Keeping our brains and emotional health in shape is a full-time job. 

It’s the same with our physical bodies. If you miss a few days of yoga or skip the cardio for a while, you quickly feel the difference in how you feel.

But developing a mental fitness regimen and creating new habits is just as hard as getting yourself to go to the gym, if not harder. 

That’s why it’s important to have a variety of exercises in your pocket; tools in your toolbox if you will. 

This allows you to tailor your own experience and create daily habits that meet your needs.

For example, if you want to quiet the chatter in your mind, meditation and breathing exercises are great starting points. If you want to become a better listener and partner, mindfulness is your best friend.

And if you want to be happier, there’s no better place to start than with a gratitude practice. 

Transforming How We Think About Gratitude

Being thankful is something that is drilled into us at a young age. Remember hearing “now what do you say?” after receiving a lame gift at your 8th birthday party?

Teaching kids to be grateful is super important. But, the way we are taught can obscure and dilute the power that gratitude has. 

It can feel like a sentiment we are expected to show in certain situations, but not actively cultivate in our adult lives. 

If we transform the way we think about gratitude, we can harness its power and enact real positive change in our lives. 

The fact of the matter is that gratitude is an extremely powerful tool. 

It can improve the physical health of our hearts, change the structure of our brains, and increase longevity and happiness. 

All we need to do is recognize this, create a habit, and repeat. The benefits will speak for themselves. 

Try it for yourself with this science-backed gratitude exercise.