So yesterday I stumbled across a YouTube video where scientists were trying to pin point what really makes people happy.
My first thought was that it was going to be a motivational video about pursuing your lifelong dreams, being passionate at work or finding your soul mate …surprisingly the answer was a whole lot simpler than that.
It was gratitude.
Physiologists have scientifically proven that one of the greatest contributing factors to overall happiness is how much thanks you give every day.
They also went on to say that those who wrote in a gratitude journal for just 3 weeks measured 25% higher in life satisfaction. They exercised more, they drank less alcohol and their family and friends noticed a significant difference in their attitude. The effects also lasted several months beyond the initial 3 weeks. Helooooo happiness!
I decided to put this theory to the test.
Online I found a great iPhone app called Gratitude365. This is where you can upload all of your daily gratitude’s in either the form of photos or personal notes. Honestly, at first it felt a little cheesy. But I pushed through it and after a while I started to realize how many amazing, funny and interesting things had happened that day that totally slipped my mind.
I remembered my taxi driver cracking a really bad (but funny) joke, I watched an incredible thunderstorm roll in over my house and Phil Collins greatest hits came on the radio (guaranteed happiness for me). Remembering all of these things not only made me smile and feel more appreciative, but just like the psychologists promised…I felt happier!
This exercise proved that no matter how bad things may seem, being thankful can really pick you up and help calm that spiral of negative thinking that often takes over our mood.
Try this out for a week and seeing how you feel. Either download the app or keep a gratitude journal by your bed and jot down what you were thankful for that day. This allows you to focus on the good things, let go of your self-limiting beliefs and go to bed knowing that your day was actually pretty great after all : )
"Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough." Oprah Winfrey