This WSJ article seemed incredibly appropriate for today, since its main point is that grateful people are happier and healthier than others. “Adults who frequently feel grateful have more energy, more optimism, more social connections, and more happiness than those who do not.”
Read the article for yourselves, but one of my favorite quotes is this: “As simple as it sounds, gratitude is actually a demanding, complex emotion that requires self-reflection, the ability to admit that one is dependent on the help of others, and the humility to realize one’s own limitations.”
Being grateful helps us live in the present, overcome the negativity bias, up our happiness quotient…what’s not to like here? According the different streams os research in positive psychology, something as simple as keeping a daily gratitude journal – jotting down 5 things that you are grateful for that day – can actually make us feel better. The lesson is: literally, count your blessings. I used to this as a part of an assignment for a class I took in college with Tal Ben-Shahar, but have since slacked…but I think now that there is even an iPod app for this, I think I will try to get back into it.
For me the key is not to turn Thanksgiving into just an all-out food gorge-fest and early night in preparation of Black Friday, but rather to focus on actually giving thanks. And then, more importantly, to not leave that attitude of gratitude (a quirky rhyme, I know), on the Thanksgiving dinner table.
As the article says, “The real benefit comes inc hanging how you experience the world. Look for things to ge grateful for, and you’ll start seeing them everywhere.”