Did you know that science shows our brains are trained to focus more on negative things than positive? It's how we're wired.
But, you can actually change your brain and become more positive according to research.
"I love it," Shell Fischer laughs as she leans on a fence and talks about walking the farmland where she lives in Frederick County.
Most afternoons, you'll find Fischer walking through the fields on the farm where she lives. She lived in Brooklyn for many years and didn't have all of our natural beauty around her.
She says, "When I came back, I literally fell down to the ground, this sounds corny, but said, thank you thank you thank you ... "
Out on the farm, with each step, there's something else to be grateful for.
"Hearing the crunch of the leaves. Smelling the leaves. Slowing down and noticing the smell of an orange or noticing when someone smiles at you or someone is kind to you," Shell describes the small moments that add up to so much.
Just look at my Facebook or Twitter pages and you'll see, I'm a count my blessings kind of girl. So, when I saw a friend of a friend posted a gratitude jar on Facebook, I was inspired!
That gratitude jar made it's way, thanks to Facebook, from Sam's home in California to my friend Monique's page in Louisiana and finally to me in Virginia!
I didn't know Sam Burns, but I had a chance to interview him over Skype.
"I thought if I could do it, maybe 2 or 3 other people will do it. Then I heard from you. How cool is that?"
Research shows that we can actually trick our minds to become more positive. In one study, one group wrote about things they were grateful for, another wrote about things irritated them and a third wrote about things that happened to them without making it positive or negative.
After ten weeks, according to the study, that first group felt more optimistic and better about their lives. The research shows they also exercised more and had less visits to the doctor than people who focused on their aggravations.
Sam says, "I believe in order to have a life filled with possibilities you have to be grateful for where you are right now and more abundance!"
Back at the farm, Shell's camera is often ready to go, capturing the every day beauty she is so grateful for
She says, "It is kind of like that idea that every moment of our lives is completely unique and special."
Shell teaches meditation through her business Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction of the Shenandoah Valley.
Make a gratitude jar with your family and all this month put slips of paper in there with something you're grateful for each day. Remember that the small things mean a lot!