Essay About Being Grateful: 5 Examples Plus Prompts

Looking at life in a more appreciative way is key to success and happiness. Read this guide if you want to write an essay about being grateful.

Keeping a positive outlook on life can be challenging in a world where we constantly hear bad news. However, it is important to stop focusing on the negative and become more grateful for what we have.

Being grateful is a principal practice to follow to live a healthy, productive life. Even when you feel like nothing good has happened, think of the simpler aspects of life, things as commonplace as having a meal, a bed to sleep on, and even waking up to another day. Being grateful can help you focus your energy on something more positive, lightening your load when life gets too heavy. 

If you want to write an essay about being grateful, here are some essay examples for inspiration. 

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1. 7 Things That I Am Grateful For. What About You? by Steve Spring

“I have a lot to be grateful for. If I had been born in another time or place my life might have been very different. I might not have had been blessed with the life I have now. I have an amazing life. It is great to be focused on my goals and trying to improve my life…But, I need to make sure that I am taking some time to be grateful for everything and everyone that I have in my life. If you want to be happy you need to learn to be grateful. What are you grateful for today?”

Spring lists seven things he is grateful for and explains why he is thankful for each. These include his home, food, and, most significantly, the mistakes he has made in the past. He provides excellent insight into why he is grateful for these seemingly basic items and does an excellent job of justifying his points. Ultimately, the takeaway from this article is that while life is not perfect, we always have a lot to be grateful for. Gratitude is a choice.

2. How Gratitude Can Help You Through Hard Times by Robert Emmons

“Being grateful is a choice, a prevailing attitude that endures and is relatively immune to the gains and losses that flow in and out of our lives. When disaster strikes, gratitude provides a perspective from which we can view life in its entirety and not be overwhelmed by temporary circumstances. Yes, this perspective is hard to achieve—but my research says it is worth the effort.”

This essay reflects on being grateful even when experiencing tough times. It is easy to be grateful when all is well in our lives.

Robert Emmons suggests performing a comparison between good times and bad times. You may then realize that your situation is better than you thought. He also says that rather than thinking about a difficult time or a particular challenge in a negative light, we can think about it in the sense that it has helped us grow, making it something to be grateful for. 

Embracing gratitude can be a challenge in itself, but it is ultimately self-serving. Being grateful makes you count your blessings and makes you feel good.

3. Feel And Express Gratitude by Dr. Hyder Zahed

“For, whatever you genuinely feel grateful for, you will have multiply in your life. Think about it, if you gave a gift to another and that person told you, ‘I am so grateful for the gift. I can’t believe how kind you were to give it to me. You have made me so very happy,’ you’d want to give that person another gift. So you could be feeling genuinely appreciated while at the same time bring a little happiness to another.”

Zahed, in his essay, reminds us to be grateful for everything that contributes to our happiness and wellbeing, no matter how small. Similar to Emmons, he also discusses turning sorrow and disaster into something to be grateful for, in a sense. Being grateful is a commitment that we must choose to enhance our lives. It’s all about how you measure your success.

4. The Importance of Being Grateful by Deborah Jepsen

“Gratitude promotes optimism and helps us to develop a more positive outlook. It lets us pause for a moment to reflect on something we have in our life right now instead of always striving for more … the next goal, the new dress, the new toy, the new car, or the house renovation …Gratitude is simply cultivating a genuine appreciation for what we already have.”

From a more scientific perspective, Jepsen discusses the health benefits of gratitude, both psychological and physical. Gratitude makes us more optimistic and helps us reflect on what we have rather than constantly wanting more. She also encourages readers to share their appreciation with others, even through something as simple as a smile. 

5. Choose to Be Grateful. It Will Make You Happier. by Arthur C. Brooks

“Be honest: When was the last time you were grateful for the spots on a trout? More seriously, think of the small, useless things you experience — the smell of fall in the air, the fragment of a song that reminds you of when you were a kid. Give thanks.”

This opinion piece by Arthur C is similar to the other works on this list. Brooks encourages readers to choose gratitude. He says that acting grateful can help you feel grateful and that being grateful can uplift the mood of those around us. Gratitude offers benefits for the individual and the collective. Finally, he says to find gratitude in everything, no matter how small it is. 

Essay Prompts About Being Grateful

1. What is gratitude to you?

Essay about being grateful: What is gratitude to you?
Explore gratitude through your own experience

Consider how you were introduced to the concept of gratitude as a child. Was it discussed with you, and were you encouraged to express gratitude, or is it something you have come to understand and appreciate in adulthood? How do you personally feel about being grateful? Are there any experiences in which you wish you acted more gratefully? Explore gratitude through your own experience.

2. What are you grateful for?

As illustrated by Steve Spring, it can be beneficial to list the things you are grateful for and maybe discover a few more you had not considered along the way. Categorize aspects of your life and the parts for which you are grateful. You could then perform a comparison with someone from a different background or country and speculate on how your lists may differ. Finally, consider how quickly a person’s life can change. Should tragedy befall you, would you still be able to find things to be grateful for?

3. Why should you be more grateful?

This angle allows you to showcase inspirational examples of the benefits of gratitude. Why is it important to be grateful and maintain a positive outlook on life? And what do people get out of it? The essay examples above offer excellent sources for this prompt. There are measurable benefits.

4. Is gratitude still “good” even if you don’t mean it?

Some would say it is important to show gratitude even if you don’t mean it sincerely. Others argue that it would be worse to be insincere. What do you think? Does insincerity qualify as gratitude, even if you try to be polite or act kindly to spare someone’s feelings? Or is genuine gratitude something else altogether? If we cannot offer sincere thanks, are we actually being grateful?

5. Why has gratitude become such a hot topic?

In recent times people are talking more about the benefits of gratitude and researching to prove its merits. The popularity of gratitude journaling is vast; you can purchase bespoke gratitude journals to record your thoughts on the topic daily and even take a course to learn how to do it. Investigate where this trend originated and examine how it has been embraced throughout society.  

If you’d like to learn more, in this guide our writer explains how to write an argumentative essay.

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  • Martin is an avid writer specializing in editing and proofreading. He also enjoys literary analysis and writing about food and travel.