A Key to Happiness – Expressing Gratitude

There have been studies conducted on the subject of “what it
takes to live a happy life.” When researchers refer to happiness, they are not
talking about occasional bursts of warm and fuzzy feelings; they’re referring
to a state of well-being, contentment and joy. According to Sonja
Lyubomirsky, Ph.D., author of The How of
, one of the key ingredients for long-term happiness is consistently
expressing gratitude. Yes, science confirms that happy people are generally grateful
people, since gratitude sparks feelings of optimism and decreases negativity.

Now, around Thanksgiving Day, most people stop to reflect on
what they’re thankful for, but a day or week out of the year is not enough. We
should set a certain time each day, either when we wake up in the morning,
before mealtime or when lying in bed at night, to count our blessings and think
about the special people in our lives. 

Of course, we should tell our friends
and family how much we appreciate them, but we need to take it a step further
and express our gratitude to strangers as well. Performing random acts of
kindness for people that we don’t know shows how grateful we are for those around
us and makes the world a better place.

Here are some things that you can do:

  • Smile and greet people you pass on the street
  • Let someone go in front of you in the checkout line
  • Refrain from complaining
  • Donate money or items to charity
  • Let a car go in front of you
  • Pay for the person behind you in the drive-thru
  • Write a little note of appreciation on the receipt when you
    leave a tip
  • Hold the door for someone
  • Respect people by talking softly on your phone in public
  • Avoid interrupting people

are many more possibilities, so be creative and make someone’s day…you’ll both
feel happier when you do