The systematic study of gratitude within psychology began only around the year 2000. Earlier, psychology had been more concerned with understanding negative emotions than the positive ones. However, since the beginning of positive psychology, gratitude has been in the mainstream of psychological research.
Studies indicate that if we consciously work on the ability to be grateful, our well-being, satisfaction, and thus our happiness increases (1)
To cultivate this powerful habit I’ve curated for you the 85 best gratitude quotes and thankful sayings. I’ve grouped them in different categories like appreciation, prayer, thankfulness, virtue, life, giving, hope, attitude, happiness, Thanksgiving, health, joy, mothership, duty, heart, and soal.
Conscious awareness and recognition can create a feeling of satisfaction. Mindfulness is the basis for this: awareness is focused on the present moment, with a conscious focus on the positive no matter how little or insignificant it seems.
“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”
John F. Kennedy
“Make it a habit to tell people thank you. To express your appreciation, sincerely and without the expectation of anything in return. Truly appreciate those around you, and you’ll soon find many others around you. Truly appreciate life, and you’ll find that you have more of it.”
Christiane Northrup, M.D.Click To Tweet
“Give yourself a gift of five minutes of contemplation in awe of everything you see around you. Go outside and turn your attention to the many miracles around you. This five-minute-a-day regimen of appreciation and gratitude will help you to focus your life in awe.”
Research shows that people who pray seem to be healthier and happier than others. (2) Those who pray are usually not interested in these studies. For them, the conversation with God is simply part of their life.
In prayer, a person reflects on his personal relationship with God. He talks with God about the things that he perceives and experiences: his joy and gratitude, his hopes and desires and his suffering.
“Faith and prayer are the vitamins of the soul; man cannot live in health without them.”
“Never forget the three powerful resources you always have available to you: love, prayer, and forgiveness.”
Jackson Brown, Jr.
“If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “thank you,” that would suffice.”
Here are some thoughts and quotes about being thankful that will further boost your happiness and success.
“We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.”
“Gratitude is our most direct line to God and the angels. If we take the time, no matter how crazy and troubled we feel, we can find something to be thankful for.”
Terry Lynn Taylor
“If every moment is sacred, and If you are amazed and in awe most of the time when you find yourself breathing and not crazy, then you are in a state of constant thankfulness, worship, and humility.”
Bernice Johnson Reagon
The following words of gratitude emphasize that we should teach our children this important virtue too.
“Forgiveness is a virtue of the brave.”
“Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that thankfulness is indeed a virtue.”
“A man’s indebtedness is not a virtue; his repayment is. Virtue begins when he dedicates himself actively to the job of gratitude.”
Each one of us can surely find a whole range of reasons to be thankful. Just think of life. Who gave it to us? Where do our possibilities and abilities to live come from? And our health?
“It’s only with gratitude life becomes rich.”
“Life is such a gift, I just say thank you all day.”
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.”
Further Reading: 150 positive life quotes on love, happiness, and success.
Especially in today’s materialistic world, the motto in life is often “the more, the better”… Nowadays there doesn’t seem to be much room for the idea of giving. Instead, everyone pursues their own goals.
But giving is actually more blissful than taking – and it brings various advantages…There is evidence that gift-giving behaviors can create a “warm glow,”(3) activating regions in the brain associated with trust, pleasure, and connection with other people. We secrete in giving situations “positive chemicals” in our brains, such as dopamine (a feel-good chemical), serotonin (a mood-mediating chemical), and oxytocin (a bonding and compassion chemical).
Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.
William Arthur Ward
“Blessed are those that can give without remembering and receive without forgetting.”
“Two kinds of gratitude: the sudden kind we feel for what we take; the larger kind we feel for what we give.”
Edwin Arlington Robinson
Further Reading: 130 true quotes about friendships, best friends and relationships
Hopes are directed at something we can imagine. Hope is open to the unimaginable. The opposite of hope is hopelessness and despair. You can desperately hold on to your hopes. But even in hopeless situations, hope remains open to surprise.
Surprise combines hope with gratitude. The grateful heart finds anything given surprising. Hope means being ready for a surprise.
“God’s mercy and grace give me hope – for myself, and for our world.”
“If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed.”
“True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future, not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is sufficient, for he that is so wants nothing.”
Most people don’t really reflect on their inner attitude. They only respond to external factors and thus give others control over their situation. But how you feel determines your life. And YOU should be the one who shapes your life.
To see what I’m talking about check out my post: the attitude of gratitude – 4 easy steps to unleash the power of gratefulness.
“Gratitude, like love, is never a dependable international emotion.”
“There are moments on most days when I feel deep and sincere gratitude when I sit at the open window, and there is a blue sky.”
“Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.”
Further Reading: 39 positive attitude quotes to stop negative thoughts
By realizing what is good in your life and dealing with challenges in a more relaxed way, you automatically increase your level of happiness. Take 10 minutes each morning to become aware of how lucky you are. Enjoy the beautiful things! You will then start the day with a positive mood and a happy feeling.
“Happiness is itself a kind of gratitude.”
Joseph Wood Krutch
“Be grateful for luck. Pay the thunder no mind – listen to the birds. And don’t hate nobody.”
“Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.”
Further reading: 100 happy life quotes to unlock the key to happiness
The rituals of appreciation also include the feasts we celebrate throughout the year.
“Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving.”
“Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twelve minutes. Half-times take twelve minutes. This is not a coincidence.”
“Thanksgiving Day is a good day to recommit our energies to giving thanks and just giving.”
Being thankful has a liberating effect on the soul, anger narrows it. In addition, this habit soothes the greed for new things and thus reduces the need for consumerism and the hunger for stimulation. It allows you to pause for a moment and to be content with what you have achieved. This also means a feeling of relief.
“Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food, and medicine for the soul.”
“Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul.”
“Put your heart, mind, and soul into even your smallest acts. This is the secret of success.”
Thankfulness can help to strengthen our health, our well-being, and our mental resilience. International research teams have found in studies that this attitude even promotes the healing of diseases. (4)
“My body is a reflection of how grateful I am for my life and my health; there are a lot of people less fortunate than me.”
“I finally realized that being grateful to my body was key to giving more love to myself.”
Oprah Winfrey, O Magazine
“Without your health, you’ve got nothing going on. I thank God every day for good health. ”
Further Reading: 91 thought-provoking habit quotes about change
Each night before going to bed, write in a nice notebook the one thing (event) that you enjoyed during the day. It helps to use a really beautiful notebook for this and to turn it into a habit that winds up the day. Feel the joy again and also the thankfulness. If you don’t have the time for a gratitude journal you might want to try my quick “happiness diet”. Read more about it at the end of this blog post.
“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.”
William Arthur Ward
“The discipline of gratitude is the explicit effort to acknowledge that all I am and have is given to me as a gift of love, a gift to be celebrated with joy.”
“Whether there is another life or not, if there is any being who gave me this, I shall thank him from the bottom of my heart, because, upon the whole, my life has been a joy.”
Robert Green Ingersoll
I have also put together a few “thank you mom” quotes to help you express your appreciation to her, whether it’s cute, heartfelt, inspiring or funny, any words from you are sure to melt your mother’s heart.
All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.
Mother’s Day is in honor of the best mother who ever lived – The mother of your heart.
No man succeeds without a good woman behind him. Wife or mother, if it is both, he is twice blessed indeed.
Further reading: 78 inspirational love quotes for her and him
A Californian study revealed that the more often heart patients were grateful for the positive things in their lives, the healthier they were. (5)
“There shall be eternal summer in the grateful heart.”
“Gratitude is born in hearts that take time to count up past mercies.”
Charles E. Jefferson
“In all the affairs of life, social as well as political, courtesies of a small and trivial character are the ones which strike deepest to the grateful and appreciating heart.”
Further Reading: 57 best self-love quotes on self-acceptance
We cannot be grateful for all the difficult situations and circumstances in life, but we can be glad for the opportunities they offer us. The chance to learn, to grow, to experience ourselves as sensitive or strong, to perceive life as something precious.
“I am grateful for all my problems. After each one was overcome, I became stronger and more able to meet those that were still to come. I grew in all my difficulties.”
“Be grateful for all the obstacles in your life. They have strengthened you as you continue with your journey.”
“I’ve never had a problem with age; my feelings and emotions are still like those of a young woman. Thank God, I can still be surprised and excited, and I can still dream. I think that’s something no one should stop doing because it’s what keeps you young!”
Maria Conchita Alonso
From the moment we are born to the moment we will leave this earth, we are products of a constant flow of experiences that awaken different emotions in us. In this context the most necessary duty is gratitude.
“To the generous mind, the heaviest debt is that of gratitude when it is not in our power to repay it.”
“When a person doesn’t have gratitude, something is missing in his or her humanity.”
“The worst moment for an atheist is when he feels grateful and has no one to thank.”
Still reading? First of all, let me thank you for your time to read this post. It would be wonderful if these gratitude quotes could inspire you to practice a “happiness diet” in the morning and evening.
It’s super easy. You just get up every morning with a smile and say thank you to God or yourself at the end of the day. It requires no effort and no restriction but provides you with the necessary “nutrients” to feel better every moment.