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Maximize your life's joy and awesomeness! We discuss gratitude journals, how to be happy, and why an attitude of gratitude is the key for "how to Oprah."

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Created by:
Emma Mills & Mike Martin
Mike is also a Young Adult novelist. His book, THE END GAMES, is available at all online booksellers, including
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Hosted by:
Emma Mills

Directed and Edited by:
T. Michael (Mike) Martin

Written by:
Stephen Johnson

Executive Producers:
Hank & John Green
Hey! So this time of year, many people pause to reflect on what they're grateful for. Science has shown that adding gratitude as part of your daily routine can help to improve your life outlook, boost your mood, and even reduce the effects of some mental disorders, such as anxiety and depression.
     So, how can you make yourself a more grateful person?

Don't compare yourself to others!

     Many of us chase aspirations, and that's a good thing. But if you compare yourself to others, based on magazines or even on your Facebook feed, you create an unrealistic ideal, and this can hurt your self image.
     Permit yourself to enjoy your current situation. Do you like the way your living room looks? Take a picture! Enjoy the comfort of your couch while you fill out job applications. Think about how far you've come! Think about how past you would thing think that now you is! Pretty cool! I mean, I have a linen cupboard.

Practice mindfulness!

     Mindfulness is about engaging your mind and senses in every part of an activity. Don't just lunchtime! Taste your sandwich, like Remmy from Ratatouille says, "Don't just hork it down!" Savor your food.
     Follow your breathing on your commute to look around. Notice one new thing with each of your senses. You'll start to notice that the world is a complex and interesting place. On a similar note:

Reframe your thoughts!

     When you find yourself using a negative adjective to describe something, say your ugly, old car, Replace it with a positive word, like your sturdy car.
     That being said, there's a time for negative emotions. You do need to take the time to grieve when you experience loss or disappointment. But after that period of grief, allow yourself to come to terms with it and reflect on what you were grateful for both while it lasted and now that it's done.

Keep a gratitude journal!

     This can be physical or digital. Several apps like Gratitude Journal or Gratitude Diary were built exactly for this sort of thing. The idea is to take time every day to review what happened, to take note of three to five things that you are grateful for, even if they are small things.
     Oprah does this, so there ya go.

Acknowledge the past, and move on!

     When you give yourself room to make mistakes and commit to moving forward, you'll notice many more opportunities for success.

Cultivate a healthy lifestyle!

     This is something that's simple, important, and frequently overlooked. Just like the Power Rangers are nothing without Zordon, your  body is nothing without a healthy brain, and you need it to defeat Rita and her monsters.
     So, how can you do that? Take breaks when you need them, get adequate sleep, hydrate, eat healthy foods, exercise...

Share with others!

     Let people know that you appreciate them! Do favors, say thank you out loud.
     Mike, thank you for shooting this video!

(Mike: You're welcome for shooting this video!)

     And thank you for watching this video!
     If you can't thank someone directly, pay it forward by doing a favor for someone else. Anything that would put your Sims social bar back in the green, do it for yourself! This goes along with:

Seek out (and create) environments of gratitude!

     Find grateful people and surround yourself with them. If you can't find someone, be that person for someone else. Fake it 'til you make it and chain small victories. Creating grateful community makes it that much easier to stay grateful and positive in your outlook.

Try to find a bigger perspective!

     Join and contribute to a cause that you care about and do work in your own community. Not only will you build social bonds, but doing work outside yourself will help you to gain perspective on your own problems.
     Plus, you'll literally be creating a better environment for yourself to live in! One where you'll feel more connected and will feel a greater sense of belonging.

     And that's all we've got for you today, if you's like to share what you're grateful for, please let us know in the comments section below, we would love to hear from you.
     In the meantime, we are SO GRATEFUL for you out there watching and for everyone in the wonderful How To Adult community. I'd hug you if I could! I'll just lovingly reach out... this is me... expressing my gratitude.