Filed under: Healthy Lifestyle | Tags: being thankful, giving thanks, gratitude, positive psychology
Many of us wonder how we can achieve greater happiness. Is it a matter of switching jobs, making more money, moving to another city? Losing 20 pounds? Or would getting a pet help? Any of these things could potentially make a difference, but there is a simpler way to attain greater contentment, and it can be done right now, in the next five minutes—taking a few moments to express gratitude.
In the field of positive psychology, research has shown that when we express gratitude or thanks for things that are good in our lives, our outlook on life shifts and we feel happier. Gratitude helps us feel more positive emotions, savor meaningful experiences, improve our well-being, and better handle life’s troubles.
It’s so easy to focus on everything that is wrong in our lives. And it’s too easy to forget all that is right in our lives. Taking a few minutes each day to write a few words about what we’re thankful for—“I’m thankful for my loving and supportive husband,” “I’m thankful that I can afford to buy healthy food for my family,” or “I’m thankful for that beautiful maple tree right outside my bedroom window,” for instance—can really put things in perspective and remind us that things are better than we sometimes think they are.
You can express gratitude on a regular basis either by writing in a journal, writing letters of thanks to others, or simply taking the time to think for a few minutes about what is good in your life. Whatever works—but I promise you it’s worth your time.