Science has confirmed that gratitude is good for your health. It boosts production of neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin helping your neurons more easily travel to the feel- good centres of the brain. Gratitude can be a powerful antidote to a negative mindset. Gratitude contributes powerfully to human health, happiness and social connection. ..."when people regularly work on cultivating gratitude, they experience a variety of measurable benefits: psychological, physical, and social. And the family, friends, partners and others who surround them consistently report that people who practice gratitude seem measurably happier and are more pleasant to be around." 
||Infographic by Here's my Chance, award-winning creative agency www.heresmychance.com
A gratitude practice will require some focus and intention to develop as we are surrounded and bombarded consistently by the negative. The more you practice gratitude, the more established the feel-good neural pathway will become, making it easier to shift your attention to what is going right instead of looking at the problems. See the 8 tips below to help you up your GQ (Gratitude Quotient). Choose a few of the strategies that interest you and dive in. Your life will be glad you did.
8 Easy Ways to Up your GQ to Make a Positive Difference in your Life
1/ Write it Down: Ask yourself "What am I grateful for today?" Look at appreciating what you have, not what you have in comparison to what someone else does not have. Appreciate the positive aspects of your situation. Challenge yourself to write down 5 things per day that you are grateful for. Have some fun with this! Make this a family effort, a check-in with your partner, or a team exercise. Put a Gratitude list on your refrigerator door, or in your office lunchroom that people can add to. Read your list out loud to someone daily.
2/ Nightly gratitude sign-off
: Experiment with adding a simple practice of doing a nightly "Gratitude Sign-off". Spend a few minutes right before you fall asleep writing down a list of what happened, what you noticed, or who you connected with that day for which you are grateful. What stood out for you today? Did you notice the amazing colours in the sunset? Did you have a laugh with a friend? Did you drink a really great tasting cup of coffee? Ending your day with a nightly gratitude sign-off will amplify those positive thoughts overnight and help kick-start your next day to one of purpose.
Click here to download your Nightly Sign-off pdf worksheet.
3/ Spread It
Take part in a daily Gratitude Challenge. This involves getting intentional about focusing on others, and giving thanks to at least 3 people per day. Practice giving thanks to the person, as well as their action. The more specific you can be the better. When you say thank you to someone intentionally it shows that you are connected to them in some way - and in fact connected to a larger whole. Saying Thank you to your coffee barista is in effect saying thank you to the greater details of how you came to receive that coffee - to the people who harvested the beans and their families, to the people who transported the beans to the store etc. We are all connected.
3/ Flip your Focus
Pay attention to the good - yup, where you put your focus determines what you see. When you approach life thinking of what you are grateful for, you will find more things to be grateful for. It's that simple. What we think about expands. Where are you putting your focus? If on the negative, the lack, what is not working - what happens when you FLIP your focus...and instead, focus on what is positive, what you are grateful for.
4/ Decrease Negative Influences
Who do you spend your time with? What do you talk about? What do you spend your time reading? Are you obsessed with internet news? Controversial forums on Facebook? It can be easy to feel like the world is going to hell in a hand basket if you listen to the news. Make a conscious choice to manage your intake of the negative. Remove yourself from negative conversations. Turn off the TV news and read something positive before you go to bed.
5/ Give gratitude IN ADVANCE
Now here's where you really put yourself in the energetic driver's seat. Instead of waiting to give thanks AFTER someone has done something, or something has happened, consider expressing that thankfulness in advance and watch the energy shift.
6/ Create a Magic Moment daily
This involves making a conscious effort to stop and savour the moment at least once per day. Out for a run? Stop running for 15 seconds and look around you - savour your surroundings. Walking down the street? Unplug and listen for the city sounds around you. Use your senses to bring your picture to full light. Paying attention to these Magic Moments will supercharge your GQ.
7/ Write a Gratitude email
It doesn't have to be fancy, long or particularly prosaic. Speaking simply from the heart is often the most powerful way to give thanks to someone. Who are you grateful for in your life? Perhaps the friend who quietly supports you. Perhaps your mom who is always interested in hearing what you are up to. Perhaps your hair stylist for making you look great. Send them a short email of gratitude.
8/ Be grateful to self
Appreciate and thank yourself daily. Notice how it feels and where the appreciation lands in your body when you say something like: "Thanks hands - for making me this delicious grilled cheese sandwich." Or "Thanks creative part of me - for helping me write this article."