It has long been said that a grateful person is a happy person. Researchers have studied the effects of gratitude on a person’s psychological well being, finding that having gratitude typically evokes a positive emotional reaction. Counting our blessings helps us to acknowledge that life is good and to expect only good things to come our way.

It is our interactions with people that determine the way we respond to the world, and the way the world responds to us. One of the most powerful things that a person can say to someone they care about is “I am grateful to have you in my life, and I appreciate who you are”. It’s powerful for both the giver and receiver, and helps develop deeper, more loving relationships.

In my own world, during the most difficult times, I’ve often thought about others who surely are worse off than me. It seems it could always be worse. Being thankful for what we have, and thankful for the lessons inside the challenges life brings us, helps us to emerge on the other side of the situation a stronger, wiser person.

When we really give it thought, there is so much to be grateful for. Unfortunately, we battle a natural tendency to take good things for granted. How do we practice gratitude in our daily lives? Many people have developed ways to bring gratefulness into the forefront of their thinking.

Here are a few examples of positive ways to be thankful for what you have:

• Create a Gratitude Journal: Make daily notes of all of the things you feel thankful for. When you’re feeling down, review what you’ve written. This helps keep you in the space of gratitude, and helps you to be free from thinking like a victim.
• Give Back Unconditionally: Practice gratitude by paying it forward. Do nice things for people without an expectation of being paid back. You get what you give.
• Say Thank You: Spend time genuinely showing appreciation for little things people do to make your life better.
• Write Thank You Notes: In the age of computers, the art of a written thank-you note has fallen away. Writing a short note to someone to whom you are thankful will make both of you feel blessed.
• Volunteer: Reward others with your gifts. Be thankful you can make a difference with your life.
• Share your Gratitude with others: Encourage conversation with family and friends about gratefulness. At family dinners, take turns describing things for which you are grateful.

Begin counting your blessings today. Be thankful for things big and small. Be thankful for the body you were given; it carries you around allowing you to do the things you love in your life. Be thankful for the people who make an impact in your life. Be thankful for life’s challenges delivered to you; they allow you to grow and gain wisdom, teaching you valuable lessons. Be thankful for the breath you take and the clean water you drink. Appreciate the opportunity to live under shelter from weather; thankful for heat in the winter and a cool breeze in the summer. Be grateful for your sense of smell, sight, touch, and hearing, enhancing your ability to take in the glory of your life.

Life is what you expect it to be. Be an owner of your life, rather than a victim of circumstance. Be intentional about practicing gratitude, and watch your new life unfold.

Author's Bio: 

Charrise McCrorey was born August 15, 1961 in Elkhart, Indiana. She has been married to Mike McCrorey since 1982. They have raised two grown children. Family is strongly present in her core values; she was raised primarily by a single mother with a strong work ethic and plenty of unconditional love.

Charrise has been a business leader and innovative thinker for many years. Her formal education began in 1979, with advanced degrees obtained through the school of life. She has been involved with sales, marketing, management, and operations – coaching in each experience.

Centered by integrity, intelligence, instinct and courage – she was born to coach.