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How to make a gratitude list

If you want to feel more optimistic and have a more attentive lifestyle, it can be a good exercise for you to make gratitude lists. Gratitude lists are easy to create, but they can be quite transformative if you make them a habit! You do not need any special tools to get started and it only takes a few minutes to write down some things you are grateful for, so give it a try. After a few weeks, you can begin to notice the positive changes in your life.


[[[[Edit]Create a simple gratitude list

  1. Write down at least 5 things each time you make a list. A list of 5 gratitudes per session is a fairly feasible goal. If you have difficulty, start with 3 things instead. You can number your list, create points or simply write down five sentences or statements. There is no wrong way to do this![1]
    Make a Gratitude List Step 10 Version 2.jpg
    • If you are considering making this a regular practice, get a dedicated notebook or notepad to keep your lists together.[2]
    • If you prefer to type on your computer or iPad, create a document there.
  2. Aim to be as specific as possible. Being specific forces you to examine the world around you carefully and gives you the chance to be grateful for a variety of things. When thinking of things for your list, try to reset the details.[3]
    Make a gratitude list step 7.jpg
    • For example, “I’m grateful my friend took me soup earlier when I felt the weather” is better than “I’m grateful to my friend.
    • Instead of “I’m thankful for nice weather” go with “I’m thankful for how the wind sounds when leaves are blowing over my lawn” or “I’m thankful for the warm sun on my shoulders when I walk outside.”
    • “I’m grateful for my cat’s soft fur and deep spin when I pet her” is better than “I’m grateful for my kitten.
  3. Include lots of details. By focusing on the smaller details, your lists can feel even more effective. Do not be afraid to elaborate with as many details as you want. There is no limit to your gratitude and you may find that the small details bring you the most joy.[4] For example, you can write things like:
    Make a gratitude list step 3.jpg
    • “I’m grateful for the cool, sweet iced tea I enjoyed with my friends today.”
    • “I am grateful for the salty smell of the sea that flows through my open window every morning.”
    • “I’m grateful for the juicy, home-grown tomatoes I sliced ​​up for my turkey sandwich today.”
    • “I am grateful for the scent of the pines and the moist soil when I walk in the park.”
  4. Focus on experiences and people instead of objects. There is nothing wrong with being grateful for things you own and you can certainly write them down sometimes. But remember that gratitude lists tend to have a greater impact if you focus on your experiences and the people in your life.[5]
    Create a Gratitude List Step 4 Version 2.jpg
    • For example, “I am grateful for my experience in the butterfly garden today” is better than “I am grateful for my TV.”
    • Something like “I’m grateful for the smell of fresh soil in my garden” is better than “I’m grateful for my garden.”
    • “I’m thankful I can afford to pay for my friend’s lunch when we go out together” is better than “I’m grateful to have money in the bank.
  5. Write freely and do not worry about spelling or grammar. Your gratitude lists are for your eyes only, so do not hesitate to create perfectly written sentences. Grammar and spelling do not matter either! Write in a natural way without stopping to think of the perfect word. Just focus on what you are grateful for and let the words flow.[6]
    Make a Gratitude List Step 5 version 2.jpg
  6. Set aside 15 minutes to make your list 1-3 times a week. If you want to start the day with positivity, write your list first thing in the morning or try to do it the night before bed. Studies show that writing a gratitude list three times a week has a greater impact than making daily lists, so aim to get started.[7]
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    • If you make daily lists right for you, go for it! Evidence suggests that some people definitely benefit from doing this exercise every day.[8]

[[[[Edit]Try other tools and techniques

  1. Try writing long-form entries in a gratitude diary if you love writing. There is no rule that says your gratitude must be in list format! If you like journaling, you can write longer records and go more in-depth. If you do this, you may want to consider limiting your diary sessions to once a week. Research shows that exaggeration can make the process less beneficial.[9]
    Make a Gratitude List Step 7 Version 2.jpg
    • You do not have to buy a nice gratitude diary for this, but you can really do it if you want.
  2. Use an app for gratitude instead of paper if you are often on the go. Explore the gratitude journal apps available in your smartphone’s app store and choose the one you like. Apps provide unique benefits such as:
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    • To be able to make your lists anywhere and anytime. For example, you can make your list on the subway every morning.
    • Apps send notifications of notifications. This is good if you tend to be forgetful or need extra help picking up the list.[10]
  3. List your gratitudes on sticky notes if you want to see them often. Using sticky notes is a good option if you are quite busy or if you want positive reminders to get you through a tough day. Write something you are grateful for on each sticky note and hang the notes in places around your home or workspace where you will surely see them.[11]
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    • For example, stick them on your bathroom mirror, inside your cupboard or in your mobile phone case.
    • Try putting a sticker on your bedroom door so you can see it every time you leave your room.[12]
  4. Share posts with friends to make them even more special. If you can get some of your friends to make gratitude lists, you can enjoy setting aside time to meet and share some items with each other. For example, you can meet at a coffee shop every week and get everyone to share their favorite gratitude this week.[13]
    Make a Gratitude List Step 10 version 3.jpg
    • Another way to practice gratitude is to send an SMS to a friend that you are grateful for every day.[14]
  5. Add inspirational quotes to your listings to increase your positivity. You may enjoy finding and writing inspirational quotes every day as an extra gratitude exercise. You can also use quotes if you want to focus your lists on specific topics or just to reflect on them.[15]
    Make a gratitude list step 8.jpg


  • Some days it will be harder than others to feel gratitude and that’s okay! Just stick with it and keep looking for things to be grateful for.

[[[[Edit]Things you need

  • A notebook, journal, paper, etc.
  • Pencil, pencil or marker


  1. https://www.edutopia.org/blog/gratitude-powerful-tool-for-classroom-owen-griffith
  2. https://www.edutopia.org/blog/gratitude-powerful-tool-for-classroom-owen-griffith
  3. https://www.mindful.org/a-simple-weekly-mindfulness-practice-keep-a-gratitude-journal/
  4. https://www.mindful.org/a-simple-weekly-mindfulness-practice-keep-a-gratitude-journal/
  5. https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/tips_for_keeping_a_gratitude_journal
  6. https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/tips_for_keeping_a_gratitude_journal
  7. https://www.mindful.org/a-simple-weekly-mindfulness-practice-keep-a-gratitude-journal/
  8. https://www.edutopia.org/blog/gratitude-powerful-tool-for-classroom-owen-griffith
  9. https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/gratitude_activities_for_the_classroom
  10. https://www.businessinsider.com/happiness-gratitude-journal-depression-2019-4
  11. https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/gratitude_activities_for_the_classroom
  12. https://www.edutopia.org/blog/gratitude-powerful-tool-for-classroom-owen-griffith
  13. https://www.edutopia.org/blog/gratitude-powerful-tool-for-classroom-owen-griffith
  14. [v161480_b01]. July 15, 2020.
  15. https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/gratitude_activities_for_the_classroom

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