In my personal practice of uncovering happiness and in my research behind the science of it, one wonderful thing I’ve found is the incredible power of gratitude. This word gets thrown around quite a because our brains are wired to automatize things, our perception of its power in everyday life can dim. But allow this to be a moment to revitalize it.
I’m going to share some brief science behind gratitude and then show you a short TED Talk that allows you to realize it in this present moment.
One of the cornerstone studies on gratutide was by Robert Emmons and Michael McCullough that had a group of students spend 9 weeks recounting things that they were grateful for, another spending that time reflecting on hassles and yet another reflecting on neutral activities. The students who reflected on gratitude felt better about their life as a whole, increased optimism and had less physical complaints. They uncovered a little happiness.
In Uncovering Happiness I write about the science and practices that have been found to be natural anti-depressants. As we bring more mindfulness and compassion into our lives, gratitude natural emerges, but we can also intentionally practice it.
Here’s a Ted talk by Louie Schwartzberg that came out a while ago that can give us the experience of gratitude, wonder and connection immediately. Find a time to carve out 10-minutes and pay attention to this meditation on gratitude.
Bring this sense of gratitude, wonder and connection into the rest of your day, uncovering a little happiness.
Elisha Goldstein, PhD