If you’ve spent your life gazing at clouds and ignoring silver linings, it’s not likely that you’ll change that habit overnight. But there is one surefire way to get the ball rolling in a more positive direction. Instead of fretting about what you don’t have, be grateful for what you do have. Here’s a foolproof plan to help you cultivate an attitude of gratitude:
Count your blessings. Each evening, list things that happened that day for which you’re grateful. Think back over the past 24 hours. Did you see a beautiful sunset or a patch of colorful flowers? Have a pleasant chat with a neighbor? Open your mailbox to find no bills inside? You get the idea.
Say grace. Even if it’s only a short, silent acknowledgment when you’re grabbing lunch on the run, giving thanks for abundant, healthy food is a powerful reminder of a blessing that most of us take for granted.
Send thank-you notes. And not just to friends who’ve given you a gift or entertained you in their home. When people have helped or encouraged you in some way—even if they don’t know it—write and mail them letters of gratitude. Your expression of thanks will benefit you as much as it pleases the recipient.
Express your appreciation—often. Make a point of saying a sincere “Thank you!” to everyone who gives you a compliment, does you a favor, or performs any service for you, even if it’s part of their job. Not only will you feel good about yourself—it just might make that person’s day.