There have been many studies that have proven that gratitude makes us happier and healthier (It even changes the cells and connections in our brain.) Like any emotion, gratitude can’t be forced but we can cultivate our thoughts so that gratitude is more likely to arise. Practising helps create a habit where we focus on the positive in life.
Here is an exercise we can do which can be used anytime, anywhere! (It’s a little coaching tool.) We can do it regularly to create a habit of gratitude, perhaps on waking up and/or before going to sleep (I do this and it makes a great start and end to each day.) You could do it on the way to/from work and, perhaps especially, when having a challenging time. (I was feeling quite low about a situation last week, then a friend asked me what the positive things were about this situation. It changed my perspective and helped change my mood! I’m grateful for my friend!)
Count 5 things to be genuinely thankful for – you could count on your fingers. (You could even count 10 things!) If you can’t immediately think of 5 then look around you and think smaller and smaller until you can. Whenever you see your hands it may remind you to be thankful!
Why not ask yourself ‘how can I make thankfulness a regular habit?’