Ten Ways to Cultivate a Grateful Heart

"1. Be grateful and recognize the things others have done to help you.

"2. When you say, 'Thank you,' to someone, it signals what you appreciate and why you appreciate it.

"3. Post a 'Thank you to all' on your Facebook page or your blog, or send individual e-mails to friends, family, and colleagues.

"4. Send a handwritten thank-you note. These are noteworthy because so few of us take time to write and mail them.

"5. Think thoughts of gratitude — two or three good things that happened today — and notice calm settle through your head, at least for a moment. It activates a part of the brain that floods the body with endorphins, or feel-good hormones.

"6. Remember the ways your life has been made easier or better because of others' efforts. Be aware of and acknowledge the good things, large and small, going on around you.

"7. Keep a gratitude journal or set aside time each day or evening to list the people or things you're grateful for today. The list may start out short, but it will grow as you notice more of the good things around you.

"8. Being grateful shakes you out of self-absorption and helps you recognize those who've done wonderful things for you. Expressing that gratitude continues to draw those people into your sphere.

"9. Remember this thought from Maya Angelou: 'When you learn, teach; when you get, give.'

"10. Join forces to do good. If you have survived illness or loss, you may want to reach out to others to help as a way of showing gratitude for those who reached out to you."