How to be Happier: A Scientifically Proven Strategy that Costs Nada

Gratitude makes you happierThanksgiving Day is November 27 in the US. What a perfect prompt for a Get Organized Tip on one of the best strategies for happiness there is… gratitude.

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:

  1. Start a journal for recording the good things that happen to you.
  2. 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.
  3. 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)

  1. Living in Sydney, a beautiful city
  2. Ziggy, my iPod, whom I love with a passion that borders on objectophilia
  3. Chocolate
  4. Books – literature, detective novels, science, psychology, and heaps more!
  5. Cliff, my espresso machine, who eases my tortured transition from sleep to wakefulness every day
  6. Arrested Development, Friends, 30 Rock, Buffy, which have given me countless hours of laughter
  7. My amazing, talented, kind friends
  8. Stephen Hawking
  9. Xander, my laptop
  10. 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

7 thoughts on “How to be Happier: A Scientifically Proven Strategy that Costs Nada

  1. Terese VanHout says:

    Okay, I think it is absolutely hilarious that you have named your laptop and your iPod. I think I’m gonna do that!!
    Thanks for this fun list.

  2. Pingback: Happiness Strategies | How to be Happy » I’m still writing about Happiness

  3. Eiman says:

    I loved the idea and I would like to share some of the things I’m grateful for. 10 things I am grateful for:
    1- a great family to wake up to everyday.
    2- a stable environment that allows me to think of my wants, because my needs are satisfied.
    3- growing up in a multi-culture environment, that allows me to understand others point of view.
    4- food on the table and a roof over my head.
    5- skype that has connected me with my family and friends when living far away.
    6- air conditioning during the summer and heating in the winter.
    7- hot water for my relaxing baths.
    8- Dora that entertains my son when I am busy.
    9- internet that connects me to the world in ways I never thought imaginable.
    10 – sleep that keeps me sane.

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