For a spiritual Thanksgiving this year, no matter where you are in life, with whom you are celebrating and how you are feeling, here are five super simple ways to help you find gratitude in your heart and keep it all year long.

1. Put your life in perspective.

If you’ve been pessimistic, worried, or doubtful for a long time – and perhaps for very real reasons – then, don’t try to jump to finding gratitude in your pained heart. It won’t happen. And then you might feel even worse.

The thing is, it’s too easy to compare yourself with the richest 1% you see on television. The glam, the ease of life, shiniest hair, healthy looks etc. But one third of people on earth don’t even have access to a toilet.  Literally. That’s more than 2 billion people. Reading this on your cell? You are one of the lucky people. So, put your life in realist perspective, and think again.

2. Practice contentment first.

With emotions, there’s always a process – no one goes from the very negative to the very positive overnight. To move in a positive direction, try feeling content first. Make peace with where you are. Even if you don’t like it. Just accept what you got. Only after contentment can you move to optimism and hopefulness. From there, it’ll be much easier to move to feeling grateful. Baby steps.

Practice contentment for a few weeks. That’ll open the door to more positive feelings, including gratitude.

3. Change the way you start your day.

You can do this only in the morning. Just for five minutes. In bed, after you wake up. Think of all the blessings in your life. Your child. Cat. Dog. Your partner. Your job (the ability to bring home money). Your clothes. Your car. Your smartphone. The heating. The toilet. Literally. The comforter under which you’re making this mental list.

Just for 5 minutes, that’s all. This will change the emotional state you start your day. And over time, you’ll be finding gratitude in you just naturally. Don’t snooze the alarm – spend those five minutes to fine-tune your emotions instead.

4. Help others.

If you can. There are many ways to do this. Donating money or goods is one way. Helping a cause online is another. If you have some time over a weekend, you can volunteer for a few hours. Seeing, hearing and talking with people who are disadvantaged will help you appreciate the small and big things you have.

Helping will take you a positive-feeling state, and from there it’s much easier to arrive at
gratitude. Helping others will help you.

5. Connect with the Universe.

Pray. Do yoga. Meditate. Do whatever it is that will make you feel connected to a source bigger than you. You’ll feel more powerful. And trusting. And just open to more possibilities. These positive emotional states will help you feel grateful even if the things you dream of aren’t yours yet.

It’s all about evoking good feelings. Any good feeling. Becoming more positive. The road to gratitude is paved with this. Give yourself time and understanding – this is a journey and no one gets there overnight. And no one stays there their whole life. Practice feeling good, starting with contentment, and it’ll be much easier to feel thankful on this Thanksgiving and all year long.

Thank you to Kasamba for these wonderful tips!