The year of living thankfully

Story highlights

  • To be better about gratefulness, find easy ways to count blessings more often
  • There are a number of mental and physical health benefits correlated with being a thankful person

This essay is part of a column called The Wisdom Project by David Allan, editorial director of CNN Health and Wellness. The series is on applying to one's life the wisdom and philosophy found everywhere, from ancient texts to pop culture. You can follow David at @davidgallan. Don't miss another Wisdom Project column; subscribe here.

(CNN)Logically speaking, we should be in a perpetual state of gratitude. Most people who read this column, even if they aren't fully aware, have a long list of blessings to count (most of the time, anyway).

Family. Friends. Love. Health. Freedom from war and natural disaster. Imagination. Community. A roof over our heads. Common decency. Hope. Opportunity. Memories. Financial stability. Favorite places. Days off work. Good weather. The golden age of television. Books. Music. Ice cream. Weekends. A friendly exchange. Something good that happened today. Something bad that didn't happen today. A good cup of coffee.
You may not have everything you want or even need, but that probably leaves buckets -- nay, container ships -- full of tangible and conceptual items for which to be grateful. Things can always be better, but they can always be worse. It often depends on how you look at that proverbial glass of water.