Gratitude is a funny thing. Most people think they can only find it in small moments of thankfulness, but I have come to realize that every day is filled with dozens of moments to be thankful for.

While reading last month’s Oprah Magazine, she happened to touch on the importance of being grateful. Gratitude keeps you afloat during hard times.  Thanks to my dear friend Oprah, I have now found a way to remind myself even in the darkest days that there is a little light to be thankful for. How do I track my moments of light? Easy, using a gratitude journal!

Every night before my few hours of beauty sleep, I write down five things I am grateful for. At first, it was hard to think of things I was thankful for. It comes with practice but now it is easier. Yesterday I was thankful for my iPhone for letting me listen to music on my walk to and from the office, my café con leche (an amazing Cuban drink – Cuban espresso and boiled milk – that just warms my soul) right before bed time, my Bath and Body Works Aromatherapy Sleep Cream, sharing a bar of chocolate with a colleague during lunch, and my amazing mentor, friend and strong woman, Monique Catoggio who got me to start reading Oprah Magazine in the first place!

Gratitude helps you become more self-aware. It helps us realize, that on this crazy roller coaster we call life that there are things to look forward to. Awesome things happen every day. Some can be life changing or some can be ordinary. Either way, we have to enjoy them as they come.

I challenge you to start your own gratitude journal, and start with writing down anywhere from 3-5 things you are grateful for everyday. A month from now, you will realize that your days are filled with more good than bad, more smiles than frowns, and most importantly, more gratitude.

What are you grateful for?

(See Part 1 here.)

Melissa was a mentor in 2010 at Florida International University.  She currently lives in warm Miami, Florida where she is pursuing her MBA in Human Resources Management, and is grateful for every opportunity life brings her way.