As I was doing everyday household chores yesterday, I had the TV on as I usually always do. My ears immediately perked up when I heard the topic being discussed by Dr. Oz. The subject was happiness. The audience was asked to rate their own happiness and viewers were given several suggestions that have been scientifically proven to increase one’s own happiness. The scientific evidence was really all very interesting, however one of the suggestions in particular struck me as a great idea that seemed to me to be the easiest as well. Show gratitude.
Research shows that one of the ways to be a happier person is by showing gratitude. The suggestion was to write down one thing that you are happy about each day. At the end of the week you are supposed to read the list back to yourself. Seems pretty simple, right? By “things” I obviously don’t mean superficial, material objects. I’m talking about important things and meaningful occurrences or achievements. Perhaps one of your kids got a good grade on a school project. Maybe you finally tackled a dreaded project at home. Maybe you are simply happy about enjoying a walk with your dog.
Regardless of what you are happy about or grateful for at any given moment, writing these things down and reading them later with your family is a great way to share all of the blessings you all have. You can tell each other how you find joy every day without even looking to material objects. This is not to say that money isn’t necessary in our society because I’m certain that I wouldn’t be able to survive without it. What I am saying is that we can all make more of an effort to verbalize different things we enjoy that aren’t directly related to money and share our thoughts of gratitude with our families. I’m sure you’ve heard the old adage “Money doesn’t buy happiness”.
It is almost impossible not to notice that the holiday season is upon us. I’ve already received several catalogs in the mail that are packed full of gift ideas and I’ve seen the aisles at the store packed with holiday decorations. It’s not realistic to say that just because you choose to focus on non-material things, that you can’t also enjoy the gift giving season. I admit that I will be out before the crack of dawn on black Friday and my kids would be devastated if they woke up Christmas morning and there weren’t any presents under the tree. It is very easy to get caught up in all the commotion of buying presents and getting presents. That’s why the idea of jotting down one thing that I am happy about seems like such an easy yet important task. I don’t have to go anywhere. I don’t even have to get out of my seat. I can take my smart phone and write down a little memo and I know it won’t get lost or misplaced. If you can’t find one thing to be happy about throughout the course of the day then something is definitely wrong. I thought of about twenty things alone while sitting down to gather my thoughts. I absolutely love to hear ideas from other people about simple things that make them happy.
You can say it however you want. Don’t worry, be happy. Count your blessings. Find joy in the little things. Have an attitude of gratitude. At the end of the day, I think recognizing what makes us happy is a fantastic idea, but this task is really a way to bring your family together and do something meaningful any time of the year.