Gratitude is a habit, and a powerful one at that. It takes time and discipline to get accustomed to, and much like the things we take for granted, its impact in somebody’s life usually shows itself through ways that are easily overlooked—from really taking the time to savour each fleeting moment with a loved one to being more appreciative of the simplest joys.
Clinical psychologist and reality therapy instructor Katrina Vandenbroeck, M.S., says gratitude has a strong role in improving our mental health. “It allows our brain to develop connections that have a positive effect on our mental health and overall well-being,” she tells mbg. “When you are grateful, you focus on what is and not on what isn’t or what should have or could have been. This is very powerful and valuable because you are brought back to the present moment—the only point in time that is within our full control.”
If you’re looking to develop a deeper sense of gratitude, here’s a list of things to be grateful for to help you get started in your practice: