The benefits of being grateful
World Happiness Day celebrates the need to find some light relief and a sense of joy, which feels difficult in our current world of crisis. We have a solution: gratitude!
While happiness, like sadness and anger, is a transitory emotion, it does feel more elusive than those more negative states. Surprisingly, there is a simple solution to increasing our happiness quota. The answer is gratitude.
It isn’t to say that you should be grateful for what you have, and so make you feel shame for feeling sad. Shame doesn’t help anyone.
Gratitude is a way of thinking that helps us overcome the sense of scarcity programmed into us by advertisers and social media. Every message our brain receives seems to tell us we don’t have enough. We need a better car or television; we need to go to more luxurious destinations; we need the latest air fryer because it has some snazzy tool for crisping up our Sunday roast.
All this FOMO makes us unhappy.
Making it a habit to say thank you for what we have helps us to see what we do have–instead of focusing on what we don’t have. Reshaping how you ask your brain to see the world will directly impact your happiness levels–and maybe even lead to contentment.
On a personal level, you will see the fantastic things you have been given in your life, whether it is health, wealth, connection, a warm home, a means of travelling, a book to read or music to listen to.
On a professional level, being grateful helps you to see what your colleagues do for you–rather than what they don’t. By acknowledging what they do, you might find they want to do more, which makes you happier.
Saying thank you is such a small act–though it significantly affects how we feel about our lives.