In order to have the resiliency to face difficulties — for example, a friend who can’t be helped or a day full of sudden changes outside of our control — we need to find and nurture the positive parts of ourselves, and make a point of paying attention to experiences that give us pleasure.

Too often we focus on what’s wrong with us, or on negative, unpleasant experiences. We need to make a conscious effort to include the positive. This doesn’t have to be a phony effort, or one that denies real problems. We just want to pay attention to aspects of our day that we might overlook or ignore. If we stop to notice moments of pleasure — a flower poking up through the sidewalk, a puppy experiencing snow for the first time, a child’s hug — we have a resource for more joy. This capacity to notice the positive might be somewhat untrained, but that’s okay. We practice meditation for just this kind of training.

Sit or lie down on the floor in a relaxed, comfortable posture. Your eyes can be open or closed.

Now bring to mind a pleasurable experience you had recently, one that carries a positive emotion such as happiness, joy, comfort, contentment, or gratitude. Maybe it was a wonderful meal or a reviving cup of coffee, or time spent with your kids. Perhaps there’s something in your life you feel especially grateful for — a friend who is always there for you, a pet excited to see you, a gorgeous sunset, a moment of quiet.

Sharon Salzberg in Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation