When I’m at peace, I find each day brings me a small present, one that further boosts my gratitude and infuses additional joy into my routine. It could take the form of someone appreciating my work, or me witnessing a dazzling sunrise, encountering wildlife or laughing heartily with loved ones.

Unfortunately, I’m not at peace as often as I’d like. Work gets hectic and home responsibilities pile up, leading me to throw myself a “poor me” party. And, on days I need life’s gifts the most, I don’t seem to experience those fleeting moments of elation.

So why do gifts only appear when we’re happy?

The answer is: They don’t. We are given tidbits to treasure every day. But when we mire ourselves in a negative mindset, we neither acknowledge that gift nor send gratitude for it to the heavens. Our negativity lords over the joy and we pay little attention to it. Further, we allow stress and unmet expectations to consume us, making us feel unworthy of a treat.

The importance of gratitude

Being thankful allows us to internalize the positive aspects of our lives. When we acknowledge small instances that feed our soul, we find that gratitude is healing, cementing the blessing into our psyche, which in turn, further increases our positive outlook.

Let’s all recognize the cycle of negativity and work to acknowledge life’s daily presents

Yeah, life is tough. The path of patience can be an epic trudge down a seemingly endless, dark corridor. But why should we allow ourselves to dwell in an unhappy state? Let’s allow the light to filter in. Accept the manna from heaven by recognizing and being thankful for the gift, even if it provides us with just a 15-second respite from our cranky day.

Each time we recognize something to be thankful for—something to find joy in—we push out the negativity and make it easier to break free from its confines.