#WhatWorks Cultivate Gratitude

Liz Presson • 26 November 2014

Sometimes it’s too easy to focus on what’s not going right.

The last few weeks were intense. I juggled work and travel with a 6-7 hour time zone difference. I was tired of never ending flights. I lugged around my heavy suitcase in 100-degree weather.

Whether life is going awesome or times are tough, defaulting to the negative is just…easy.

Luckily, right now, I have a ton to be grateful for and that feels good. But that’s definitely not always the case—good times ebb and flow. The mission is to express gratitude every day—not just in times of bliss.

In Choose Yourself, James Altucher points out that cultivating an attitude of gratitude towards both the positive and negative events in our lives boosts Oxytocin levels and helps us to be more present.

Here’s the process he suggests:

“Do this every day: wake up and think of five people you are grateful for in your life right now. Not people who you were grateful for in the past. And not people you hope to be grateful for in the future if they do what you want them to do. Five people RIGHT NOW. That’s all you have to do.”

Whether you’re coming off the high of traveling or trying to pick yourself up after a failure, there’s someone you can be grateful for. List ‘em like James suggests. Better yet, let them know.

The #WhatWorks series.

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