Articles and Other Reading

The Secret of Gratitude by Diana Raab Ph.D.

The Secret of Gratitude

Research shows that those having gratitude can lead to happiness.

Diana Raab Ph.D.
The Empowerment Diary
Posted Nov 20, 2018

Thanksgiving week is the perfect time of year to feel and express gratitude. While things might not be going so well in your life right now, there’s always something to be thankful for. Sometimes being mindful and stopping to count our blessings can be heartwarming.

Gratitude is about feeling love and appreciation for oneself and others. As poet Pablo Neruda said, “You can pick all the flowers, but you can’t stop the spring.” Many people take their lives for granted and don’t express gratitude often enough. It’s important to permeate each day with gratitude and marvel at the life we’re living. This is one of the many reasons why Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. More often than not, I think gratitude should be a built-in part of our everyday lives. Expressing it is like keeping a tuning fork alive and vibrating the joy throughout the universe.

In her book The Gratitude Diaries (2015), Janice Kaplan said that, in addition to the feeling of gratitude being fun, looking for the positive in lived experiences can change your attitude for the better. In her own life, she realized it has not been so much that her experiences have affected her happiness as how she chose to frame them, and thus how they affected her. She said, “I could decide to feel annoyance and torment—or I could decide to feel joy. It still required some conscious effort, but gratitude was helping me to feel the joy” (p. 90).

A gratitude journal is a great way to remind yourself of what you’re thankful for. Sometimes during challenging times, it’s helpful to look back on what you wrote to give you an added positive perspective. Studies have shown that those who are more grateful and express it more readily are more likely to be happy.

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