By Branden Collinsworth
Reframe your thinking to focus on what you do have, rather than what you don’t.
Gratitude is one of the most straightforward, potent tools that you can implement in your day-to-day life to feel better. Appreciating the goodness in your life—and no matter what, we all have some goodness—instantly puts you in a more positive mind frame, a place of abundance and infinite possibilities. You're immediately brought into the moment, and we know that the ability to be present is powerful.
Putting this into practice, of course, can be challenging.
It's human nature to compare, and we are constantly comparing ourselves to others. As a society, we're also taught to always want more. These thoughts can be the killer of gratitude. They prevent us from being thankful for what we've been given, and block our access to the moment we're in.
The reality is that the most important things are given to us for free. If you're ever feeling upset, frustrated, angry, like you have nothing to be grateful for—take a breath. One deep, mindful, conscious breath. It can be all it takes to help you reset and feel appreciative.
To develop a constant attitude of gratitude, write down three things that make you feel grateful each day. They don't need to be earth-shattering! Maybe it's a workout, a delicious meal or a nice walk with your significant other. Taking this small daily action can have an incredible effect. Research has shown that people who write down three things they're grateful for every day can substantially increase their overall well-being.
When you think about it, that research makes perfect sense. It's hard to be upset when you're in a state of gratitude. Try keeping a gratitude journal to help you focus your attention on appreciating what you do have, instead of focusing on what you don't, and see how quickly you find new things to be thankful for.