Have you ever noticed that many of your daily conversations revolve around negative events? Focusing on the bad comes naturally. You do it without even thinking about it but expressing gratitude doesn’t. When something big happens, you may feel overwhelmed with gratitude but how thankful are you throughout the average day?

You can always find something to worry or complain about but if you take the time to look, you can also find a lot of things to be grateful for. Train your brain to be happier with gratitude and you’ll learn to appreciate life even more. Below are three easy ways to teach your brain how to be happier using gratitude as the foundation.

One: Practice Mindfulness

When you’re in control, you’re happier, more confident and ready to see what each new day brings. Self-awareness is one way to gain control over your life and practicing mindfulness makes you more aware. You’ll learn to pay close attention to your surroundings as well as your own thoughts and actions.

You’ll learn to control your emotions better during difficult situations. It’ll enhance your mental and physical processes so you’ll become more in touch with yourself. Being aware of the present and what is happening in the here and now is powerful.

You’ll feel calm, focused and grateful for all the good things in your life, even the little ones. With awareness and gratitude comes happiness. So, practicing mindfulness is a great way to help train your brain to be happier.

Two: Count Your Blessings

By counting your blessings you’re training your brain to be more aware of the good things in your life that make a difference. You’re drawing attention to these things so you can focus on the joy they make you feel. You’ll see there is a lot of good amidst the chaos and even learn who or what is responsible for them when you begin counting your blessings. It’s a lot more rewarding than complaining about what you don’t have or what went wrong today.

One way to count your blessings is by creating a gratitude list or journal where you write down a few things you’re thankful for each day. Another option is to go around the dining room table and have everyone say one thing that they’re thankful for each day.

Practicing gratitude in this manner creates positive thoughts, which in turn creates good, positive energy that makes everyone feel a little happier. Over time, you train your brain to see even the little blessings that bring a smile to your face and joy to your heart.

Three: Be Kind to Others

It’s hard not to be thankful when you’re showing compassion and love to others. When you thank someone for helping you with something, even if it was a small thing, it makes you feel good inside. Smile and be kind to the people you meet as you go about your day. It will bring a little happiness into their lives, which sends positive energy back your way.

If you see someone in need, take a minute to help them out. While you’re helping, share something that you’re thankful for with that person. It may encourage them to look at all the things they have to be grateful for, which will make both of you feel good. So, expressing gratitude by helping someone else brings you happiness.

When you train your brain to practice gratitude daily, happiness will come naturally. You’ll automatically be kinder, friendlier and more optimistic. You’ll also be more tolerant and forgiving of others while feeling less stressed and more focused than ever before. All you have to do is take that first step and make expressing gratitude a regular part of your daily routine. Which of the three options above would you like to try first?