2 Ways to boost happiness EVERYDAY!

As we celebrate Thanksgiving here in the U.S., I want to celebrate with you and discuss two of my favorite ways to tap into the power of “thanks” to boost our happiness EVERYDAY. 

1. Gratitude

Robert Emmons, a Professor at the University of California, Davis, is one of the world’s leadingexperts on the science of gratitude.  In his book “Thanks” he approached gratitude from a scientific angle to research its effect on happiness.In the first study on gratitude Emmons conducted, researchers split participants into three groups. The first group kept a weekly journal where they described

in a single sentence, five things they were either grateful for (the gratitude condition). The second group wrote the five things they were displeased about (the hassles condition). And the third group simply described five events that happened (the events condition).

“What did the first study reveal? At the end of the ten weeks, we examined differences between the three groups on all of the well-being outcomes that we measured at the outset of the study.  Participants in the gratitude condition felt better about their lives as a whole and were more optimistic about the future than participants in either of the other control conditions. To put it into numbers, according to the scale we used to calculate well-being, they were a full 25 percent happier than other participants.”

Wow!

Participants who kept a gratitude journal were 25(!)% happier than the other groups.  That is pretty awesome.

2.  Celebratory Love

Then there’s what positive psychologist  Barbara Fredrickson calls “gratitude’s generous cousin”—celebratory love.  We know practicing a mindset of gratitude boosts happiness. What Barbara tells us is that when we seek out and celebrate other people’s successes we infinitely expand our capacity to be grateful and loving.

Spending moments to not just celebrate what’s great in our lives but to also celebrate how other people are doing great.  Take a moment when surrounded by others today (and everyday) to look for signs of success like a smile or a purposeful step and celebrate them with a virtual high five and a silent blessing “May your happiness and good fortune continue!”

So, I want to let all of you know that I’m extremely grateful for you, the positive ways your uplifting yourselves, those around you and “May your happiness and good fortune continue!”

-Andy

 

Andy Bates