A Buddhist trick I learned a while ago is being grateful for people who irritate you, for they shall also teach you. I have a really hard time keeping my temper when I have to repeat myself -- it just drives me crazy that people don't pay enough attention to hear me the first time. It's definitly a bad habit that I've been trying to cure... and the only way to cure it is to practice not
losing my temper. So each person that doesn't listen to me is the Universe giving me an opportunity to get better.
You can be grateful for problems if the problem you face is actually a problem in you. Grateful for this difficulty that shows you the truth. This gratitude doesn't cause more problems to manifest; the problem already
manifested due to a problem you have -- feeling gratitude towards it is the first step in curing your problem, which will cause the external ones to go away.
I think one of the primary purposes of religion is to create level 2 gratitude. Hindu tradition emphasizes focusing on the breath -- take no breath for granted. Christian tradition frequently focuses on food -- "We thank you for this meal which we are about to recieve." Both breath and food are things we should
be grateful for, but frequently forget to be. Prayer and meditation call our attention back to them.
There's a German folk song of which I can only recall 3 verses, but which makes a pretty good checklist of things to be L2 grateful for. It translates roughly as: Thank you for this good morning
Thank you for each new day
Thank you for allowing me
to dump all of my problems on You
Thank you for all my good friends
Thank you, oh Lord, for everyone
Thank you for when I am able
To forgive my greatest enemy
Thank you for my workplace
Thank you for every small luck
Thank you for light, shadows
and for music
(If anyone has German lyrics or additonal verses, I'd be grateful. Maybe even Level 2 grateful.