Want to Be Happy? Be Grateful
“The root of joy is gratitude … It is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful.” – Brother David Steindl-Rast
Find Your Happy
For the entire year, we have been highlighting simple practices that we can engage in to invite more peace, joy, and contentment into our lives. Why? Because our mission is to help people live richer lives, and we’ve found evidence to suggest we can all increase our happiness through simple skills that are easily learned and turned into habits. Our focus is on gratitude.
Gratitude is a way of thinking, not just a feeling. We can choose to be more grateful and we can develop the habit of gratitude through intentional practice. Practicing gratitude trains our brains to be more alert to the positives in our lives. Many researchers have found a strong relationship between happiness and gratitude, but the relationship is not what we typically think. We tend to believe that gratitude is the result of being happy, when, in fact, the opposite is true.
Practice: Gratitude Journaling
Each day reflect and write about three to five things for which you feel grateful. They can be positive events, experiences, people, or anything else in your life, large or small. The goal is to be as specific as possible and elaborate on details so that you can experience the positive emotion of gratitude.
Want More Inspiration?
We highly recommend this inspiring TED Talk by Brother David Steindl-Rast, a monk and interfaith scholar: Want to be Happy? Be Grateful. He suggests that one thing all humans have in common is that each of us wants to be happy. And happiness is born of gratitude. His lesson is slow down, look where you’re going, and above all, be grateful!
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