Archive for October, 2011

An Attitude of Gratitude

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

Psychologists in the past few years have focused more research on happiness and what seems to contribute to people becoming genuinely happy.  What they have learned is that gratitude is one skill that will increase your happiness.  In fact, people who keep a “gratitude journal” generally see a rise in their happiness within a few weeks.  It is a simple concept, you just write down each day in your journal or notebook,  3-5 things about that day that you appreciate or are grateful for.  These do not have to be earth-shattering events by any means.  In fact,  they can be quite mundane, such as:  you found a parking space near the door of the office as you were running behind schedule for your appointment.  It might be a compliment by a co-worker that they liked your new sweater or a magnificent sunset that took your breath away, but the point is, take time to notice and then enjoy this positive moment and log it in your gratitude journal.  This new awareness of the “good” in the world that you are focusing on will help you to feel more positive, and begin to view the world through a happier lens.

Researchers are finding that people who live their lives with an “attitude of gratitude” tend to be healthier and live longer.   These people are able to focus on positive events around them on a daily basis and down- play negative events.  Keeping a spirit of optimism is essential in developing this new skill of gratitude.  Most of the time there is some good in a situation, regardless of how horrible it may appear at the time.

Living with an “attitude of gratitude” has the potential to enrich your life in many ways as you become more aware of the wonder of nature all around you, and the beauty of the gift of each day.   If you want to inject your life with a big dose of positivity today, begin a gratitude journal and start to focus on a spirit of thankfulness.    Cicero said it best….

“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others”.

– Deborah Olson, M.A., LPC

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