Think you can’t learn to be grateful? Think again! Researchers at the University of Minnesota found that only about 40 percent of a grateful disposition is inherited from our genes. That means that we can have a direct effect on the other 60 percent of our personal gratitude!

One of the most popular and effective way to cultivate gratitude is by keeping a gratitude journal. It’s an opportunity to focus on the abundant gifts we are fortunate to have, as opposed to harping on what’s lacking in our lives. And the great news is it’s easy to do! Start slowly if that’s what’s comfortable for you, and write down a couple of things you’re thankful for as you look back and reflect on your week. Write them on a sticky note or in a little notebook. Or list them in a note on your laptop. Maybe text them to a friend who would like to exchange a gratitude list with you once a week. However you choose, just do it. As it becomes habit, you’ll notice that you look at the world a little differently, more optimistically and with greater gratitude.

Want to see how simple it is? Here are three things I’m grateful for this week:

1. The privilege of living in a democracy where I am free to make my voice heard by exercising my right to vote.

2. The time and patience that resulted in a huge burst of professional productivity. Made me feel much less stressed and proud of my accomplishments.

3. A long overdue date night with my wonderful husband. It’s been the cornerstone of our happy 21 year marriage!

Done! Now it’s your turn…

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