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Earlier I published my A to Z list of things to be grateful for, and offered you to make your own. It was a relatively easy task as you can quickly fill most of the letters with the names of people you love and other obvious things I mention in the tips section on that page. But if you dig deeper, there are also many things worth being grateful for that don’t come to your mind right away!
Below you’ll find a list of 45 deep things to be thankful for that we usually take for granted. Whenever you practice gratitude, try to think about some of these too, as many items on this list literally help keep you alive!
How to be thankful for everything you have
We are born with a bunch of basic survival-mode feelings and gratitude is not one of them. Being thankful for everything you have is a skill that you can learn and polish by daily practice. In turn, it takes your life to a whole another level in terms of happiness and spirituality.
To feel more thankful for all the things around you, try to think about people who might not have them. There are always people in the world who struggle to find love, don’t have a steady job, or even live without a roof over their head. This gratitude exercise is not about feeling sorry for others but for realizing how much good stuff you have in your life and appreciating it more.
Another way to be more thankful for what you have is to imagine your life without something. Maybe you can be fine without a bed or that smoothie maker but what about windows? Or electricity? Mirrors? Friends? Technology? As you start thinking about it, you’ll be able to find more and more things that deserve your eternal thankfulness.
Without further ado, here are 45 deep things to be thankful for that we often take for granted!
Deep things to be thankful for
- Ability to learn. Ever since the first day after being born, you’ve been learning new things about the world. You learned to walk and talk, and then a variety of different skills that help you navigate this reality. No matter how old you are, you are still able to learn new things all the time, and with technology and course platforms like Skillshare it’s incredibly easy and accessible these days!
- Self-preservation survival instinct. Even though we don’t have to run and hide from saber-toothed cats anymore, we still have the same instincts our ancestors had. We don’t have life-threatening situations as often but these instincts help us survive nevertheless. They work as reminders to eat, sleep, and stay away from potentially hurtful objects and feelings. Aren’t they worth our thankfulness?
- Access to technology. This is one of my favorite things to be grateful for! As a software developer and a blogger, I can’t imagine my life without technology and Internet. And younger people from Generation Z don’t even remember it any other way! I think we are blessed with all these incredible digital things that are evolving at breakneck speed, and we should feel grateful every single day!
- Ability to breath. One can survive without a leg, a kidney, or without eyesight. But take away the ability to breath and the person is dead pretty quickly. Moreover, we can control our breathing and use different techniques, for example to calm down. I would probably name breathing as number one underestimated thing that people hardly ever write about in their gratitude journals.
- All our 5 basic senses. We can see, hear, smell, taste, and touch things. Each of these deserves a separate point but let’s at least be grateful for how deeply we can experience the world thanks to all five of these senses!
- Ability to feel and express emotions. I don’t think there is a need to explain this one. Emotions are our responses to the life events, and even without medical consequences we wouldn’t enjoy our lives without emotions. It would be a long equally grey line of daily nothingness.
- Challenges you face. I believe that we are never given challenges we can’t survive. Each challenging situation you face teaches you something and helps you grow in one way or another. Instead of complaining and being all negative, say thank you the next time life gives you a challenge, and see it as an opportunity.
Things to be most thankful for
8. Your parents. People who raised you definitely deserve your appreciation. All the sleepless nights and everything they did to keep you alive and well deserve your thankfulness. You probably won’t understand how much effort it is to raise a human until you become a parent yourself. Of course, no parent is perfect but in most cases, they did what they think was best for you, and there is never too late to thank them for it.
9. Your lovely friends. These are people who aren’t related to you by blood and therefore don’t “have” to keep up with you. If they stick in your life long enough and are there for you when you need support, it deserves a lot of appreciation. If you can show them how much it means to you, show it!
10. Your good health. When a person is sick, health is always the first priority. When you struggle with a condition that affects your everyday life, you don’t care that much about the other aspects of your existence. Say thank you if you don’t have anything like that in your life!
11. Your loving partner. It isn’t easy to find your soulmate but when you recognize one, do your best to appreciate it and never let them go! I think that a loving and caring relationship is the best thing that can happen in life. Money can’t buy happiness but a spouse who is your perfect match can make you happy even in difficult times.
12. Food on your table & roof above your head. These are pretty obvious but can’t be overlooked when we are talking about deep things to be thankful for. If you have your basic needs covered and don’t need to worry about starving or freezing to death, you are blessed and already have something to be grateful about.
13. Access to fresh air. Even with all the fumes from cars and plants, we still have enough air to breathe and function. Whenever you open a window at home and inhale the fresh air, be thankful for it as your life depends on it!
Most overlooked things to be grateful for
14. Falling in love. Butterflies in your stomachs, peaks of energy, seeing the world in brighter colors… These are just the first signs you experience when you are falling in love. Whether it grows into a relationship or not, whether it lasts or not, doesn’t really matter. Imagine how dull and sad the world would be if you could never fall in love!
15. Your memory. We are usually thankful for the experiences we have but we don’t express enough gratitude to the memory itself. But this is what lets us remember all the precious moments we faced, have common ground to bond with friends, and base our future decisions on our previous experiences. Without memory, we would be in a survival mode every day, and it would be awful, to say the least.
16. Access to education. If you are able to go to college, you are already blessed. If you are a woman and went to school, you have more to be thankful for than any woman a century or two ago. For most of us, going to school is an essential part of a life journey, which is why we take it for granted. Can you even imagine your life now without being able to read and write?
17. Clean water. Other than air, this is probably the first thing we would die without. Having access to clean water every day without thinking is definitely a blessing! Say mental thanks every time you are refilling your water bottle!
18. Complex structure of your body. Thousands of scientists are studying the human body every day for centuries and they still don’t know it all. Outside of the medical field, we don’t even know 0.1% of what’s happening in our own bodies. In fact, we often have no idea about some specific organ or bone until it starts bothering us. Our bodies are incredibly complex and powerful, let’s just appreciate that all the processes work without failing to keep us alive!
19. Free will. You live in a free country, can read this right now without limitations, and can form your own opinion about the attitude of gratitude. You can decide to quit if you don’t like your job or relationship. You are the creator of your own reality, and no one else can control it! I don’t think we appreciate free will enough.
20. Evolution. Well, you don’t have to hunt a mammoth for dinner, run from a tiger, and live in a cave. Isn’t it enough to be thankful for?
Unique things to be thankful for
21. Being passionate about things. Passion is one of the feelings that make us feel alive. Whether it’s directed at a person, a job, your calling, or an interesting hobby, be thankful that there are things that can spark your interest and motivate your growth.
22. Being able to dream. People who live without dreams basically merely exist. They repeat the same days over and over again, go to work and come back home, take care of family and their household, and then repeat the same cycle tomorrow. Being able to dream motivates you, helps you grow, see the world differently, and improve yourself every day on your journey to achieve those dreams.
23. Ability to manifest your dream life. Being able to dream is wonderful but being able to manifest everything you dream about into reality is freaking amazing. If you don’t have a vision board with a clear picture of your future, contact me and I’ll help you create one!
24. Your biological clock. There is a complex system inside you that knows when you should eat and sleep. It controls all the regular processes in your body like digestion, regeneration, and other crucial things, most of which you have no idea exist. It makes you feel sleepy when it’s time for bed and it can wake you up without an alarm if you stick to regular sleeping patterns. Is it deep enough to be thankful for?
25. Being part of a team. As humans, we have a biological need to be a part of a tribe. Whenever we are a part of a team (at work, in sports, volunteering, or any other team), we feel bigger than ourselves. Communities mean a lot to us, so let’s be grateful for every opportunity to be a part of something and for not living in the woods all alone!
26. Habit building apps. If you ever tried to build a new habit, you know it isn’t easy. We have limited willpower that motivates us in the beginning but then we often quit as soon as it ends. Thankfully, there are all kinds of habit-tracking apps these days that are based on Seinfeld’s strategy and motivate you to keep going long enough by keeping a streak!
27. Random acts of kindness. If everyone would do random acts of kindness even once in a while, the world would be a much better place to live! We do this as part of a free 7-day gratitude challenge, feel free to join! And let’s be thankful for every person who is kind enough to do a good deed without expecting anything in return!
Deep things to be thankful for about yourself
28. Your voice. You may have a beautiful soprano or sound like a child on the phone like me, but what matters is that you have a unique voice, can talk freely, and express your feelings and needs. This is more than enough to be thankful for!
29. Your unique personality. There is no one like you in the whole world! You have your own set of skills, characteristics, and features you can offer. Hopefully, your friends and/or spouse love you for who you are and what you add to their lives. Be grateful that you are unique and different in one way or another!
30. Your perception of the world. All your perceptions are based on your unique combination of experiences and things you’ve learned over the years. Feel gratitude for your ability to critically observe and analyze the world around you, make your own conclusions and decisions, and control how you react to various things that happen in your life.
31. All your unique experiences. The current version of you is a result of all the experiences you have had since birth. Even identical twins often have very different lives, make contradictory choices, and each has their own set of values. Say thank you for everything that happens in your life, even negative experiences, as those are lessons that form your personality.
32. Your unique DNA. Isn’t it breathtaking that two random cells of your parents merged together to later become you? And the fact that you have DNA from a long line of your ancestors, including some of the lessons they learned in the past that you don’t have to? And we don’t even know most of it yet! The complexity of our brain and cells continues to amaze me with every new thing I learn!
33. Things you are good at. Everyone is good at something. When you can’t think of anything, it just means that you take all your skills and experiences for granted. I can assure you that there are various things you know or can naturally do that most people don’t. Try to identify them and be thankful for each skill or a bit of knowledge you have!
34. Your own way of thinking. Even if you don’t work a smart job that requires finding creative solutions, you still use your brain every day to make hundreds of little decisions. You have the freedom to have your own opinions about everything and nobody tells you how to live your life.
35. Your features that make you special. This may include parts of your appearance that make you feel attractive and also parts of your personality that other people value. If recognizing how awesome you are doesn’t come naturally to you, add some self-love affirmations to your daily routine and start changing your self-perception!
36. Things other people love you for. If you think about it long enough, you’ll probably be able to name a few things that people in your life love you for. If not, you can always ask! Be thankful for the gift of life and every wonderful part of your body and personality!
Little things to be thankful for everyday
37. Ability to change your mindset. One of the things that make us different from animals is logical thinking. We aren’t blindly guided by basic instincts, even though they still play a part in our survival. We can pick up a growth mindset and dive into self-development, or learn from a millionaire mindset to be more successful. We can analyze, be responsible, and make decisions that affect our life. In fact, we can decide to change our lives and do it! Can you appreciate all these gifts we are blessed with?
38. Waiter smiling at you. Sometimes you feel like you have a bad day and then someone genuinely smiles at you and you can see in their eyes how beautiful the world is. Pay attention to other people’s expressions and smile back whenever you can so someone else gets a beam of light in their cloudy day as well!
39. Gift cards. I don’t know who first came up with the idea of a gift card but it saved me so many times! They are amazing when you roughly know someone’s taste but can’t be sure if a person would enjoy the smell of this candle or already has that book in their collection. You can rarely go wrong with a gift card, as it allows a person to choose whatever they like as a present! And when you have a gift card yourself, going to a shop and choosing something “for free” always feels like a little party.
40. Fresh feeling of wind on your skin. While talking about the little things to be thankful for every day, let’s not forget about natural sensations! The feeling of gentle sea breeze against your skin, the warm sunbeam on your cheek, or even fresh drops of water coming directly from the sky… Aren’t they worth being grateful for?
41. Genuine compliments. We are so powerful that we can easily use words to make someone’s day! Nice compliments make people feel better and raise their confidence levels. Next time someone says a nice thing to you, make sure to say thank you instead of rejecting it.
42. Feeling happy. It takes something different for everyone to feel happy but it’s a nice feeling we should appreciate. For one person it’s a fulfilling job, for another, it may be a smile of a child. I instantly feel happy when my husband gives me a hug. A housewife may feel joy when everyone around her Thanksgiving table is enjoying the food. What makes you feel happy?
Weird things to be thankful for
43. Happy hours. Many restaurants and services have special hours when you can get the same things you always get for a discounted price. You can leverage these hours to budget in a smarter way and put the money difference aside to buy something else you want!
44. Bathrooms that don’t smell bad. There is this spa salon in my town where they always have an amazing-smelling aroma diffuser in the bathroom, I literally notice it every time I visit! I think we should appreciate little things like this, especially compared to some public bathrooms in which you can hardly breathe.
45. Kigurumi pajamas. They are funny, unique, and extremely comfy! You can keep yourself warm and entertain your inner child at the same time. What’s not to love?
Final thoughts on being deeply thankful for everything
These were my 45 deep things to be grateful for! I hope you loved reading it and found at least a couple of things you’ve never expressed thankfulness for!
If you are interested in daily gratitude, I have a free 7-day gratitude challenge you can join!
Was there something on this list you didn’t expect to see? Tell me in the comments!