Be grateful, be happy

“Count your blessings.” So say philosophers, from ancient Romans to modern-day grandmothers. As it turns out, that’s pretty good advice.

Researchers have found that focusing on what we’re thankful for can increase our sense of well-being and happiness. And, the benefits may go beyond our emotional health. For example, people who make a habit of writing down what they’re grateful for report fewer physical complaints than others.

Make gratitude your attitude. it’s simple (and free!) to reap the benefits of being thankful. Keeping a gratitude journal is a popular way to begin. Some people choose a handwritten journal, while others note their thoughts on a computer or smartphone. Here are a few tips to grow a more grateful attitude:

Have a nose for good news. How about letting your senses be your guide? Every day, list one thing related to each of your five senses that made you happy. For example:

  1. Sight: the stack of clean laundry your partner folded.
  2. Smell: the scent of freshly cut grass.
  3. Hearing: your child’s laughter.
  4. Taste: your first sip of coffee in the morning.
  5. Touch: cool sheets on a muggy night.

The art of the “thank you.” Telling people you appreciate them is another way to practice gratitude. Plus, it’s a wonderful win-win – nice for you and the recipient. So, thank your dad for teaching you to hit a baseball. Let a colleague know that his or her help on a project really made a difference. Thank your spouse or partner for a recent compliment or kind gesture. Write a quick thank-you note to a caring friend or good neighbor.

Stumped for blessings? Consider things you’re grateful for because they didn’t happen. A few examples: You weren’t caught in rush hour traffic. You didn’t forget to pay an important bill on time. You didn’t get rained on during your morning walk.


One thought on “Be grateful, be happy

  1. I think gratitude has definitely helped me be more positive in life. I’m so thankful for so many things, however simple they may be. Whether it’s a good thing that happened or a bad one that was avoided, I sometimes feel like I’m so lucky but I think it’s just a different way of looking at things (more thankful than needy).

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