What if you could be 40% happier? Could you commit five minutes out of each day to become happier?

“50% of our propensity for happiness is based on a genetic set point, something we can’t influence very much, 10% is based on life circumstances (such as getting the promotion, finding The One, or achieving the creative dream), and 40% is “intentional activity” that we can influence with our behavior. That means we can be up to 40% happier in our lives without changing our circumstances one bit, and one of the key intentional activities is the practice of gratitude.” From The How of Happiness by Sonja Lyubomirsky

According to an article by The Gratitude Experiment

Studies show that even our life span is positively affected by the practice to gratitude, and negatively affected by negative emotions…particularly depression and pessimism. A 35 year longitudinal study of male Harvard students found significantly less disease at midlife in the optimists than from their pessimistic counterparts. And a study at the Mayo Clinic found that those who scored high on optimism had a 50% lower risk of premature death than those who scored as being more pessimistic.

A simple daily gratitude practice

I am grateful for:

1. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________

2. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________

3. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________

It’s okay if you repeat the same things daily…you still reap the same benefits.

Today I may show my gratitude towards someone whom I appreciate by: (specific actions): ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Gratitude in your home

Have a gratitude space in your home (a blackboard – a piece of paper on the wall) where your family members can just randomly write down things that they are grateful for on a continual basis.

Practicing gratitude is good for your overall health

According to a Berkley study on gratitude, people who practice gratitude consistently report a host of benefits:

  • Stronger immune systems and lower blood pressure;
  • Higher levels of positive emotions;
  • More joy, optimism, and happiness;
  • Acting with more generosity and compassion;
  • Feeling less lonely and isolated

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