Happiness Secret #1

Happiness Secret #1

Being grateful isn’t just something your mother told you to do as a child or something that should be reserved for situations that “really deserve it.” Research shows it’s actually one of the most important things you can do to increase your own level of happiness.

Gratitude isn’t about having great circumstances. It’s all about how you think about the circumstances in which you find yourself. And the good news is that it’s a choice. Sometimes it may take a little more effort than others, but we can always hone our focus on gratitude and increase our personal happiness in life.

How does gratitude work?

In Sonja Lyubomirsky’s The How of Happiness, she give eight reasons why gratitude increases happiness.

  1. It promotes the savoring of positive life experiences.
  2. It bolsters self-worth and self-esteem.
  3. It helps people view stressful or traumatic circumstances in a more positive light, thus coping better.
  4. It makes you more aware of other people’s kindness towards you, and you become more kind to others.
  5. It helps build social bonds and strengthen existing relationships.
  6. It diminishes the amount of envy you feel towards others.
  7. It diminishes negative feeling such as anger, bitterness, jealousy, fear, and greed because the feeling of gratitude is incompatible with negative feelings (you can’t truly feel both in the same moment).
  8. It prevents you from taking the good things in life for granted and allows you to continue to receive a happiness boost from things that would otherwise soon seem normal, expected, or commonplace.

However you choose to cultivate and express gratitude, it’s a good idea to keep it fresh. Keeping a gratitude journal may be helpful, but if it starts to feel like a chore, you may not receive as big a benefit. The key is not just to go through the motions, but to actually FEEL gratitude. A few ways to to bring this about can include just making mental note of good things or meditating, writing a journal or list, expressing gratitude to others in person, writing a note or email, or even reading other people’s expressions of gratitude (to yourself or others).

Try reading through our list of 101 Things to Be Grateful For if you need a little inspiration.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *