses these moments to count her blessings. 

Sometimes she writes them down in a journal, other times she simply sits and reflects. She tells me it’s her way of “bookmarking” her day with positivity.

It might sound simple, but this practice creates a domino effect. It not only puts her in a good mood, but it also gives her perspective. 

When life gets tough, she can easily recall those daily instances of gratitude and it keeps her going.

Starting or ending your day on a note of gratitude can be a transformative habit. So give it a try — you might just find that it turns your whole perspective around.

2) They express thanks regularly

Saying “thank you” is often an automatic response, something we say out of habit more than conscious thought.

But for those who make gratitude a way of life, expressing thanks is anything but mindless.

Take my ever-grateful friend, for instance. She doesn’t just say “thank you” when someone holds the door for her; she looks them in the eye, smiles, and lets her gratitude genuinely shine through her words. 

And it doesn’t stop at mere politeness. She makes it a point to express appreciation for the people in her life, whether it’s thanking a coworker for their help on a project or sending a handwritten note to a friend just to say how much she values their friendship.

Believe me, this habit has a ripple effect. When you express your gratitude openly and frequently, it’s like tossing a pebble into a pond. 

The waves of positive energy spread, making not just you but everyone around you feel uplifted.

So, don’t hold back those two simple words. Say “thank you” like you really mean it, and see how it changes not only your outlook but the world around you.

3) They don’t compare themselves to others

Ah, the comparison game. We’ve all fallen into that trap, scrolling through social media and feeling like everyone else’s life is somehow better than ours. 

And you probably also know how easily this leads to jealousy or resentment. Which is exactly why those who are really good at finding reasons to be grateful steer clear of this pitfall. 

Remember my friend I told you about?

She’s faced her share of struggles, but one thing I’ve noticed is that she never looks at someone else’s life and thinks, “Why can’t I have that?” 

Instead, she focuses on her own journey and appreciates what she has, however big or small.

The magic of not comparing yourself to others is that it frees you up to see the unique value in your own life

It enables you to be grateful for things you might otherwise overlook if you were too busy measuring them against someone else’s blessings.

This is not to say that it’s easy. Oh no, steering clear of comparison takes practice and a hefty dose of self-awareness. 

But once you get the hang of it, you’ll find that your eyes open up to all sorts of reasons to be thankful, right here and now, in your own beautifully imperfect life.

4) They make time for loved ones

In our hustle and bustle world, it’s so easy to get caught up in the rush of responsibilities and to-dos. But those who embody a deep sense of gratitude never let life’s busyness steal time away from the ones they love.

Think about my friend, who’s been through a rollercoaster of ups and downs. One of the things that has always grounded her is her commitment to spending time with loved ones. 

Whether it’s a weekly call to her grandma or a monthly catch-up with old friends, she makes the time. 

And it’s not just about keeping social commitments; it’s about fueling her own sense of gratitude.

When you spend time with people who matter, something wonderful happens. The little things that might have been bothering you suddenly seem less important. 

You’re reminded of the love, warmth, and support that are in your life, and that opens the door for gratitude to walk right in.

You see, making time for loved ones isn’t just good for them; it’s good for you, too

It’s like a gratitude double whammy — you thank the universe for the people in your life, and in turn, they become reasons for you to be even more grateful.

5) They volunteer or give back

People tend to think giving is something that makes others grateful. But you’d be amazed at how much it can improve your own life.

Take my friend as an example again. Amid her own challenges, she still finds time to volunteer at a local animal shelter on weekends. And you know what? She often says those moments are when she feels most grateful.

Why? Well, when you volunteer or give back in some way, it shifts your perspective. You become acutely aware of the blessings you do have, whether it’s your time, skills, or resources. 

Suddenly, your focus shifts from what you lack to what you can offer, and that’s an incredibly empowering feeling.

Moreover, volunteering often exposes you to people or circumstances that make you appreciate your own situation. 

It’s not about feeling better because others have it worse, but about recognizing the privileges or advantages that you might otherwise take for granted.

Giving back is a circle: you give, you feel grateful for what you have to give, and then that gratitude inspires you to give even more. 

So, if you’re struggling to find reasons to be grateful, consider reaching out to help someone else. You might just discover a whole new world of thankfulness you never knew existed.

6) They look at the big picture

Ever find yourself getting bogged down by small disappointments or everyday annoyances?

We’ve all been there. But the individuals who are champions of gratitude have a knack for stepping back and looking at the big picture. 

Remember my friend who seems to have a never-ending reservoir of gratitude? One thing that always strikes me about her is her ability to zoom out from life’s tiny troubles.

When her car broke down, instead of throwing a fit or bemoaning her bad luck, she actually said, “Well, at least I have a car to break down. A lot of people don’t have that.”

It’s that kind of big-picture thinking that sets her, and others like her, apart. This perspective allows her to put hurdles into context and reduces the weight they carry. 

It’s not about dismissing problems, but rather contextualizing them within a broader, more balanced view of life.

When you look at life from a wider lens, a late bus or a rainy day loses its power to ruin your mood. You start recognizing that these small inconveniences are just that — small. 

They’re blips on the radar in a life filled with countless opportunities for happiness and growth.

7) They spread positivity

Nature has set us up to focus more on the negative — you’ve got a much better chance of surviving if you focus on the tiger than on the breathtaking sunset.

But in modern life, this negativity bias doesn’t serve us so well anymore — most of the time, it just makes us miserable. 

So people who always find reasons to be grateful, like my friend, make a point of looking for the positive.

When you lift others up, you’re also reminding yourself of the power of kindness, love, and happiness. And let’s be honest, it’s hard to stay down when you’re making someone else’s day brighter.

But spreading positivity isn’t just about grand gestures. It can be as simple as a smile, a thank you, or a heartfelt compliment. 

Each positive action you take not only adds a sprinkle of happiness to someone else’s day but also etches a little mark of gratitude on your own soul.

So the next time you find yourself grumbling about something that didn’t go your way, try turning it around. Look for a way to make someone else’s day a little brighter, and you’ll find that you’ve also invited a ray of gratitude into your own life.

Cultivating gratitude for a happy life

In a world filled with challenges, it’s the habit of gratitude that keeps our hearts light and spirits high. 

Embrace these 7 habits and you’ll not only enrich your own life but become a beacon of positivity for others. 

Cultivate gratitude, and watch happiness follow.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *