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Instant Gratitude for Greater Happiness

It’s been well-documented that a little gratitude can go a long way. But if you’re having trouble appreciating what you have, here’s some inspiration.1) Appreciate your health.

This is the number one thing people take for granted. But it is huge. People realize that immediately once they’re living with pain, limitations, and decreased mobility.

Don’t wait until it’s taken away to respect and enjoy it. Notice and admire what your body can do.

2) Remember yourself at a younger age–what you didn’t know then that you know now. Appreciate the wisdom you’ve acquired.

There are circumstances that you’ve faced recently that might have brought you to your knees when you were younger. There are times you would have kept banging your head against the wall and now you know better. You’ve learned the definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results. You are not insane–not anymore. This is worth celebrating.

3) Think who you have in your life, and imagine (briefly) what it would be like without them.

Imagine losing support (financial, practical, emotional, and otherwise.) Imagine losing moments of laughter and joy. How much worse would everything be, and how much harder would everything seem, if they weren’t there?

Hug people, hard. Notice their positive attributes, and all the ways they enrich your life. Notice the ways you enrich their lives, because that, too, is a source of self-esteem and gratitude. We feel good for what others do for us; we feel better through what we do for them. Be grateful you have those opportunities.

4) Notice all the misfortunes in the world.

We’re barraged by these in the news and through social media. It can bring you down, or it can make you realize that your own trials and tribulations are not so bad; they’re workable. There are solutions that you haven’t considered.

5) Whatever you’re going through–it, too, shall pass. And rising above, triumphing, or even just persevering can become a future source of gratitude.

When things are better, really take that in. When things are hard, know that it won’t always be this way. Be grateful that you’re able to hold onto that sort of perspective, because perspective is everything.

Photo by hurricanemaine

Instant Gratitude for Greater Happiness

Holly Brown, LMFT

Holly Brown is a marriage and family therapist in the San Francisco Bay area. She has a private practice in Alameda ( ). She is also a novelist ( Her latest is HOW FAR SHE'S COME, a workplace thriller which received a starred review from Publisher's Weekly: "This provocative tale will resonate with many in the era of the #MeToo movement."

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APA Reference
Brown, H. (2015). Instant Gratitude for Greater Happiness. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 14, 2020, from


Last updated: 14 Sep 2015
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