Let me start with a small story. A cute little blind boy sat on the pavement at the entry of a park with a jar by his feet. He was holding a sign which read, “I am blind, please help.”

There were many people going in and coming out of the park and very few of them put spare change into the jar. Then a man in a black coat suddenly stopped and put all the spare change he had into the jar and took the sign which the boy was holding. He wrote something on it and gave it back to the boy and went for a walk in the park.

When the man came back after an hour, he noticed that the jar was almost full of money. The boy noticed his presence and asked him what did he write that people started helping so much.

The man simply said that he wrote the words,

“Today is a beautiful day, but I cannot see it.”

I completely understand that it may be extremely difficult to consciously live with an attitude of gratitude when our lives are faced with so many different challenges. However, at the same time when our life is all hunky dory, we still do not operate from the gratitude energies, we simply take the good things for granted.

Being thankful is one of the simplest and yet most powerful habits you can create to develop Self-Love. By counting your blessings daily you can begin to condition your mind for looking at the greatness of your life and everything and everyone around you. You cannot feel bad when you are thankful. With gratitude people acknowledge the goodness in their lives.

People who regularly practice gratitude consciously and regularly as a ritual feel more alive, sleep better, express kindness and believe it or not, even have strong immune systems. Now isn’t that an awesome bonus for the challenging times we are going through?

Expressing gratitude boosts self-esteem, which in turn can strengthen our Self-Love. When you take a minute to consider how much you have accomplished for yourself or others, you feel empowered or even more efficient. Most of us tend to focus more on the failures or negative experiences in our lives. Instead, rewiring your brain to naturally be grateful for the good things in your life can help reverse that trend and put you on a path towards Self-Love and a more positive outlook towards a grander life.

While expressing your gratitude get as specific as you can. That’s the key. Words have power. Make use of that tremendous and awesome power. Instead of merely thinking to yourself — “I am grateful for a wonderful family,” week after week get specific by writing the specific events that you can thank your family for. It could be something as little as your child giving you a tight hug or a meaningful conversation with your partner or it could just be, “My sister invited me for dinner and it was so amazing to spend time with her.”

You can focus on being grateful to yourself for your achievements, kindness towards yourself, kindness towards others, each and any success you had today, your role in your family, your work ethic, a body part that you love or even simply making it through the day. Basically anything that makes you feel even a smallest bit good about being you — you can be grateful for that. The more you practice gratitude the more you will fall in love with yourself. I am grateful that I exist. I am grateful that I create a difference in the world through my craft. I am grateful that I take such good care of my dog. I am grateful that I can swim so well. You get the picture?

A life overflowing with wonders is build day by day, block by block. Small victories lead to large victories. Create positive habits daily. Positive habits will create results which will make you fall in love with yourself more. Begin to live each day as if it was your last. Learn more, laugh more and do what you truly love to do.

Just take my word for it and do one simple thing at least. Every night before going to bed, sit down comfortably and write down only three things you are grateful for. It can be any three things that happened during the day or you felt during the day. For me, today I am grateful that I shared these thoughts with all of you, I am grateful that my husband cooked for me and I am grateful that I received a call from an old friend. I guarantee you that if you follow this ritual for the next seven days, you will start seeing beautiful changes in your life.

I would end by quoting the famous author Melody Beattie,

“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”

Ritu Agarwal brings you episodes on Mindfulness and Holistic Life. Ritu is a certified Mental Health Practitioner and a Life Coach.