Four Ways to Practice Gratitude on a Difficult Day

discovered the power of gratitude during the most difficult time of my life. 

I found it in a simple cup of hazelnut coffee. My fiancé was battling cancer, and the doctors said that there was nothing left that they could do for him.

 During those hospital days that were filled with so much unpredictability and anxiety, I was able to find comfort in something that was simple and seemingly insignificant, but predictable. I needed predictable, and I found it in a cup of hazelnut coffee.

 I was so grateful for that simple cup that brought me so much comfort. I did not understand at the time why that cup of coffee was so comforting. Only in hindsight did I come to understand that what I was doing was practicing gratitude.

 This is how I know in my heart that gratitude is most powerful on our worst days.

 This is how I know that gratitude for the simplest thing will make you feel better.


You can read about these experiences in my best-selling memoir, I Can See Clearly Now: A Memoir about Love, Grief, and Gratitude

It doesn’t make your problems go away, but you will feel better. Here are some simple ways to practice gratitude on a difficult day.


  1. Use your uncomfortable emotion as a trigger to practice gratitude. What lesson can you find? Is there a silver lining? How can you grow? Growth happens in the most painful parts of living.
  2. Think about what you have overcome in your past, and what characteristics about you got you through. You still are that person. Appreciate and celebrate those qualities within you.
  3. Express gratitude toward another person. Who is helping you? Who do you love? Who can you help?
  4. What is one simple thing that you can be grateful for on a horrible day? Keep it simple. Did you enjoy a favorite beverage? Did you have a bed to sleep on? Did someone smile at you, give a hug, or share kind words?

If you'd like some support in your daily practice of gratitude, check out a wearable reminder, The Gratitude Heals Bracelet