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Gratitude and Greater Happiness

Now is the time of year we reflect on being thankful for all we have. In positive psychology research, gratitude is consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps us refocus on what we have instead of what we lack.

Here are some ways to cultivate gratitude on a regular basis:

  • Don’t be picky: appreciate everything. The habit of being grateful starts with appreciating every good thing in life and recognizing there is nothing too small for you to be thankful for.
  • Find gratitude in your challenges. Thinking about difficult situations can help nail down what you have to be thankful for. Dig deeper into your own past experiences and try to figure out how they helped shape you into the person you are today.
  • Practice mindfulness. Think of five to ten things you are grateful for every day. Picture them in your mind and sit with that feeling of gratitude in your body.
  • Keep a gratitude journal. Writing down positive thoughts sets them even more firmly in your soul. Plus, it is a great resource to look back on when you are feeling down.
  • Volunteer. Helping others helps you! Help a friend, a stranger or an organization.
  • Express yourself. Tell your people what you appreciate about them!
  • Spend time with loved ones. This is an easy place to practice acts of gratitude.
  • Improve your happiness in other areas of your life. Exercise, eat more vegetables, get your finances figured out, mend a damaged relationship….

During this Thanksgiving season, practice giving thanks. Not only will it benefit you, but you will make the world a better place. So what are YOU grateful for today?

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