An Attitude of Gratitude Makes for a Happier Life

By Irene Ross, CHHC, AADP, certified nutrition and wellness coach


Most of us think about gratitude during the holidays, but then forget about it shortly after New Year's. 

Consistent gratitude could be the key to raising your happiness threshold, however.

Dr. Robert A. Emmons, a University of California, Davis professor, backs up his claim with eight years of intensive research on gratitude in his best selling book, Thanks! How The New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier. He found that people who view life as a gift and consciously acquire an “attitude of gratitude” will experience multiple advantages.
One of his specific findings: People who were in the gratitude condition felt fully 25% happier, more optimistic and confident. They even did almost 1.5 hours more exercise a week!

Here are some things you might consider doing:

  • Keep a gratitude journal: At the end of each day, write down three to five things from the day for which you feel grateful.
  • Express your gratitude: When someone does something nice, say “thank you”–and mean it. Even if it doesn’t seem important to you, a “thank you” can really touch someone.
  • Look for what is right  about a situation, not what’s wrong:We tend to see negatives as      stressful, harmful, sad, difficult, unfortunate–but almost every negative  has a positive, somewhere. Negative situations can be opportunities for growth and creativity.
  • Practice gratitude with  your family and friends. Encourage each family member to report one thing  that happened that day that they feel grateful for. When you hear a friend moaning and complaining, challenge him or her to find the hidden opportunity or silver lining to the situation.

Want to read more of my posts regarding wellness for the body, mind and spirit?  Please visit:

And because the "wellness-centered family" includes everyone, including the 4-legged "furry child," my blog: includes tips, suggestions and advice from veterinarians and other pet experts on their nutrition and wellness.