Do you sometimes find it hard to be thankful for all that you have in your life? Gratitude starts with acknowledging what you have. It may start as a mental exercise—thinking about what you’re thankful for and perhaps expressing it. But as you start to consciously acknowledge what you have, you might find yourself feeling more grateful.

Feeling grateful can help shift your perspective and help you see that you have strengths and resources you overlooked. Feeling grateful can also help you experience a stronger sense of connection to Source or Spirit.

We all have strengths that have served us well at times. Can you name one or two of your own? How have those strengths helped you recently? Have you been able to do things for yourself and others because of your strengths?

Perhaps there are people in your life whom you can count on even when others let you down. Who are those people? What kind of support have they given you?

Maybe you wish you had more money, a better job, or more savings. What financial and practical support have you received from them that you are grateful for?

Feeling thankful can be easier when you acknowledge to yourself what you have—love, security, opportunities, whatever it is that you have right now that makes your life easier. A sense of gratitude may also arise more easily when you voice thanks to people or to Spirit. You can say a short prayer of gratitude for the beauty of nature, warm clothing on a crisp and cool day, or for a good book that you enjoy reading. Try saying short prayers of gratitude more often and see how you feel.

What about expressing thanks to others more often? Thank them for little favors and simply for doing their jobs. Surprise people with your gratitude and see how it makes you feel. More thankful? More connected to others in your family, workplace, and community?

Do you have a relationship with Spirit? Spirit can speak to us through our bodies and our senses, giving us a feeling that we are not alone, reminding us that we have love in our lives and resources and opportunities available to us. Have you ever felt the presence of Spirit in your life? Were you grateful for that feeling? What brought on that sense of connection to Spirit? When you think about the kinds of activities that make you feel that kind of connection, why don’t you engage in them more often?

When you feel and express gratitude to Spirit or others, notice how you feel in your body and energy field. Let yourself open to whatever sensations, images, or thoughts come into your mind. Perhaps they will remind you of what you need to do to practice gratitude more often and develop an even stronger relationship with Spirit.