There is a powerful exercise that will greatly help you upgrade your level of gratitude. Designate an hour a day to be your hour of gratitude. During this hour keep your focus on gratitude.
Isn't an hour a long time to do this? Yes, it is. When you actually do this exercise for a month, you will find the benefits so great that you will make the effort to keep it up for an hour a day tremendously worthwhile.
And what about spending an hour a day focusing and thinking about what you don't like, what you are unhappy about, what you are resentful about, what you are envious of, what you find frustrating, what's not happening that you want to happen, what might go wrong in the future (also known as worrying), what has already gone wrong in the past. Isn't an hour a long time to spend on thinking these thoughts? Yes, it is. And many people would find it a great blessing to only think these thoughts for just one hour a day and the rest of the day to think more pleasant and enjoyable and beneficial and growth-oriented thoughts. Making a resolution to designate an hour a day reserved for thoughts of gratitude will make it easier for you to overcome a tendency to think thoughts that create stress and distress.
"But I don't have that many things to be grateful for," some people might argue. "You would be surprised!" is the answer. Try it out and you will find that you have much more to be grateful for than you usually are aware of.
If you go to a store to buy something, be grateful that the store is there. Be grateful that you have the money to buy what you want to buy, or that someone is willing to lend you the money, or that a store is willing to give you credit.
If you meet someone you know, be grateful that you have people who are friendly towards you.
If the telephone rings, be grateful that you can hear.
If you see anything, be grateful that you can see.
If you have food to eat, be grateful for that food.
If you read something, be grateful that your brain is functioning and you know how to read.
If you smile to yourself in a mirror, be grateful that you have the positive feedback that will help you master positive states.
If you begin to feel irritated or upset over something and remember that this is your hour of gratitude, be grateful that your memory is working and that you have things to be grateful for and that you can access a gratitude state rather than an unpleasant one.
If someone else needlessly makes a negative comment, you can say, "This is my hour of gratitude, and I would be very grateful to you if you could point out some things we can be grateful for during this hour."
(From Rabbi Zelig Pliskin's book: THANK YOU! Gratitude: Formulas, Stories, and Insights: Artscroll Publishers)