As we step into 2021, it’s time to bid adieu to negative emotions, resentments, and regret, and shift our attention to healing and fostering hope.

Life has a way of keeping you in the fast lane, but it’s important to take some time out to show your appreciation for what you do have; show appreciation to the people in your life, acknowledge how far you’ve come, recognize the struggles that shaped your life, and avail every opportunity to return kindness. After all, greater self-worth comes from thankfulness and gratitude.

Here are some tips that can help you on your gratitude journey:

Acknowledge God’s blessings

Showing gratitude to God sounds like an easy task, but being grateful is the last thing on your mind when you’ve been put through the wringer. However, this is the most important one of them all!

Let us thank God for waking up every morning; let us be thankful for the food on our table; let us be grateful that our ailments are not worse than they are.

Patricia Hartmann continually evokes gratitude and God’s praise in readers in her Christian fiction novel, “Yosemite—One Last Golden Summer.” Here’s a snippet:

“Surely the God who designed this magnificent natural wonder had his reasons. Perhaps to inspire awe and offer assurance that something divine, bigger than man, was still at work in the world. She counted on that fact. When Eric disappeared and her life had spun out of control, she’d had to trust that God was afoot in ways she couldn’t understand.”

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Practice Mindfulness

Life moves pretty fast, and if we don’t stop to enjoy the little things every once in a while, we’d miss them.

When you’re mindfully engaged and aware of your feelings during happy moments, you can maximize those positive feelings. Notice the little things that bring you joy—the kindness of a stranger, the smile of a friend, the scent of a fresh sea breeze, the beauty of a sunset.

Patricia Hartmann’s powerful historical fiction novel, “The Ojai—Pink Moment Promises,” inspires gratitude and leaves the reader with a sense of hope and optimism.

In the book, an Ojai farm girl, Meggie Baxter, clings to the promise of God’s love in the “pink moments” when the sunset casts a rosy hue like a prayer across the Topa Topa Mountains, pointing her to faith and courage over and over again.

“Bathed in the orange and pink hues of the sunset, Meggie had every reason to be thankful. The Topa Topas glowed pink, then purple in benediction. A few trailing rain clouds rested on the Chief’s headdress. As she turned her circle in the yard, Meggie thanked God for this day and in advance for the glorious evening ahead.”

Focusing on the sensations around you, noticing and memorizing the details, helps increase your level of daily gratitude.

Find Gratitude in Your Challenges

Gratitude isn’t always about being thankful for the positive experiences in your life. Sometimes it’s about thinking about the difficult situations you experienced and recognizing the lessons that came after the hardship.

Acknowledging the lessons once you’re on the other side of the pain helps you grow, become more spiritually aware, and can really help you nail down what you have to be thankful for.

If you’re looking for novels that inspire love, courage, faith, challenges, tragedies and triumphs, browse through Patricia Hartmann’s collection of empowering and gripping historical and modern fiction novels. Her books are also available on Amazon and .