One of the most important ingredients of happiness is gratefulness. Feeling and being grateful for the people and the things you have, will pave your way for experiencing true happiness. One way to help integrate gratefulness into your life is adopting a very simple exercise. Every morning when you wake up, before you get out of bed, think about 5 things or people you have in your life for which you are grateful. When you recount them, close your eyes and visualize them. If these are people, imagine their face and their smile. Tell yourself what it is you are grateful for, and how they have blessed your life. If these are material things or personal accomplishments, think about how your life has been enriched and helped by them.
Very often we wake up in the morning thinking about all the things we have to do that day, which can increase our stress and create anxiety. However, practicing gratefulness as the first thing you do in the morning would set your mind to focus on the positive instead of the negative, and will focus your attention to what truly matters to you. When we focus on what truly matters to us, we face our day with motivation and excitement, and the obstacles and setbacks we may experience that day would be easier to handle.
Being mindful and in the present helps achieve a mind-frame of gratefulness. Pay attention to your breathing in the morning and throughout the day: are you taking deep breaths into your abdomen or shallow breaths into your chest? Bring more awareness into your activities and daily routines, and truly be present for the people in your life. Look for the positives and focus on what is going well for you, and accept the fact that we don't have control over everything. By practicing mindfulness and gratefulness we will reduce our stress and anxiety, and feel happier. And happy people make the world a better place. Have a very happy thanksgiving!