Do you find yourself focusing on the negative aspects of your life rather than the positive ones? If the answer is yes, don't feel bad. It's human nature to pay more attention to what's wrong. If only I could lose those 10 pounds... If only I made more money... If only he would propose... then I would be happy. The problem with this type of thinking is that happiness is not based on conditions; it's a state of being.
I'll admit it has taken me some time to learn to live in a state of gratitude, but I'm there now--and so much happier because of it.
In his book Thanks!: How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier (Houghton Mifflin), Dr. Robert A. Emmons explains that an attitude of gratitude is scientifically proven to make people happier. In his study, participants were found to be 25 percent happier after expressing their thankfulness consistently for ten weeks. Repeatedly focusing on something positive produced a positive ripple effect in their lives.
Gratitude is a natural state of bliss, so why wouldn't you want to embrace it? It's a practice we need to engage in daily, and more importantly, we must learn how to express it. Being grateful not only increases our happiness and sense of well being, it also helps us deal with adversity and build stronger personal relationships -- it even improves our overall health. Practicing gratitude gives us even more to be grateful for.
So start saying thank you! Then watch how it changes your life.