The word of the day is gratitude, and if you want to stop failing at life, then having gratitude is the way to go. I’ve spent a decade studying the power of the mind and positive thinking, and the one consistent truth is that gratitude is of the utmost importance.

I know, I know…it’s hard to have gratitude when you’re feeling sad, lonely, depressed and defeated. Trust me, I’ve been there, and there are days when I still struggle. It is much easier to be thankful to God, the Universe –or whatever it is you believe in– when things are going well. When things aren’t going well, negativity is like quicksand; you just keep sinking deeper and deeper, even as you struggle to get out of it.

As I have studied gratitude, I find that the “law” of gratitude is found even throughout the Bible. We are reminded to give thanks in spite of what we see. It makes no sense right? If I am dying of cancer, the last thing I want to do is give thanks. I may want to scream, or cry or get angry at life, but I definitely don’t think I would be in a mood to give thanks.

So why is gratitude important and how does it help when you feel like you’re failing at life?

The simplest explanation is that expressing gratitude shifts the energy in our lives. This is a hard concept to explain, but it’s true. As we begin to think about the good things happening in our lives, our mood and outlook begin to improve. Once our outlook improves, our mind is clear to start thinking of solutions instead of dwelling on problems. Once we begin to look for solutions, we create positive change that literally shifts the energy in our life and opens us up to countless possibilities.

I am not saying that being thankful is like having a magic wand. There will be times when you express gratitude and your circumstances still do not change. In asking that you begin to practice gratitude, it is not your circumstances that I hope to change, it is the way you view those circumstances that I hope to change.

Give it a try. For the next week focus intently on the things in life that you are grateful for. Ignore the bad and focus solely on the good. Give thanks for those great things or great people in your life. Do this every day for a week and then come back here and tell me how it made you feel. I can almost guarantee that your mind will be thankful to have a break from worry and stress, and you will come away with an improved outlook on life.

Say it with me, “I am grateful.”

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