There’s a lot than can go wrong in this world. Thanks to the media we are inundated with these stories minute by minute. The psychological effects can be devastating – stress, anxiety, fear, isolation. There are some ways to combat these feelings, increasing our happiness and feelings of positive hope, and it’s actually rather simple.

Express your gratitude.

Every day, there are big and little things that we can choose to be grateful for. Today, the sun is shining, my car is (mostly) working, and I get to work with some amazing, fun, and funny women. Life isn’t perfect, but there is still plenty to be grateful for if we take the time to look for it. Physiologically, this allows us to change our patterns of thinking from negative to positive (for more information on this, check out Shawn Achor’s TED talk). In fact, Lori Brandi writes, “By actively finding ways to practice gratitude, joy and social connection, our brains will retain a pattern of scanning the world for the positive first rather than the negative.”

The benefits of gratitude are staggering. According to an article by Psychology Today, gratitude can:

  1. Open the door to more relationships
  2. Improve physical health
  3. Improve psychological health
  4. Enhance empathy and reduce aggression
  5. Help you sleep better
  6. Improve self-esteem
  7. Increase mental strength

That’s a lot of great reasons to give gratitude a try! To get you started, try the 21 Days of Gratitude challenge: Each morning for 21 days write down three new things (by hand) that you are grateful for. We want to know how you’re doing, so tag us in a tweet @Power2ReDo with some things you’re grateful for.

photo credit: symphony of love Jack Kornfield Gratitude is a gracious acknowledgment of all that sustains us, a bow to our blessings, great and small via photopin (license)