Gratitude Is the Attitude: A How-to Guide

Gratitude Is the Attitude: A How-to Guide

More and more, scientists are uncovering the link between gratitude and happiness.

Some suggest that gratitude moves people to feel more positive emotions. These positive emotions help us enjoy life, face adversity, develop stronger relationships, and even improve our health. All keys that lead to greater happiness.

Studies show that happiness leads to greater longevity. Yes, being happy can help you live longer!

So how can we nurture happiness?

Experts suggest a “gratitude journal” is one good way. Use the journal to write down the good stuff that happens to you each day. Just thinking about it isn’t enough. It’s important to write those good feelings down. The journal can serve as a daily outlet for thoughts and feelings about things in your life for which you are thankful – big or small.

As you get started on your journal, here are some entry ideas to kick-start your creativity:

  1. Write about a person in your life you are grateful for and why.
  2. What skills or abilities are you thankful to have?
  3. If you’re going through a tough challenge right now, is there a part of it for which you are grateful? Why?
  4. How is your life different than it was a year ago? What are the positive changes?
  5. What elements of nature are you grateful for?

Write your journal entries in any style you like. Don’t worry about perfect grammar and spelling. Be as brief or detailed as you’d want. Plan to write in your gratitude journal every night for 15 minutes. Keep it on your nightstand so you remember.

If you find yourself focusing on negative feelings, refocus your mind on a good event and the positive feelings that came with it. This may take practice, but it gets easier over time and can make a real difference in the way you feel.

Remember, gratitude can lead to greater happiness and all the benefits that go with it.

Sources: The Science and Research on Gratitude and Happiness, leaving site icon, 2020; Gratitude Journal, leaving site icon, 2021.

Originally published 1/26/2016; Revised 2017, 2021