Would You Like to Be Happier? Start Writing
Most people associate happiness with the positive emotions we feel when happy. So, which of these three choices will most increase your happiness?
Sending an email every week to say thank you to someone?
Finally taking the holiday trip you have postponed because of Covid 19?
Buying that new car you have been dreaming about?
Getting what we want, especially material things, (the car) does boost our positive emotions, and that feeling of happiness, but only for a short time.
Then our brain, (which control our emotions), adapts and starts looking for the next shiny object and the feeling starts to fade.
Having a great holiday will leave you feel happier longer, but only by increasing your social emotions every time you share the memories with friends and relive the experience.
You might be surprised, (as we were) to discover that expressing Gratitude to someone else is one of the best ways to increase your happiness.
Turns out, Gratitude also enhances our social emotions, but in a more meaningful way, that does not fade.
Gratitude encourages us to identify the goodness in our life and validate the source of this goodness as being outside of ourselves. Expressing gratitude is recognition that other people gave us many gifts, big and small, that help us achieve the goodness in our lives.
Sara Algoa, is researching the role gratitude has in that most powerful positive emotion—falling in love. Watch her beautiful video, How Gratitude Makes You More Attractive.
Richard Emmons is an expert on gratitude. He has studied more than 1000 people, from ages eight to 80. His book, Thanks!: how the new science of gratitude can make you happier, (2007) details all the research on the topic.
He reports that people who practice gratitude consistently report additional physical benefits beyond just the positive social emotions. These include:
- Stronger immune systems and lower blood pressure
- Exercising more and attention to their health
- Sleeping longer and feel more refreshed upon waking
So, ready to bring more happiness into your life, and maybe become more attractive to everyone you meet?
Start with a simple Gratitude Journal.
Before you go to bed each day answer a few questions about your day.
We would love to hear from you about your experience.