“You can’t always find something to be grateful for, but just because you can’t find it doesn’t mean it’s useless to look. It’s not finding gratitude that matters most; it’s remembering to look in the first place.
“Remembering to be grateful is a form of emotional intelligence. One study found that it actually affected neuron density in both the ventromedial and lateral prefrontal cortex. (*) These density changes suggest that as emotional intelligence increases, the neurons in these areas become more efficient. With higher emotional intelligence, it simply takes less effort to be grateful.
“With gratitude, it is often the searching, the looking, the fishing for gratitude that activates the circuitry. You can’t control what you see, but you can control what you’re looking for. Sure, finding something to be grateful for is an added bonus, but it’s not the only thing.”
*Takeuchi, H., Taki, Y,. et al. (2001). Regional gray matter density associated with emotional intelligence: Evidence from voxel-based morphometry. Human Brain Mapping, 32(9): 1497-1510.
“The Upward Spiral: Using Neuroscience to Reverse the Course of Depression, One Small Change at a Time” by Alex Korb. Page 160.