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.

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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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