Increase Your Happiness by Expressing Gratitude
Tis the season of gratitude. Thanksgiving is perhaps one of the most underappreciated holidays, but most needed. Studies have shown that gratitude promotes many positive benefits – increased and lasting happiness being one of them.1
Happiness is a desirable state of being shared by all people – irrespective of culture, background, or religion. Unfortunately, the pursuit of happiness is often focused on circumstantial happiness rather than enduring happiness.
It is true that some circumstances result in happiness, but such happiness is often temporary in nature, and will change as the situation changes. Enduring happiness is what we really seek. It requires more effort, but it is not subject to the whims of our ever-changing circumstances. We can increase happiness in our lives, no matter where we are or what we are going through, by practicing and expressing gratitude.
Why is Gratitude so Difficult?
Practicing daily gratitude can be difficult. This is because we are never at our “ideal.” There is always something better that we are pursuing. Seeking improvement and progress is a wonderful endeavor, but we shouldn’t become so obsessed with “ideals” that we fail to reflect on past progress and those things we have been blessed with.
What do you do first thing in the morning? Many people check their phones to see news headlines of the day and work emails – things that are often negative and/or stressful.
How do you end the day? When we engage in activities that are stressful and/or concerning, it can be more difficult to express gratitude.
Making Gratitude Easier
Engaging in morning and evening activities that are positive in nature can make it easier to express gratitude. Exercising, playing with an animal, engaging in what interests our kids, or writing in a gratitude journal can make it easier to feel and express gratitude.
What one thing are you grateful for today? A great question to reflect on every day. Such reflection encourages positive thoughts, feelings of gratitude, and ultimately greater happiness. Positive activities may take more effort, but it’s worth it!
I am grateful for you. Thank you for your trust and confidence in me. Thank you for taking my advice, even when it goes against what may feel right. Thank you for being a patient investor - I know it’s not easy. And thank you for choosing me as your partner on this journey.
© The Behavioral Finance Network