Write Down Things You’re Grateful For To Build Your Own Happiness

Write Down Things You’re Grateful For To Build Your Own Happiness
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Gratitude isn’t a trait that society pushes us to nurture too much. But if you’re finding a general negative attitude too pervasive in your life, try starting a gratitude journal. Even if you don’t feel like it.

Picture: 13254/Flickr

Expressing gratitude through writing not only has the effect of quantifying things we feel positively about, but the discipline of doing so forces us to break the cycle of thinking consistently negative thoughts. It’s not just wishy-washy, feel-good stuff. It interrupts the cycle of cynical thinking. Robert A. Emmons, professor of psychology at the University of California at Davis, explains it this way:

“It is helpful to remember that it’s not really about feelings,” Emmons said in an interview with Live Science. “Gratitude is a choice. We can choose to be grateful even when our emotions are steeped in hurt and resentment, or we would prefer our current life circumstances to be different.”

The important aspect here is that you break the cycle of feeling like the world is terrible. This can be particularly useful for people who suffer from chronic depression. While it’s obviously not a cure, quantifying the positive things in your life can help anyone.

Writing down things you’re grateful for makes your life better. Really. [Vox]


  • my wife did this while suffering post natal depression, was a major factor in her making a recovery alongside using meds too. she did it using a book called 1000 gifts by Ann Voskamp.
    the basic principle was to write down a few things at the end of each day that she was thankful for during that day, even if it was something like, having a warm shower, or having a cup of coffee.

    its all about changing your brain pathways to notice positives instead of negatives and ‘re-wiring’ your thoughts physiologically to help get you out of a funk.

    but like i said, this alone didnt help her, she also needed anti-depressants to help with rebalancing the chemicals in her body too. different things work for different people in regards to meds, but the self improvement stuff can be done by anyone i believe.

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