People who appreciate what they have and who they are seem to be far happier than those who constantly strive for more.
Whether or not you celebrate Thanksgiving, take a few minutes to consider what you’re grateful for today.
One way to be happier long-term is to keep a gratitude journal or log-book. Look at each day through a pair of imaginary “gratitude glasses” that let you look at your world and examine the smallest things, as well as the bigger things, that you’re grateful for.
You might think about:
- Your health
- Your relationships
- Your political freedom
- Little moments in your life
Expressing Your Gratitude
It’s important to say thank you – to be gracious and appreciative about people’s gestures and deeds, both at work and at home. Simply saying “thank you” or writing a quick email makes it clear that you notice the efforts people make.
You can go further than that, though. Write regular thank you notes – see these as a once-a-day vitamins! Keep a stack of notecards nearby so that you can easily send a quick note when you go through your day wearing the “gratitude glasses”. Send a physical note, not just an email, whenever someone has performed some significant act for you.
In Gary Chapman’s book The Five Love Languages, one way of expressing love is “acts of service” and another is “words of praise and acknowledgement”. Make sure that you respond to other people’s acts of service appropriately, by thanking them and acknowledging what they’ve done: this helps improve your relationship.
What could go in your gratitude journal (or log) today? Who could you delight with a thank you note?