8 Tips to Be More Grateful After 50

Aging can bring about a range of emotions, from happiness and contentment to sadness and frustration. It's easy to focus on the negatives and lose sight of the blessings that come with growing older. That's why cultivating gratitude is crucial to maintaining a positive mindset as we age. It can help us appreciate the present, reduce stress, and improve our overall well-being. 

In this blog post, we'll explore eight tips to be more grateful after 50. These tips are designed to help you develop a mindset of gratitude and find pleasure in the everyday moments of life. Whether you're facing health challenges, adjusting to retirement, or simply looking for ways to enhance your quality of life, these tips can help you embrace aging with a positive outlook.

Top Tips to Embrace a Grateful Attitude 

1. Set Reminders 

Every second is a great time to be thankful for everything we have. However, if you tend to be forgetful, you can always set reminders on your phone for your gratitude practice. You can also remind yourself to be thankful with inspiring quotes that resonate with you or with compliments you can offer yourself. You can set the gratitude reminder to once daily or as often as you like. 

Another way to integrate reminders to be thankful into your routine is by using a daily gratitude calendar, such as Grateful Living's A Year of Gratitude Page-a-Day Calendar. This calendar, or others like it, promotes mindful gratitude, self-awareness, and grateful living practices. 

2. Keep a Journal 

gratitude journal

Having a nighttime routine is a great practice to improve your state of mind and quality of sleep. As a part of this routine, consider keeping a journal. 

Before sleeping each night, you can spend a few minutes reviewing your day and finding two to three highlights that made your day worthwhile, whether having the time and physical ability to take daily walks, picking up your grandchildren from school, or picking up an old hobby. Write these things in your journal and say thanks for them before hitting the hay. Taking this time to reflect and unwind before bed can be as soothing and beneficial as taking a long, hot shower at the end of a long day. 

If you'd prefer, feel free to journal in the morning to help set a positive tone for the day ahead. If you're more of a morning person, use this time to reflect on yesterday and set intentions for today. 

3. Compliment Others 

There's never a wrong time to make other people happy and feel good about themselves. The best way to do this is by complimenting those around you. If you see something you admire or like about someone, even if they're a stranger, always express it to them with sincerity. 

Be specific and genuine when offering compliments so the other person can feel it in their hearts. When you do, the individual will value and appreciate your praise, which will help you connect with them. A compliment doesn't have to be something big; you can keep it simple by complimenting someone's hair color, outfit, or even their cute dog. 

Remember: Small acts of kindness can have significant impacts. Sometimes, without even knowing, your kind gesture could turn someone's bad day around or reassure and motivate them to push forward and make light of whatever is happening in their personal life. 

4. Thank Others as Often as Possible 

older woman hugging dauther outdoors thanking for gift

According to a University of California San Francisco study, 43% of older adults frequently experience loneliness. We understand that aging can be an isolating and lonely experience for many people, so we should take every opportunity to be even more thankful for those in our lives who matter most. 

There are endless reasons to express thanks, such as when someone holds a door open for you, provides directions, or helps pick up the groceries you dropped on your way to your car. Similar to complimenting others, small gestures, such as offering thanks, help us put smiles on others' faces, making us happy in return. Aside from exchanging smiles, there is always the added potential to create a new and unexpected bond with someone just by being thankful to them. 

5. Take Deep Breaths 

Practicing conscious breathing techniques will help you enter a gracious mindset. First, close your eyes and take three deep breaths. Then, continue deep breathing to allow your body and mind to enter a state of ease and relaxation. While doing this, remember to be grateful for your breath because you would not exist without it.  

During meditation, welcome that thankful energy inside; you will soon find more things to be grateful for. The more frequently you utilize this practice, the easier it becomes. So, whenever you feel anxious or lonely, exercise this deep breathing technique to help center yourself. 

6. Smile More 


Yes, it is that simple; smiling can help you feel happier and more gratuitous. Smiling makes your brain happy by releasing serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins into your bloodstream. According to Henry Ford Health, smiling provides several other health benefits, such as increased endurance and productivity, strengthened immune system, and reduced blood pressure, pain, and stress. 

Each morning, wake up and smile at yourself in the mirror to start your day on a positive note. Additionally, smiling at other people communicates well-being and compassion, along with reminding them to smile, too. Remember that smiles truly are contagious, and smiling is scientifically easier than frowning by using 34 fewer muscles to smile than to frown. 

7. Appreciate the Little Things 

Happiness often lies in the little things, so try not to sweat the big stuff, leave room to tap into your senses, and appreciate small moments of joy. If you see a beautiful garden, hear a child's laughter, taste the perfect cup of coffee, smell a whiff of the bakery down the street, or feel the warmth of a friendly hug, take a moment to soak it in and be thankful for the experience. 

Even in our fast-paced world, there's always enough time to stop and smell the roses. As said best by Forrest Gump, "Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're going to get." Actively attempt to let go of life's uncontrollable variables, learn to live in the moment, and appreciate the things you can control and those little moments of surprised perfection. 

8. Be Selfish 

This tip may surprise you, but not in the way you might expect. For most of your life, you've devoted much of your time to people or things other than yourself, such as raising a family, working full-time, or taking on some level of the emotional burden of those around you. Most people spend their entire lives working toward a brighter future. Well, guess what? You've made it! 

After years of being selfless, it's your turn to be selfish. Now is the time to sit back, relax, and do the things you love with the people you love. You no longer have to hope for what you want because you've earned your autonomy to live the life you've worked so long and so hard for. Selfishness doesn't always have to mean lacking consideration for others; instead, it can mean focusing your consideration on what's best for yourself.  

Kind Mind Psychology points out that being selfish enhances self-awareness, and by prioritizing your needs, you can instill better self-care habits into your lifestyle. In fact, you can actually improve your relationships by putting yourself first and developing a healthier quality of life. 

Things to be Grateful for as You Age 

Are you struggling to find things to be grateful for as you grow older? It can be challenging to acknowledge what we're thankful for at times, and that's okay! Here is a list of 10 possible things for people over 50 to be grateful for: 

  • Support system: Family, friends, and colleagues 
  • Basic necessities: a roof over your head, plentiful amounts of food, or clean drinking water 
  • Health: Maintaining or improving your physical or mental health 
  • Wisdom: All the experiences that have shaped you into the person you are today 
  • Opportunity: Having the time to participate in activities where you might make new friends 
  • Financial stability: The relief of having most, if not all, of your debt paid off 
  • Self-reflection: Realizing the lasting effect you've had on the world 
  • Freedom: Earning the well-deserved freedom to travel after years of hard work 
  • Changing values: Learning to stop caring what others think of you and start living for yourself 
  • Being alive: Making it this far with hopefully years to come 

Which of these things resonate with you? Use these ideas to pursue or enhance your path of gratitude, and continue compiling your list as you recognize other things you're grateful for in your life after 50. 

We hope you find everything to be grateful for to boost your mental health and spiritual youth. We are thankful for an opportunity to help you understand and appreciate the power of gratitude while aging. 

For more ideas, check out Fifty at Fifty's list of 50 things to be grateful for at 50

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