We often think the key to gratitude is to count our blessings. When we’re feeling down, we’re told to focus on the good things in our life—our family and friends, the roof over our heads, the food in our bellies. We encourage our kids to do the same. We tell them to make lists of things they are thankful for in the hopes that getting them to think about their blessings will make them more grateful.
But research suggests that it’s not just thinking about the good things in our lives that matters; how we think about our blessings can make a significant difference. We need to do more than just count our blessings; we also need to be surprised by them.