Advice: Start showing your gratitude

My family faced many hardships when we first arrived to the Unites States from Cuba. In those first few years, we had a conscious awareness of the blessings in our lives, which redefined my understanding of happiness.

I learned to give thanks for the little things, not only the “wow” moments.

In “The How of Happiness,” author Sonja Lyubomirsky writes, “Gratitude is many things to many people. It is wondering; it is appreciation; it is looking at the bright side of a setback; it is fathoming abundance; it is thanking someone in your life; it is thanking God; it is ‘counting blessings.’ It is savoring; it is not taking things for granted; it is coping; it is present oriented.”

We often focus on our problems rather than recognize the good in life. Looking at the glass half full is a choice.

Start by appreciating the things others do for you. As you go about your day, thank your children when they do something helpful and express your appreciation for your husband.

Let your children hear you express the joy you feel watching a sunset, taking a walk, getting a hug or taking a bite out of a slice of chocolate cake. Identifying these ordinary moments will bring more joy into your home.

How you interpret the challenges in your life will have everything to do with the ability to move through them. Learn to recognize the good even in difficult moments.

When you call out the good in your life, you throw out positivity into the universe, and it gives you the optimism you need to get through your problems.

Adult life is challenging and it’s not always easy to live with a grateful frame of mind. Make the decision to open up your heart and let gratitude seep in through the laughter of your children and the love of your family.

Gratitude is a key ingredient that will bring you closer to your loved ones and an important key to living a happy life.

Maria Luisa Salcines is a and certified parent educator with The International Network for Children and Families in Redirecting Children’s Behavior and Redirecting for a Cooperative Classroom. Follow her on Twitter @PowerOfFamily or on Instagram @mlsalcine. You can also contact her on her blog