There have been several studies conducted on gratitude and happiness.
A study at the University of California Davis asked one group of people to write down things they were grateful for every week. They asked another group to write down what was hard about the week. The group that wrote down what they were grateful for exercised more often, had fewer ailments and were more optimistic about the future than the other group
Another study at the University of Pennsylvania found that people who wrote thank you letters felt happier for a whole month afterwards. The same study also found that writing down three positive things every day for a week boosted happiness for six months.
Researchers at Eastern Washington University found that grateful people have four primary characteristics:
- They feel a sense of abundance in their life.
- They acknowledge the contributions of others to their well-being.
- They appreciate enjoy life’s small pleasures.
- They recognize the importance of expressing gratitude.
Making gratitude a habit
The tools used by psychologists in research studies are some of the best for boosting gratitude. They used gratitude journals and thank you notes. By writing down positive things that have happened to you and acknowledging the people who have helped you, you become better at recognizing the good in your life. Which in turn leads to your feeling more grateful.
There are a few ways you can make gratitude a habit.
- Make a rule that before anyone can get down from the dinner table at night that they must express at least one new thing they are grateful for.
- Write a reminder to write down three things you are grateful for in a journal after you brush your teeth at bedtime.
- Set a reminder on your phone to email yourself one thing you are grateful for and to send one email letting someone else know that you are thankful for their help at 8.00pm each night.
Have a good daisy!