In times of stress or anxiety it can be easy to overlook the positive aspects of life and the things we are grateful for. But taking some time to truly appreciate the little things is a simple act that can do wonders for our mental health. Studies show that deliberately cultivating gratitude can increase our well-being, health and happiness.  

In this extract from Oprah Winfrey's brilliantly insightful collection, What I Know For Sure, she describes how she feels grateful each and every day for the simpler things in her life. Why not follow in Oprah’s footsteps and list fifteen things in your life that you're grateful for.

 

Every morning when I open my curtains for that first look at the day, no matter what the day looks like — raining, foggy, overcast, sunny — my heart swells with gratitude. I get another chance.

 

In the best of times and worst of times, I know for sure, this life is a gift. And I believe that no matter where we live or how we look or what we do for a living, when it comes to what really matters — what makes us laugh and cry, grieve and yearn, delight and rejoice — we share the same heart space. We just fill it with different things. Here are 15 of my favorites:

 

  1. Planting vegetables in my garden.
  2. Making blueberry-lemon pancakes on Sunday morning for Stedman. Never fails to delight him — like he’s 7 every time.
  3. An off-leash romp on the front lawn with all my dogs.
  4. A rainy day, a chill in the air, a blazing fire in the fireplace.
  5. Picking vegetables from my garden.
  6. A great book.
  7. Reading in my favorite place on earth: under my oak trees.
  8. Cooking vegetables from my garden.
  9. Sleeping till my body wants to wake up.
  10. Waking up to the real twitter: birds.
  11. A workout so strong, my whole body breathes.
  12. Eating vegetables from my garden.
  13. Being still.
  14. Embracing silence.
  15. The daily spiritual practice of gratitude. Every day I bless my life by counting my blessings.