In finding happiness in life, one oft-overlooked technique is the simple practice of gratitude. It’s accessible, easily learned, and requires no religion or philosophy; all that is needed is a genuine thankfulness for what we are given in this exact moment.

Gratitude, as a mindset, helps us answer an essential life question – If we do not feel grateful for what we already have, what makes us think we’d be happy with more?

Gratitude does not overlook or minimalize the challenges present in our day. Instead it helps us peer beneath the surface of perceived troubles, to see that our world is still a positive, vital place to be a part of.

Breathe in, and look around. We have much to be in awe about.

Gratitude can also be a great starting or closing point for individual and group meditation; here is a short exercise on gratitude and awareness from spiritual writer Don Miguel Ruiz, Jr to begin with:

With awareness, look at the world around with new eyes. Find amazement for the little things: the perfect red of a strawberry, the door handle that opens your car, the stapler at work. Let the magnificence that is your life fill you up today.

Thank you for reading!