Gratitude helps to lift our eyes off the difficult things in life so that we can see the things in our life that are good.
Being thankful helps you to establish a positive pattern of thinking. It also helps reduce stress and makes you more content.
When you delibrately focus your attention on the blessings in your life, you gradually develop a clearer sense of just how much there is to be thankful for.
Personally I have found that being thankful really helps me to be more positive and happy, and to cope with the difficulties of having MS. Of course there are days that I have to very intentionally look for things to be thankful for, but it really is worth it.
That is not really an easy thing to do, especially when you can no longer do that which you love to do. It takes a long time to adapt. Finding a solution to overcomming those things that give you pleasure that have been taken away is tough. Maybe it is reaching the limit of being miserable, or simply going through the grieving process and the loss disappears, or the futility wears us down.
My first experience with the deprivation caused by ms was when I learned I could no long ski, when the nerve damage in one leg stopped it from taking orders from my brain. For years I cried, resented, mourned and was totally angry about being cheated. I hated losing that joy. Even though I knew it was a waste of energy I would not move off or on to something else, the bitterness filled my time and I refused to recognize any benefit to life. I had a chip on my shoulder as large as Mt Everest and nothing would etch a mark in the rock, I mourned and mourned and mourned.
I dont think choosing gratitude is a conscious event, I think it is a proccess that the brain goes though with or without our permission, something that the brain solves on its own.