A recent post from Greater Good, discusses gratitude. Here is the short version. To read the entire post to to Four Great Gratitude Strategies.
Over the past two decades, much of the research on happiness can be boiled down to one main prescription: give thanks. Across hundreds of studies, practicing gratitude has been found to increase positive emotions, reduce the risk of depression, heighten relationship satisfaction, and increase resilience in the face of stressful life events, among other benefits.
The problem is, gratitude doesn’t always come naturally. The negatives in our lives—the disappointments, resentments, and fears—sometimes occupy more of our attention than the positives.
But Robert Emmons, a leading scientific expert on gratitude, argues that intentionally developing a grateful outlook helps us both recognize good things in our lives and realize that many of these good things are “gifts” that we have been fortunate to receive. By making gratitude a habit, we can begin to change the emotional tone of our lives, creating more space for joy and connection with others.
Fortunately, researchers have identified a number of practices for cultivating gratitude. Many of them are collected on the Greater Good Science Center’s new website, Greater Good in Action (GGIA), which features the top research-based exercises for fostering happiness, kindness, connection, and resilience. Here I highlight GGIA’s gratitude practices, which can be divided into four main categories.
Count your blessings
Mental subtraction of positive events
Say, "Thank you"