27 Inspirational Gratitude Quotes (Plus a Super Simple Gratitude Exercise!)

Gratitude Shown by Woman with Outstretched Arms

This month, we’re taking a look at Gratitude quotes. Below you’ll find the easiest gratitude exercise ever, 27 gratitude quotes, and finally a Fierce Kindness exercise to use the quotes that “speak to you” to learn and grow. Enjoy!

Why Gratitude Quotes?

Well, it turns out that gratitude is a very timely topic. Last night as I chatted with a good friend, she shared that she was feeling low – lonely – and that the COVID situation had made it very hard to get out there and fix that problem! We talked for a while, and I suggested Gratitude Journaling – but that wasn’t a popular idea as it was too much work! But then I remembered a super-easy exercise you can do anywhere – at any time:

The Easiest Gratitude Exercise Ever!

Gratitude Quotes Woman Showing 5 Fingers

The 5 Finger Gratitude Exercise!

Simply use the fingers of one hand to count off “5 Things You Can be Grateful for Right Now!” And that’s it.

Well, actually there is an option to go deeper.

As you identify each item, take a few moments – maybe 3 deep breaths – to really FEEL the gratitude in your body. This will have a calming and uplifting effect on your body’s physiology – shifting your state to one of increased calm and groundedness.

Because when times are challenging, it’s easy to get caught up in those challenges. But if we think small enough – we can always find things to be grateful for like, “the small and simple things like the scent of the rain, the taste of your favorite food, or the sound of a loved one’s voice.”(see gratitude quote number 15 below!)

IMPORTANT: Don’t “Abuse” Gratitude!

When we’re feeling sad, overwhelmed, frustrated or upset, gratitude can be a great way to take the helicopter view and shift our energy to a more positive state. BUT. We mustn’t abuse gratitude by using it to override what we feel.

What we feel is what we feel. It’s our “truth” in this moment, and it’s important to be (A)ware of what we really feel, (A)cknowledge it and then finally (A)llow it – before we do any work (like focusing on gratitude) to feel “better”. For more on this see The 3 As Process here.

My Current Favourite Gratitude Quote:

I think the older we get, the more naturally grateful we become. When we’re young we take so much for granted, without realising the value of what we are given or how short and fragile life really is.

Recently my mother-in-law died unexpectedly, then her younger brother within a few weeks. So, right now the gratitude quote that resonates with me most is Oprah’s (number 7 from below):

“Every morning when I open my curtains for that first look at the day, no matter what the day looks like – raining, foggy, overcast, sunny – my heart swells with gratitude. I get another chance.” Oprah

When I open the curtains in the morning, I’ve been saying, “I’m alive! Thank-you.” Because not everyone will be lucky enough to wake up tomorrow morning…

How did I choose the gratitude quotes to share?

This was a tough call! When I looked up the gratitude quotes in my database I had over 60! It was too hard to choose and reduce them to 10, so I chose 27 gratitude quotes.

I’ve selected a broad range of quotes on gratitude – from famous people like Oprah, Kate Hudson and Trudie Styler to poets like Mary Oliver to philosophers and a varied selection of faith and spiritual leaders of the past and present from Meister Eckhart to Buddha to Eckhart Tolle. Plus of course, the awesome Brene Brown!

Here are 27 of my Favourite Gratitude Quotes:

Which quotes most speak to you?Gilbert Chesterton Gratitude Quote
  1. “When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.” Gilbert K. Chesterton
  2. “I live in the space of thankfulness – and for that, I have been rewarded a million times over. I started out giving thanks for small things, and the more thankful I became, the more my bounty increased. That’s because – for sure – what you focus on expands. When you focus on the goodness in life, you create more of it.” Oprah
  3. “Some people grumble that roses have thorns; I am grateful that thorns have roses.” Alphonse Karr
  4. “If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.” Meister Eckhart
  5. “I acknowledge my feeling and gratitude for life by praising the world and whoever made all these things.” Mary Oliver
  6. “If you concentrate on finding whatever is good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nurtures the soul.” Rabbi Harold Kushner
  7. “Every morning when I open my curtains for that first look at the day, no matter what the day looks like – raining, foggy, overcast, sunny – my heart swells with gratitude. I get another chance.” Oprah
  8. “Gratitude is the most exquisite form of courtesy.” Jacques Maritain
  9. “I’m big on manners. I’m big on politeness. I’m big on gratitude.” Kate Hudson
  10. “It is through gratitude for the present moment that the spiritual dimension of life opens up.” Eckhart Tolle
  11. “Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.” Buddha
  12. “I don’t have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness – it’s right in front of me if I’m paying attention and practicing gratitude.” Brene Brown
  13. “Wear gratitude like a cloak and it will feed every corner of your life.” Rumi
  14. “Let us swell with gratitude and allow it to overwhelm us. It isn’t as cliche as we make it; life truly is short. Let’s spend it all lavishly wallowing in gratitude.” Grace Gealey
  15. “Silent gratitude isn’t very much to anyone.” Gertrude Stein
  16. “Sometimes we should express our gratitude for the small and simple things like the scent of the rain, the taste of your favorite food, or the sound of a loved one’s voice.” Joseph B. Wirthlin
  17. “The deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated.” William James
  18. “Often people ask how I manage to be happy despite having no arms and no legs. The quick answer is that I have a choice. I can be angry about not having limbs, or I can be thankful that I have a purpose. I chose gratitude.” Nick Vujicic
  19. The more grateful I am, the more beauty I see.” Mary Davis
  20. “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. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.” Melody Beattie
  21. “The root of joy is gratefulness.” David Steindl-Rast
  22. “We learned about gratitude and humility – that so many people had a hand in our success, from the teachers who inspired us to the janitors who kept our school clean… and we were taught to value everyone’s contribution and treat everyone with respect.” Michelle Obama
  23. “Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul.” Henry Ward Beecher
  24. “Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.” Denis Waitley
  25. “When I wake up in the morning, I like to express my gratitude for being on the planet. That gratefulness makes me very present.” Trudie Styler
  26. “No one who achieves success does so without acknowledging the help of others. The wise and confident acknowledge this help with gratitude.” Alfred North Whitehead
  27. “God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say thank you?” William Arthur Ward
Here’s your Fierce Kindness “Quotes Practice”:

To go deeper, here are 3 next steps:

As you know, one of the core principles of Fierce Kindness is creating a deep connection with yourself. So:

  1. Consider which gratitude quote:
    • Most UNSETTLES you &
    • Most RESONATES with you?
  2. Write out these 2 quotes in your journal and ponder these questions over a quiet cup of tea or coffee:
    • WHY do you think you were drawn to them?
    • WHAT do you think the quote is trying to say to YOU specifically?
    • What are some IDEAS you’ve been having, of changes you could make in your life – however small?
  3. Finally, to go even deeper, put your 2 chosen gratitude quotes somewhere you’ll see them often. And then over the next month, make an effort to notice the quotes – and each time you do, ask:
    • What is this quote teaching me today/now?

Wrap-up

When we can be thankful for every aspect of our lives (and accept those parts we can’t be grateful for), we experience contentment, happiness and equanimity – nothing throws us off balance.

So gratitude also helps us with resilience – another important topic for our times.

But no matter how hard things are, if we look hard enough, think small enough there is always something we can be grateful for. Perhaps as many as 5 small things…

Use Gratitude and the 3 key elements of Fierce Kindness to:

  1. Deepen the connection with yourself: Learn what you really feel – and what you really value by noticing what you’re grateful for.
  2. Deepen the connection with others: Perhaps there are people who you are truly grateful for, or owe a debt of gratitude. When did you last say “thank-you”?
  3. Deepen your connection to something bigger than you: Mary Oliver acknowledged her “…gratitude for life by praising the world and whoever made all these things.” Whether or not you believe in God, we all came from somewhere – and it’s pretty incredible really if you stop to think about it…

Final Bonus Gratitude Quote!

“Being grateful all the time isn’t easy. But it’s when you least feel thankful that you are most in need of what gratitude can give you: perspective. Gratitude can transform any situation. It alters your vibration, moving you from negative energy to positive. It’s the quickest, easiest most powerful way to effect change in your life – this I know for sure.” Oprah

If you liked this gratitude quotes article, you may also like:

Image of Smiling Person holding out 5 Fingers for Gratitude Quotes Exercise by Jihan Nafiaa Zahri via Shutterstock

Image of Happy person feeling gratitude with arms outstretched on river by Pixabay via Pexels

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