Gratitude makes you happier
Psychologists have scientifically tested (yep, we’re talking unwitting participants, experiments, statistical analysis, peer-reviewed journals) whether appreciating good things leads to greater happiness. And guess what – it does!
They’ve found many ways thankfulness boosts contentment, including:
- writing about positive events (1)
- counting blessings (2)
- noting three good things each day (3)
Get Organized for your personal thanksgiving
Just reflect regularly on your good stuff you’ll be on the path to a happier life. Here are some ways you can organize yourself to get more grateful:
- Start a journal for recording the good things that happen to you.
- Wear a ring on a different finger, put your watch on the other hand or plant post-it notes everywhere – anything to remind you to actively notice and appreciate your blessings.
- Set a daily recurring task in Outlook to flag three positives a day.
Get in the mood to think thankful. Here, I’ll start…
10 things I’m grateful for
(in no particular order)
- Living in Sydney, a beautiful city
- Ziggy, my iPod, whom I love with a passion that borders on objectophilia
- Books – literature, detective novels, science, psychology, and heaps more!
- Cliff, my espresso machine, who eases my tortured transition from sleep to wakefulness every day
- Arrested Development, Friends, 30 Rock, Buffy, which have given me countless hours of laughter
- My amazing, talented, kind friends
- Stephen Hawking
- Xander, my laptop
- The internet
Now it’s your turn. What are you grateful for? C’mon share! It’ll make us both happy.
(1) Burton, C. M., & King, L. A. (2004). The health benefits of writing about intensely positive experiences. Journal of Research in Personality, 38(2), 150-163.
(2) Lyubomirsky, S., Sheldon, K. M., & Schkade, D. (2005). Pursuing happiness: The architecture of sustainable change. Review of General Psychology, 9(2), 111-131.
(3) Seligman, M. E. P., Steen, T. A., Park, N., & Peterson, C. (2005). Positive psychology progress: Empirical validation of interventions. American Psychologist, 60(5), 410-421.
Image by Fern R